25 Best Billy Joel B-Sides

Screen Shot 2013 11 07 At 20 52 38

Billy Joel is set to be one of the recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors in December, so I thought it might be a good time to take a look back at his long career. Most of my friends know that I'm a huge Joel fan, and many people, especially those from Long Island like myself, are familiar with his vast catalog of hits constantly playing on classic rock radio. Growing up, Billy Joel's Greatest Hits, Volumes I and II, was an album staple on long car rides in my Mom's brown station wagon. I realize the man has his critics, but do you know how hard it is to write and perform a hit song, let alone an entire album's worth, let alone three full albums' worth? (He has three Greatest Hits volumes.) Only Elton John comes close to matching the prolific career of Long Island's favorite son. After all, there's a reason the duo have shared the stage together on tour. I've seen Joel perform live three times: on Long Island, in New York City, and in D.C. What the masses don't know, however, is that despite being a radio-friendly icon, Joel is actually an albums artist, not a singles one; his "B" sides sound more "A" than any singer/songwriter I've heard. Honestly, I feel that any one of these songs is as good as, if not better than, Joel's chart toppers, but since I already know most people have heard the hits a thousand times before, here's what you've been missing. The following songs are in chronological order (you will note the absence of Fantasies & Delusions, his classical music album, but I wanted to focus on his pop/rock material)...

Michael Perone has written for The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City Paper, The Island Ear (now titled Long Island Press), and The Long Island Voice, a short-lived spinoff of The Village Voice. He currently works as an Editor in Manhattan. And he still thinks Michael Keaton was the best Batman.