It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

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"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Glass Houses
Released May 12, 1980
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1979
Length 2:57
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Billy Joel singles chronology
"You May Be Right"
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
"Don't Ask Me Why"

"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" is a hit 1980 song performed by Billy Joel, from the hit album Glass Houses. The song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two weeks, from July 19 through August 1, 1980. The song spent 11 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 7th biggest hit of 1980 according to American Top 40. The song is an examination of the themes of a musician's degrading fame and public tastes that were expressed in his 1975 hit "The Entertainer".

The single eventually reached Platinum status from the RIAA for sales of over 2 million copies in the United States.


The song is a cynical look at the music industry as a publicist/manager begs the protagonist to remain hip for the younger crowd ("What's the matter with the car I'm driving?" / "Can't you tell that it's out of style?"), and the protagonist's refusal to change, claiming his music will remain relevant regardless of his appearance. The song was a reaction by Joel at the new music genres that were around in the late 1970s (punk, funk, new wave). It was inspired by Joel reading a review about a particular (unnamed) band, and realizing that he had no idea what their music sounded like.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song depicted Joel mixing elements of new wave, punk, and funk as he records a music video.


Soundtrack appearances[edit]

The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.[3]


Pop rock musician Drake Bell covered the song in 2014 on his album Ready Steady Go!.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thomas, Stephen. "Glass Houses - Billy Joel". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  2. ^ Brusie, David (October 28, 2014). "With Glass Houses, Billy Joel attempted to overhaul his image". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 7, 2015. 
  3. ^ Allgame - Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore - Credits Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  4. ^ Collar, Matt. "Drake Bell - Ready Steady Go! Review". Allmusic. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Coming Up" by Paul McCartney
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
July 19, 1980 – July 26, 1980 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Magic" by Olivia Newton-John
Preceded by
"Little Jeannie" by Elton John
Canadian RPM number-one single
July 26, 1980 – August 9, 1980 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Misunderstanding" by Genesis