Billy Joel is one of the largest selling musical artists of all time. Many of his songs have been mellow songs with heavy piano, Joel’s main instrument. One of his earliest hits was “Piano Man”, which evolved into Joel’s nickname. Many songs during the 1970s were ballads, such as “I Love You Just the Way You Are”. During the early, Joel’s songs were harder edge rock songs, such as hits from Glass Houses such as “Still Rock and Roll to Me” and “You May Be Right”. Later he recorded up-tempo but 50s inspired songs such as “Uptown Girl”, “Tell Her About It” and “An Innocent Man”. Later in the decade Joel visited the U.S.S.R. and recorded a high-profile live album from the former country.
In late 1989, Joel released Storm Front. The lead single was “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, which went to number one and was still in the top 5 as the decade turned. The song includes allusions to historical events from 1949 to 1989, including references to famous people. The song is said to defend baby boomers’ societal turmoil, indicating that the “fire” has always been burning. The song was Joel’s last number one and has been included on several “worst songs of all time” lists.
Billy Joel still tours but hasn’t recorded a new album since 1993.