Shameless (song)

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Single by Billy Joel
from the album Storm Front
Released 1989
Recorded 1988-89
Genre Rock
Length 4:26
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Mick Jones
Billy Joel singles chronology
"And So It Goes"
"All Shook Up"
Single by Garth Brooks
from the album Ropin' the Wind
B-side "The Dance"/"Rodeo"/"The Thunder Rolls"
Released October 21, 1991
Format CD single, 7" 45 RPM
Genre Country, country rock
Length 4:20
Label Liberty
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Allen Reynolds
Garth Brooks singles chronology
"What She's Doing Now"

"Shameless" is a song written by American singer Billy Joel and recorded on his 1989 album Storm Front. His version peaked at #40 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts. Two years later, the song was covered by country music artist Garth Brooks on his third studio album, 1991's Ropin' the Wind. Brooks' rendering of the song was his seventh Number One hit on the Billboard country charts in late 1991. It also reached #71 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 1993, on stage in Boston, Billy Joel introduced the song by saying, "I want[ed] to write a song, like a Jimi Hendrix song, you know. Back in the sixties, he was one of my idols, Jimi Hendrix." [1] Billy Joel also mentioned the Hendrix inspiration at a talk in Nurenberg, in 1995.[2]

Background and production[edit]

Garth Brooks version[edit]

The song features harmony vocals by Trisha Yearwood. Brooks provided the following background information on the song in the booklet liner notes from his compilation, The Hits:

"Shameless" was the longest shot we took with a song. I was talked into becoming a member of a CD know, the 40,000 CD's for a penny deal. With those clubs, they write you with the selection of the month. If you don't write back and cancel, then they send it to you and charge you for it. I was on the road for six months with no one to check the mail and came home to find six compact discs in my mailbox. Storm Front by Billy Joel was one of them. I hadn't listened to Billy Joel since the late seventies, probably since Glass Houses. I fell in love with the album and fell back in love with Billy Joel's music. One of his songs really captured me, a song called "Shameless." I kept watching it, and when he did not release it as a single, we contacted his people in the hopes that we could cut it. His people sent us a letter acknowledging that he knew who I was and was very honored that I was cutting it. That was quite a compliment for me then, as it is now. My hope is that Billy, as writer, hears this cut and says, "Yeah, man, the guy's got balls."[3]

Brooks performed "Shameless" with Billy Joel during Joel's Last Play at Shea concerts in 2008, and after Brooks performed it in his Central Park concert in 1997, Joel came out on stage and they sang a duet of "New York State of Mind." In 2011, Joel and Brooks performed the song together again when Brooks was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame by Joel.


Garth Brooks version[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described Brooks' rendering of the song favorably in his review of the album, saying that Brooks "made his '70s rock influences more explicit" by "transform[ing] the song from a rock power ballad into contemporary country."[4]

Chart positions[edit]

Billy Joel version[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 40

Garth Brooks version[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[5] 23
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[6] 1
Dutch Singles Chart[7] 43
UK Singles Chart[8] 71
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[9] 1

Shameless entered the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart on October 19, 1991.[10]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[11] 38
Preceded by
"Someday" by Alan Jackson
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks number-one single
November 16–23, 1991
Succeeded by
"Forever Together" by Randy Travis
Preceded by
"Anymore" by Travis Tritt
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
November 30-December 7, 1991


  1. ^ youtube Billy Joel 'Shameless' Live Soundboard 1993
  2. ^ you tube Q&A: Like Garth Brooks' 'Shameless?' (Nuremberg 1995) Pt11
  3. ^ Garth Brooks - The Hits: transcription from the CD booklet (bar code 7-2438-29689-2-4)
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Ropin' the Wind review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2028." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. January 18, 1992. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 7779." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. November 30, 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Garth Brooks – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Garth Brooks.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1991". RPM. December 21, 1991. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]