It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” by Billy Joel

People who hate Billy Joel love to point to this single as evidence of his supposed worthlessness…a pathetically wimpy, intensely annoying Soft Rock ditty that sounds like a commercial jingle, and it has the audacity to be a dissertation on the entire genre of Rock. But as a longtime defender of Billy Joel’s reputation, I myself have an entirely different reason to resent this song’s existence (I mean, apart from the fairly obvious fact that it’s not very good). You see, the album this track comes from, Glass Houses, was Billy Joel’s attempt to prove that he was more than an Easy Listening balladeer and that he really could rock. Granted, like the Eagles, even Billy Joel’s attempts at Hard Rock always had a bit of a Soft Rock quality to them, but on most of that album, he rocks harder than he ever did anywhere else, creating the most intense Rock album of his career. Even the one other clinker on the album, “C’etait Toi (You Were the One)”, where Joel attempts to sing in very bad French, can honestly be said to rock. And after Joel releases this album that should have proven to the world his worth as a legitimate rocker, what becomes the breakaway hit from the album? The wimpy little pseudo-rock tune with the presumptuous-sounding lyric. The result is that all the good work that album should have done for Joel’s reputation was undone by this song, as generally only his fans have ever heard anything else from this album. So whether you’re one of Joel’s detractors or one of his fans, there’s plenty of reasons to hate this song to go around, and given its actual quality, I’m not sure it needed the help in the first place.

Verdict: Bad.

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