The follow up to his hit Album “Piano Man” falls flat but does show an early glimpse of the Piano Man’s potential.
Released on October 11th, 1974, Billy Joel set out to follow up on his success after his hit single and moderately successful album “Piano Man”. Though the album sold a million copies and did reach #35 on Billboard’s top 200, it did fall somewhat below expectations.
The album is collections of some stories and rare instrumentals by Mr. Joel.
“The Entertainer” which would be Joel’s biggest hit on the record was a song that was written in a satirical manner addressing the fleeting fame and audiences’ fickle fascination with its star. Lyrics such as, “Today I am your champion / I may have won your hearts / But I know the game / You’ll forget my name / (And I won’t be here / in another year) / if I don’t stay on the charts“. The same style of lyric and the actual theme applied here would also appear on his 1980 hit single “It’s still rock’n’roll to me from the album “Glass Houses”.
“Great Surburban Showdown” was another interesting hit that addressed his attitude to his rising fame and popularity. Though he wouldn’t hit is peak until 1977’s “The Stranger”. It was becoming clear he knows the direction he was heading on.
The song “Los Angelenos” reflected his views of the city. Coming from New York must’ve been massive scenic change to inspire this song. It also seemed to show that Joel was beginning to be a little homesick.
His other songs I won’t really dive into. I will leave that up to you as the reader to decide that. However. with a couple of instrumentals such as “Root Beer Rag‘, and “The Mexican Connection” this is such a horrible album. My favorite song other than the title song the name this album is named after is “Last of the big time Spenders“. It’s an interesting track but one worth listening to.
If you don’t have this in your record connection, then no worries. It’s on Spotify, but if you enjoy it, I can assure you will find it for sale online or at your record store for a cheap price.