Sunday, July 31, 2016

"An Innocent Man" by Billy Joel

Song#:  1735
Date:  12/17/1983
Debut:  51
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Joel's tribute to music styles of the past, An Innocent Man, was shaping up to be a major hit for him with the album's first two singles reaching #1 ("Tell Her About It") and #3 ("Uptown Girl"). This next title-track single would also be a Pop Top 10 while hitting #1 at AC. It would mark the first time that Joel would get three Top 10 Pop singles from one album.

ReduxReview:  I like the quiet "Under the Boardwalk" style verse that leads to the big, string-filled chorus. It's another gem from the album and deserved its Top 10 placement. Although it is meant to mimic older hits (see below), there is enough of Joel within the writing to make this all his. His vocals are terrific as well.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  As with the other singles from the album, Joel wrote this song as an homage to an artist from the past. In this case, it was two artists - Ben E. King and The Drifters. King was actually a member of The Drifters from 1958-1960 singing lead vocals on several hits like "There Goes My Baby" (#1 R&B, #2 Pop, 1959) and "Save the Last Dance for Me" (#1 R&B and Pop, 1960). He left for a solo career and in 1961 released his enduring classic "Stand By Me" (#1 R&B, #4 Pop). The Drifters continued on and had significant success with the hits "Up on the Roof" (#5 Pop, #4 R&B, 1962), "On Broadway" (#9 Pop, #7 R&B, 1963) and "Under the Boardwalk" (#4 Pop, #1 R&B, 1964).


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