Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Nothing’s Shaking On 52nd Street

You know I have neither the patience nor stomach for any sort of Chuck Klosterman-like grand pronouncement on Billy Joel, whether of the traditionalist (PUSSY!) view, or the revisionist (GENIUS!) view.

He wrote some great songs, a bunch of good ones, and a whole lot of shit: the usual ratios. This is one of the good ones, and I would advise headphones; the production is better than I remember it being, with Billy’s piano and Liberty Devito’s drums pushed up front and doing most of the heavy lifting.

There is also a saxophone solo, because when Billy Joel signed his deal with the devil, that was one of the clauses.


  1. Not really in the Billy Joel camp. In the late 60s, he was in a British Invasion group (Echoes), a psychedelic-sort-of group (The Hassles), and an organ-drums duo, Lee Michaels-style (Attila). I haven’t heard Attila. I love Lee Michaels, as it happens, but he may be one of a kind (Teegarden and Van Winkle didn’t do it for me).

    Grateful Dead connection is distant: around 1965, Joel’s manager was Michael Lang, who was Marshall Bretetz’s partner and financier at Thee Image. Lang produced various Miami Pop Festivals, and Woodstock.

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