Tuesday, February 3, 2015

IT'S SHLOCK, BUT ... THERE'S A PLACE FOR SCHLOCK:  All 121 Billy Joel songs, ranked, only one of which is described as "highly popular and inescapably bad." Also, this general note, which certainly applies to that song:
Too many sound effects. The shattering sound that opens Glass Houses, the helicopters in “Goodnight Saigon,” TV static and dial tones: All are gimmicky, and most are clich√©. I’ll admit that the brake screech in “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” is fun. 


  1. Doesn't Leslie Knope's version redeem "We Didn't Start The Fire?" http://www.vulture.com/2015/01/parks-recreation-we-didnt-start-the-fire.html #oprahsgotaturtlefarm

  2. StvMg1:37 PM

    I'm not familiar enough with Sleeping With The Television On to know whether it merits such a high ranking. I had no problems with No. 1. I did think You're My Home and Downeaster Alexa were far too low.

  3. Tosy and Cosh1:56 PM

    I kind of HAVE to link to my 160-U2-songs-ranked list, don't I? http://tosyandcosh.blogspot.ca/2014/10/the-u2-ranking-full-list.html

  4. Jenn.2:27 PM

    I just saw the article and immediately came here to see if y'all had already linked to it.

  5. I never saw the point of Sleeping With the Television On, and also think You're My Home should be higher. I've always been a fan of Traveling Prayer, and I think one ripe for re-discovery is Temptation (way way down near the bottom).

    But the thing that strikes me most is that (with the exception of River of Dreams which I never bought) all these tunes came immediately to mind many years after I heard them last. I am still uncool.

  6. Genevieve3:27 PM

    I don't think Sleeping With the Television On is particularly a stand-out. And I agree with you that You're My Home and Downeaster Alexa are some of his best work.

  7. Joseph Finn4:55 PM

    He is the patron saint of this site.

  8. Adam B.9:15 PM

    He's not even top five. Dr. Jacques Bailly is assuredly higher.

  9. Marsha9:28 PM

    That immediately entered my "YouTube clips I watch when I need a pick-me-up" list. Goes into the pantheon with the Merry Congrajachristmas carol. "Jingle Bells, jingle yay, jingle good for you...."

  10. Marsha9:37 PM

    Sleeping with the Television On isn't my favorite, but I think it's a defensible opinion. This is a decent list, though I agree that You're My Home is too low, as are Vienna, Summer Highland Falls (which he basically admits, but hey, it's not his thing and he says that), and Keeping the Faith. It's a good list.

  11. Genevieve10:28 AM

    Well, y'all are my people. My list would have Vienna at the top, and Summer Highland Falls, You're My Home, Traveling Prayer and Downeaster Alexa way up there.

  12. Christy in Philly11:54 AM

    Now I feel like we need to name top 5-- NPH, Anne Hathaway, and Dr. Bailly come to mind. Who else?

  13. Christy in Philly12:27 PM

    There are about half a dozen songs in the 70s-90s that I'd rank higher- including This Night, While the Night is Still Young and The Downeaster Alexa. I'd also rank Until the Night much higher than 68, probably top 20. Re the sound effects, I love that dial tone at the beginning of Sometimes a Fantasy. I saw Billy Joel in concert 7 times between 1993 and 1999- when I was a teenager. I'm considering getting tickets for the show at Citizens Bank Park this summer but I'm leaning towards letting live version of those songs live in the past.

    Has anyone been to a show in recent years?

  14. KCosmo4:59 PM

    Two songs I have always loved were way too low: Stop in Nevada and This Night.

    Agree with others that Summer, Highland Falls should be #1, and I was surprised to see both on the list (as well as here) that there is such consensus on the excellence of the song.

    Also agree that he's wrong on Sleeping with the Television On.

  15. StvMg4:22 PM

    I saw him on one of his later tours with Elton John, but it was still a while ago, maybe 2002 or so. I've been hoping one of my annual trips to New York/New Jersey coincides with one of his stops at Madison Square Garden.