Tuesday, August 7, 2018

"The Night Is Still Young" by Billy Joel

Song#:  2488
Date:  10/05/1985
Debut:  65
Peak:  34
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Joel released his first retrospective compilation a long ways into his career. It took a double-CD set to cover all the highlights and was titled Greatest Hits - Volume 1 & Volume II. In addition to hits and other key tracks, Joel also included two new songs for the release including the set's first single, the #9 hit "You're Only Human (Second Wind)." This other new tune was then issued out as a follow-up. It didn't do nearly as well, but it did reach the Pop Top 40 while getting to #13 at AC.

ReduxReview:  This is a Joel song that I really like, but it doesn't make for a very good single. It's moody, atmospheric, and it kind of meanders. Yet I bought the 45 because it hit the right tone for me. I still enjoy hearing this on occasion. It's just different from his more radio-friendly fare. While it didn't do too bad on the charts, it certainly wasn't going to be counted among his most memorable hits. I'm surprised it actually got pushed out as a single, but once "You're Only Human" made the Top 10, they probably figured a follow-up was needed.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Although the Greatest Hits collection covered his solo days, it did not include anything from his early career where he was part of several bands including The Lost Souls, The Hassles, and most infamously, Attila. In 1969, Joel and one of his bandmates from The Hassles, Jon Small, decided to form a two-man, psychedelic metal band where the two main instruments were drums and organ. Somehow, the duo got signed to Epic Records and proceeded to record a self-titled debut album. It was issued in 1970 and went absolutely nowhere. It might have stayed dead and buried had Joel's solo career not taken off. But since he did become a superstar, folks interested in his career dug up the album. Reviews of the album were quite terrible and even in one retrospective review of the album a critic stated that not only was it the worst album in rock music history, but of the entire history of music. Joel even said in later years that it was psychedelic bullshit. Nonetheless, it happened and at least one track from the Attila album made it on Joel's 2005 4-CD collection My Lives that mainly consisted of demos, b-sides, outtakes, and early material from his former bands The Lost Souls, The Hassles, and Attila. Another interesting factoid from Joel's Attila days, he ended up having an affair with the wife of his Attila bandmate. Joel ended up marrying Elizabeth Small in 1973. They divorced in 1982.


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