Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Billy Joel: Songs in the Attic (1981)

Despite being released after Glass Houses, which was Joel's seventh record, this live LP includes only tunes from his first four records (Cold Spring Harbor, Piano Man, Streetlife Serenade, and Turnstiles). The only tune anyone probably knows from his first four albums is Piano Man, and that song does not appear on this record. I guess he was trying to fluff his early catalogue.

I flinch every time I hear him sing "I seen the lights go out on Broadway." That is a grammatical construction common in my home town and region, and, to my ears, it grates like fingernails on a blackboard. I just cannot stand it. My sister, for one, always says "I seen..." My dad always said things like "I done steaks on the BBQ last night." Oh, man. The weirdest thing is that I am certain most people know that it is incorrect, but they do it anyway, much like those who drop the 'g' in walkin', talkin', eatin'. That also makes me cringe, as does the use of anyways, rather than anyway.

Having said that, the first tune, Miami 2017 (hey, we are in 2017 right now), is not a bad song. New York has not been destroyed, but you never know what might happen under a Trump administration. I feel that this record is probably a great one for those who were serious fans of the first four records. Others might not enjoy it so much. I find it to be a bit weak and too much of the same, but I am not really a Joel fan.

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