What You Didn’t Know About The Top 3 Songs By Billy Joel

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Billy Joel could mix many genres in one smooth stroke, and many of his songs planted themselves firmly in the classic rock genre.

Billy Joel
photo via Playbuzz

In addition to borrowing from rock, Billy Joel used jazz and funk undertones, writing anything from a kick-butt rock song to a tear-jerking ballad.

There are so, so many good Joel songs not on this list, like “Piano Man,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” which he said he hated.

But if we’re going to do a Top 3 list of his best songs, we have to make decisions. So here’s our list.

33. “Only the Good Die Young”

Lyrically, “Only The Good Die Young” has one of the most memorable opening lines, albeit bold and not kid safe: “Come out, Virginia, don’t let me wait / You Catholic girls start much too late.”

Because of that line, many radio stations banned the song when it came out in 1977. To write this song, Joel pulled from the time he had a crush on a Catholic girl named Virginia.

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Caleb Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence Of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He blogs about music at calebjmurphy.com.
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