Billy Joel: 15 Best Songs For Your iPod

One of my fave albums.
One of my fave albums.

Billy Joel was one of the most famous musicians on Earth when I was in elementary school. His videos were on MTV all the time, and he was always on the radio. He was, to put it mildly, da man. And he was dating Christie Brinkley at the time (whom he later married, and divorced), making him the envy of every man on the planet.

How did he get so popular? If you have to ask, you've never heard the man's voice. He has, hands down, one of the nicest and bestest male voices in modern times. It is so absolutely rare to hear a man sing with such crystal clarity, and to do it live, away from the help of studio engineers, makes it really quite impressive. Male singers today really ought to take a lesson.

Add to that, his amazing talent for songwriting, and of, course, playing the piano, and you have the makings of a superstar. It took him a good 5 albums to get there, but once he got there, he stayed there. This list is my list of his top 15 songs -- in no particular order.

1. Vienna

Ok, I know I said in no particular order, but this is probably my favorite Billy Joel song. I first heard it when I was a teenager, and it just really did something for me. The video you see below is actually an LP recording. It's brilliant, and it sounds exactly like it did back in the day when I used to listen to the album on my record player.

2. New York State of Mind

I don't really miss America all that often, but there are times when I miss New York. This song gets a lot of play time on my CD player, especially when I am driving on the autobahn. I think you might have to be a New Yorker to relate, but you certainly don't have to be one to love the song.

3. Pressure

Love this song. The lyrics are so gritty and clever, as well. "Now here you are, with your faith, and your Peter Pan advice..." I love that line, my favorite in the entire song, I think. If you have seen the video, it's clever as well. You can find it on YouTube, if you're interested.

4. Innocent Man

Billy Joel has the remarkable ability to write/sing as though he's speaking directly to you. He's one of few who can tell a story with a song, and this one sounds so honest and real that it's difficult to hear it without feeling as though he's just shared something very personal with you. I lurve this song.

5. She's Got A Way

Such a pretty song. This one speaks for itself.

Billy Joel's Vienna

6. The Night Is Still Young

I don't know what it is about this song, but I can listen to it over and over again without getting tired of it. It's got such a fantastic hook, and the lyrics are, of course, brilliant.

7. This Is The Time To Remember

I loved this when it first came out, and I still love it. With lyrics like, "I haven't shown you everything a man can do. So stay with me baby, I got plans for you." Mmmm, mmm. I have to smile every time I hear that one.

8. Goodnight Saigon

Well, if this isn't one of the most depressingly beautiful songs about Vietnam, I don't know what is. I often skip it, because it always makes me cry. But it's one of his best.

9. The Downeaster Alexa

I love the big 80's sound of this song. Big drums, big everything. As with many of his songs, this is a story, and it's one that I suspect meant a great deal to him, and the people he was writing about. His voice is really in good form here.

10. Don't Ask Me Why

Great rhythm to this song. And the lyrics are so cute and clever. I love it. It always reminds me of something the Beatles might have written, for some reason.

Billy Joel's The Stranger

11. The Stranger

Firstly, let me say that he is really whistling at the start of this song! Impressive, eh? The groove on this song is soo, soo funked out. I love it. It's easily one of his best, and if you've never heard it, listen to clip up there. You will love it!

12. And So It Goes

Yet another intimate song which makes you feel like he's just shared something remarkably personal with you. This song is sad, haunting and sweet, all at the same time. Beautiful.

13. Just The Way You Are

Who doesn't love this song? Men, do yourselves a favor and recite the words to this song to your woman. She will love you forever.

14. She's Always A Woman

If I had a nickel for how many men have told me this song reminded them of me. I'm not sure it's a compliment, really, given the nature of the lyrics. But I'm not sure they were wrong, either. Either way, the song is brilliant.

15. Honesty

"Honesty is hardly ever heard, and mostly what I need from you." Why this song is not more popular than it is, is totally beyond me. This is one of his BESTEST songs, and the lyrics are effing fantastic. Love you, Billy!!

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