It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me – Billy Joel

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………..on July 13th of 1980 Billy Joel had the best selling single on the Cash Box Sales Chart in America (it would reach #1 on Billboard on July 19th) with “It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me”, a number he wrote in the back of a car on the way to a recording session. In this song, Billy Joel was making a comment on musical styles and trends. At the end of the disco era, the music press began touting the “New Wave” sound, which included bands like The Police and The Cars. Joel thought that this new sound was just a variation on power-pop that had been around since the ’60s. He didn’t have a problem with the music, just the way it was being categorized. “I like it, but it’s not particularly new,” he said. Around this time, Joel was often abased in the music press as a provider of middle-of-the-road dreck. Popular artists are often targets for journalist derision, but while most of these artists choose to ignore it, Joel responded in this song. The lines, “It doesn’t matter what they say in the papers, ’cause it’s always been the same old scene” and “There’s a new band in town, but you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine,” were specifically written to attack the press that was bringing him down. While you can real all you want about a singer or band, the only way you’ll really know what they sound like is by listening. One of Joel’s most popular songs, this was his first #1 hit on the Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top spot in July 1980. The single was certified Platinum, which at the time meant sales in excess of 2 million. Joel would score two more #1 hits in America: “Tell Her About It” and “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” After he wrote this song, Joel says he realized that the chords were the same ones Bob Dylan used on “Lay Lady Lay.” The song was not as popular in the UK though it was a Top 20 hit eventually peaking at #14.