Friday, March 14, 2014

The 30 Most Underrated Billy Joel Songs

On New Year's Eve, I was at Billy Joel's concert in Brooklyn. This was my second time seeing
him, and on both occasions I noticed something: several songs he would play were largely unrecognized by the crowd. On this particular occasion I overheard someone saying they had "never heard this song before!" The problem was, it was Billy Joel standard. Or at least, I assumed it was.

What I've come realize over the past three months is that most people only know a select amount of Billy Joel songs. Well, I'm here to inform you that Billy's talents extend far beyond the twenty or thirty songs that get rotated on the radio or that you play on your Essential Billy Joel CD. In fact, I'm willing to bet you skipped some tracks on that CD, didn't you? 

I want everyone to know Billy has great songs that haven't been played to death. The following list should serve you well if you've never heard some (or all) of them before. Use it as a won't be disappointed. I've included a YouTube link the songs for good measure. As per my last few countdowns, I did rank them. Perhaps fellow die-hards may disagree on some of my rankings, but they they will all certainly tell you each of these songs deserves your ear.

Once again, a slow scrawl down will maximize the drama. 

30.) Worse Comes to Worst

29.) Get It Right the First Time

28.) Los Angelenos

27.) Weekend Song

26.) All About Soul

25.) I Go to Extremes

24.) If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You)

23.) I've Loved These Days

22.) Christie LeeBilly has written many songs about his second wife, Christie Brinkley. This is probably the most direct.

21.) Everybody Loves You Now
Newer recordings are better, but this is the first from his debut album: "Cold Spring Harbor" 

20.) Baby Grand
With Ray Charles. Certainly his best duet. (His daughter Alexa has the middle name "Ray" in honor of Charles.)

19.) Travelin' Prayer

18.) Leningrad
Trivia: Both the stories he tells are true. He met Viktor the Clown during his tour of the Soviet Union.

17.) Tomorrow is Today
Trivia: Once upon a time, Billy tried to kill himself. He took his suicide note and turned it into the lyrics for this song.

16.) Somewhere Along the Line

15.) You're My Home

14.) Streetlife Serenader

13.) Souvenir 

12.) Ain't No Crime

11.) Stiletto 

10.) Goodnight Saigon

9.) Keeping the Faith

8.) An Innocent Man

7.) Big Man on Mulberry Street

6.) Stop in Nevada

5.) Zanzibar
If you have skipped any songs on the way down this list that you didn't already know...don't skip these last five. And then go back and listen to the rest.

4.) Vienna

3.) The Ballad of Billy the Kid

2.) Prelude/ Angry Young ManIt was this song that the person next to me at the NYE concert failed to know. For shame.

1.) Summer, Highland Falls


  1. Excellent choices, and a fine job of ordering them. I wish he'd do a concert featuring these not-as-well-known songs.

  2. You forgot about "The Great Suburban Showdown." Everyone ALWAYS forgets that one!!

  3. Great list. IF you're a Billy Joel fan (obviously), I created a fansite for his music at

  4. Wow, so I'm a huge Billy Joel fan, and I love his obscure stuff, so this list was awesome. And then when I scrolled to the bottom and saw it was written by Matt Shea, I was super excited, because I love your YouTube videos. :D