|Studio album by Billy Joel|
|Released||October 11, 1974|
|Recorded||Spring-Summer 1974, Devonshire Sound, North Hollywood, CA|
|Genre||Rock, Pop rock|
|Billy Joel chronology|
|Singles from Streetlife Serenade|
|Robert Christgau||C |
|Rolling Stone||Unfavorable |
Joel's follow-up effort to 1973's Piano Man, Streetlife Serenade did not enjoy the relative success of its predecessor; it marked the beginning of his frosty relationship with critics and the music industry more generally. In "The Entertainer", Joel mocks the entertainment industry, reminiscing over his record label's earlier insistence that the single version of Piano Man's title track (the album's major hit) be shortened to maximize radio airplay:
"It was a beautiful song but it ran too long./If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit./So they cut it down to 3:05."
"The Entertainer" peaked at #34 on the US Singles Chart. The album itself peaked at #35 on the charts, eventually selling over one million copies.
The album contains two songs that were featured in many of Joel's live shows during the 1970s: the instrumental "Root Beer Rag" and the short song "Souvenir", which Joel often played as the final encore during that time period. Two others, "Streetlife Serenader" and "Los Angelenos," were included on Joel's first live album, Songs in the Attic (1981).
Joel says that he had been touring in clubs and theatres and opening for big acts such as The Beach Boys, thus leaving him little time to write new songs, but was under pressure to put out a new album after "Piano Man". He also says that he didn't have too many songs, hence the inclusion of two instrumentals - the aforementioned "Root Beer Rag" and "The Mexican Connection". The back cover has a portrait of a barefoot Joel sitting in a chair looking unhappy and Joel himself says that he had only recently had his wisdom teeth done two days prior to the shoot.
All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.
- Side one
- "Streetlife Serenader" – 5:17
- "Los Angelenos" – 3:41
- "The Great Suburban Showdown" – 3:44
- "Root Beer Rag" (instrumental) – 2:59
- "Roberta" – 4:32
- Side two
- "The Entertainer" – 3:48
- "Last of the Big Time Spenders" – 4:34
- "Weekend Song" – 3:29
- "Souvenir" – 2:00
- "The Mexican Connection" (instrumental) – 3:37
- Billy Joel – keyboards, vocals, Moog synthesizer
- Richard Bennett – guitar
- Joe Clayton – congas, percussion
- Gary Dalton – guitar
- Mike Deasey – guitar
- Don Evans – guitar
- Wilton Felder – bass guitar
- Emory Gordy, Jr. – bass guitar
- Al Hertzberg – guitar
- Larry Knechtel – bass guitar
- Art Munson – guitar
- Raj Rathor – guitar
- William Smith – organ
- Michael Stewart– guitar
- Ron Tutt – drums
- Tom Whitehorse – banjo, pedal steel
- Producer: Michael Stewart
- Engineer: Ron Malo
- Digital remastering: Joseph M. Palmaccio. Erroneously credited to Ted Jensen
- Arrangers: Michael Stewart, Billy Joel
- Tape research: John Naatjes
- Art direction: Ron Coro
- Design: Ron Coro
- Photography: Peter Cunningham, Jim Marshall
- Streetlife Serenade at AllMusic
- "Billy Joel: Streetlife Serenade > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- Holden, Stephen (December 5, 1974). "Billy Joel Streetlife Serenade > Album Review". Rolling Stone (175). Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 22, No. 22, January 25, 1975". RPM. 1978-04-08. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- "allmusic ((( Streetlife Serenade > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
- "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Streetlife Serenade". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 July 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH