We could spend numerous rewinds going over the hits of icon Billy Joel—and likely we’ll review more in the days to come—but having been recently awarded the coveted Kennedy Center Honors for his lifetime achievement, and given his upcoming residency at Madison Square Garden, it seems appropriate to start with Billy Joel’s very first (and now signature) hit, “Piano Man.”
When the song was first released as a single in 1973, interestingly enough, it didn’t fare all that well. It climbed to a modest No. 25 on the Billboard charts, and then was largely forgotten over the next several years. As Joel’s popularity grew, however—particularly with the arrival of 1977’s The Stranger—“Piano Man” saw a resurgence of popularity, as well. A music video of the song was cut over a decade later (see below), and the song has appeared on numerous Greatest Hits albums since. It is now Billy Joel’s signature song, usually performed at the close of his live shows.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that you’re likely to find several versions of the song, some longer than others. It’s original length was 5:38, but the label cut it to 4:30, and then again to 3:05, trying to make it more radio-friendly. The video below is for the original length of the song. Enjoy!