Piano Man (album)

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Piano Man
Billy Joel - Piano Man.jpg
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released November 9, 1973[1]
Recorded September 1973
Studio Devonshire Sound Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre
Length 42:51
Label Columbia
Producer Michael Stewart
Billy Joel chronology
Cold Spring Harbor
(1971)Cold Spring Harbor1971
Piano Man
(1973)
Streetlife Serenade
(1974)Streetlife Serenade1974
Singles from Piano Man
  1. "Piano Man" / "You're My Home"
    Released: November 2, 1973
  2. "Worse Comes to Worst"
    Released: 1974
  3. "Travelin' Prayer"
    Released: 1974
  4. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid"
    Released: April 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Robert ChristgauC[3]
Rolling Stonepositive[4]

Piano Man is the second studio album by American recording artist Billy Joel, released on November 9, 1973 by Columbia Records. The album emerged from legal difficulties with Joel's former label Family Productions, and ultimately became his breakthrough album.

The title track, a fictionalized retelling of Joel's experiences with people he met as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, peaked at number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. "Travelin' Prayer" and "Worse Comes to Worst" peaked at numbers 77 and 80 on the Hot 100, respectively, while the album itself peaked at number 27 on the US Billboard 200. The album was certified gold by the RIAA in 1975, but Joel only received $8000 in royalties (US$36,383 in 2017 dollars[5]). [6]

Legacy edition[edit]

Columbia Records released a two-disc legacy version of Piano Man in November 2011.[7]

This edition included a slightly truncated live 1972 radio broadcast of early songs that Joel recorded at the Philadelphia radio station WMMR's Sigma Sound Studios. This radio broadcast was extremely important to the success of Joel's music career because, after the show was recorded, the live recording of "Captain Jack" was played by the station and quickly became "the most requested song in the station's history". Once the popularity of this live recording was known, people working for Columbia Records heard the recording and signed Joel to the label.[8] The radio broadcast included three songs ("Long, Long Time", "Josephine" and "Rosalinda") that were never on any of Joel's studio albums.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Billy Joel.

One side
No.TitleLength
1."Travelin' Prayer"4:16
2."Piano Man"5:37
3."Ain't No Crime"3:20
4."You're My Home"3:14
5."The Ballad of Billy the Kid"5:35
Another side
No.TitleLength
6."Worse Comes to Worst"3:28
7."Stop in Nevada"3:40
8."If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You)"3:35
9."Somewhere Along the Line"3:17
10."Captain Jack"7:15
Total length:42:51

2011 Legacy Edition bonus disc[edit]

Disc 2: Live at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 15, 1972

  1. "Introduction by Ed Sciaky" – 0:29
  2. "Falling of the Rain" – 2:33
  3. "Intro to Travelin' Prayer" – 0:17
  4. "Travelin' Prayer" – 3:11
  5. "Intro to Billy the Kid" – 0:50
  6. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" – 5:36
  7. "Intro to She's Got a Way" – 1:03
  8. "She's Got a Way" – 3:08
  9. "Intro to Everybody Loves You Now" – 1:19
  10. "Everybody Loves You Now" – 2:56
  11. "Intro to Nocturne" – 0:59
  12. "Nocturne" – 2:46
  13. "Station ID and Intro to Turn Around" – 1:31
  14. "Turn Around" – 3:26
  15. "Intro to Long, Long Time" – 1:19
  16. "Long, Long Time" – 4:46
  17. "Intro to Captain Jack" – 1:19
  18. "Captain Jack" – 6:56
  19. "Intro to Josephine" – 1:40
  20. "Josephine" – 3:23
  21. "Intro to Rosalinda" – 0:33
  22. "Rosalinda" – 3:03
  23. "Tomorrow Is Today" – 5:11

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the AllMusic credits.[9]

Live at Sigma Sound Studios, April 15, 1972[edit]

Production[edit]

Reception[edit]

Rolling Stone mused that Piano Man "represents a new seriousness and flexibility" for Joel, comparing it to the stylings of Elton John.[4]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.billyjoel.com/music/piano-man/
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Piano Man". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Billy Joel: Piano Man > Consumer Guide Album". robertchristgau.com. Robert Christgau. Retrieved August 25, 2011.  Originally published in Christgau, Robert (March 1974). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem.  Posted at "The Christgau Consumer Guide: March 1974". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Breschard, Jack (March 14, 1974). "Billy Joel Piano Man > Album Review". Rolling Stone (156). Archived from the original on November 4, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2008. 
  5. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018. 
  6. ^ Bielen, Ken (2011). The Words and Music of Billy Joel. ABC-CLIO. pp. 29–30, 116. ISBN 9780313380167. 
  7. ^ "Shop the Billy Joel Official Store". 
  8. ^ billyjoelVEVO (18 October 2011). "Billy Joel – Billy Joel on PIANO MAN – from THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION" – via YouTube. 
  9. ^ "Piano Man – Billy Joel | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, NSW. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 21, No. 9". RPM. April 13, 1974. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  12. ^ "allmusic ((( Streetlife Serenade > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved March 19, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Chart Stats – Billy Joel – Piano Man". UK Albums Chart. Chart Stats. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ "ビリー・ジョエル-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks for Piano Man: Legacy Edition by Billy Joel]. oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  15. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 24, 2013". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  16. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – Piano Man". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Piano Man". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH