Streetlife Serenade

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Streetlife Serenade
Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade.jpg
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released October 11, 1974
Recorded Spring – Summer 1974
Studio Devonshire Sound Studios, North Hollywood, CA
Length 37:41
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Michael Stewart
Billy Joel chronology
Piano Man
(1973)Piano Man1973
Streetlife Serenade
Singles from Streetlife Serenade
  1. "The Entertainer"
    Released: 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C[2]
Rolling Stone Unfavorable[3]

Streetlife Serenade is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel (his second with Columbia Records), released on October 11, 1974.

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 number 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 removed two days prior to the shoot.[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Billy Joel.

One side

  1. "Streetlife Serenader" – 5:17
  2. "Los Angelenos" – 3:41
  3. "The Great Suburban Showdown" – 3:44
  4. "Root Beer Rag" (Instrumental) – 2:59
  5. "Roberta" – 4:32

Another side

  1. "The Entertainer" – 3:48
  2. "Last of the Big Time Spenders" – 4:34
  3. "Weekend Song" – 3:29
  4. "Souvenir" – 2:00
  5. "The Mexican Connection" (Instrumental) – 3:37




  1. ^ Streetlife Serenade at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Billy Joel: Streetlife Serenade > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 22, No. 22, January 25, 1975". RPM. 1978-04-08. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  7. ^ "allmusic ((( Streetlife Serenade > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  8. ^ "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