Piano Man is the second studio album by the Americansinger-songwriterBilly Joel, released on November 9, 1973. Joel's first recording with Columbia Records, Piano Man emerged from legal difficulties with his former label, Family Productions, and became his breakthrough album. However, the Family Productions print logo was used until 1986.
The single "Piano Man", a fictionalized retelling of Joel's experiences with people Joel met as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, peaked at #25 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, and at #4 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. "Travelin' Prayer" and "Worse Comes to Worst" peaked at #77 and #80, respectively, on the Pop Singles chart, while the album reached #27 on the Pop Albums chart. ("Travelin' Prayer" later earned Dolly Parton a Grammy Award, when she covered it in 1999.)
Columbia Records released a 2-disc legacy version of Piano Man in November 2011.
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. The radio broadcast included three songs ("Long, Long Time", "Josephine" and "Rosalinda") that were never on any of Joel's studio albums.