1973 Billy Joel – Piano Man (US:#25 UK:#136)

Piano Man is the first single released by Billy Joel. It was released on November 2, 1973, and has been included on several subsequent albums. Joel’s first major hit and his signature song, the song peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected “Piano Man” for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”

“Piano Man” is a fictionalized retelling of Joel’s own experience as a piano-lounge singer for six months in 1972–73 at the now defunct Executive Room bar in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles. In a talk on Inside the Actors Studio, Joel said that he had to get away from New York due to a conflict with his then recording company and hence lived in Los Angeles for three years with his first wife. Since he needed work to pay the bills, but could not use his better known name, he worked at the Executive Room bar as a piano player using the name “Bill Martin” (Joel’s full name is William Martin Joel)

Album

Video

Musicians

BassWilton Felder
DrumsRon Tutt
GuitarDean Parks
GuitarLarry Carlton
GuitarRichard Bennett
PianoBilly Joel

Produced By

Michael Stewart

Songwiters

Billy Joel

Charts

US:#25
UK:#136