Monday, March 10, 2014

"Say Goodbye to Hollywood" by Billy Joel

Song#:  0742
Date:  09/12/1981
Debut:  70
Peak:  17
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Joel hit it big in 1977 with his album "The Stranger." But before that, he had released four albums that, while popular later, were not mega-hits. After his second #1 album in 1980, "Glass Houses," Joel decided to revisit some of the songs from those first albums in a live setting. Culled from various performances with his band, Joel featured these older tunes on the album "Songs from the Attic." This first single was lifted for release and just made it into the Top 20. The song was originally the lead-off track from his 1976 album "Turnstiles." It was issued as a single then, but did not chart.

ReduxReview:  This live version is not wildly different from the original, so they probably could have just re-issued that track. The difference is that Joel was a huge star by this time so whatever he released from a new album was going to get attention. And while this is a good song and the "Be My Baby" reference is nice (see below), it's not really a great single.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Joel wrote this in a style that was reminiscent of The Ronettes' "Be My Baby." This fact was not lost on Ronnie Spector who after hearing the tune went and recorded her own version a year later. Her backing band was Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and it was produced by Steven Van Zandt. It was issued as a single but did not chart.


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