Off The Record… A Conversation With Billy Joel
Billy Joel is a singer, songwriter, and composer. Throughout his decades long career, he has amassed a catalog full of pop hits. Joel has sold over 150 Million records world wide, and is the 3rd best selling solo artist from the United States. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the US.
Joel was born in 1949 in the Bronx, New York, and was raised on Long Island. New York City is a common theme in Joel’s music. Growing up, Joel’s mother insisted that he learned the piano. He would end up dropping out of high school to pursue music. He caught the attention of Columbia Records in 1972. After releasing the now classic Piano Man, Street Life Serenade, and Turnstiles albums, it would be 1977’s The Stranger that would launch Joel into the stratosphere. It would sell over 10 million copies and become Columbia Records biggest release to date.
Billy Joel would remain a household name in music, and continues to dominate the radio waves across many genres. Across the 20 years of his solo career, Joel produced 33 Top 40 hits in the U.S., all of which he wrote himself.
Billy Joel is one of the most successful musicians of all time. In this off the record conversation, the musical titan describes his beginnings, the ups and downs of the music business, as well as his song writing process.
Courtesy of Joe Smith and the Library of Congress