Piano Man (song)

Piano ManEl hombre del piano Piano ManPiano Man" (song)song of the same nametitle track
"Piano Man" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel.wikipedia
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Billy Joel

Joel Billy JoelBilly Joel’s
"Piano Man" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel.
Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first major hit and signature song of the same name, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo artist since the 1970s, having released twelve studio albums from 1971 to 1993 as well as one studio album in 2001.

Piano Man (Billy Joel album)

Piano Manof the same namePiano Man'' (Billy Joel album)
His first single in North America, it was included on Joel's 1973 album of the same name and later released as a single on November 2, 1973. It was first released as a single on November 2, 1973, and then as the second track on Joel's Piano Man album and was later released on several greatest hits collections.
The title track, a fictionalized retelling of Joel's experiences with people he met as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, peaked at on the US Billboard Hot 100 and on the Adult Contemporary singles chart.

List of signature songs

signature songsignature tunesignature songs
Joel's first major hit and his signature song, "Piano Man" peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974.

The Entertainer (song)

The EntertainerThe Entertainer" (song)
Later, Joel's song "The Entertainer" refers to the editing of the "Piano Man" single by commenting, "It was a beautiful song, but it ran too long / If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit / So they cut it down to 3:05."
Another verse in the song references the shortening of Joel's song, "Piano Man", from 5 minutes and 38 seconds to 3 minutes and 5 seconds to fit a radio slot, referenced by the lyrics "It was a beautiful song, / but it ran too long / If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit / So they cut it down to 3:05."

The Stranger (album)

The StrangerEverybody Has a DreamThe Stranger 30th Anniversary Edition
Following Joel's breakthrough as a popular musician with the release of The Stranger, it became one of his most well-known songs.

National Recording Registry

United States National Recording RegistryLibrary of Congress's National Recording Registry2006 entry
In 2016, the Library of Congress selected "Piano Man" for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its "cultural, historic, or artistic significance."

Gershwin Prize

Gershwin Prize for Popular SongPopular SongPrize for Popular Song
When Joel received the Gershwin Prize in 2014, he performed "Piano Man" in the original key of C major for the first time in approximately a decade.
The show's finale was Kevin Spacey leading the performers singing Piano Man.

Piano

grand pianopianistacoustic piano
The song is sung from Joel's point-of-view as a piano player at a bar, reminiscing about his experiences there and the people he encountered.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CaliforniaLos Angeles, CALos Angeles, United States
"Piano Man" is based on Joel's real-life experiences as a lounge musician in Los Angeles from 1972–73, which he had decided to pursue in an effort to escape his contracted New York-based record company at the time, Family Productions, following the poor commercial performance of the album Cold Spring Harbor.

New York City

New YorkNew York, New YorkNew York City, New York
"Piano Man" is based on Joel's real-life experiences as a lounge musician in Los Angeles from 1972–73, which he had decided to pursue in an effort to escape his contracted New York-based record company at the time, Family Productions, following the poor commercial performance of the album Cold Spring Harbor.

Cold Spring Harbor (album)

Cold Spring HarborCold Spring Harbor'' (album)Everybody Loves You Now
"Piano Man" is based on Joel's real-life experiences as a lounge musician in Los Angeles from 1972–73, which he had decided to pursue in an effort to escape his contracted New York-based record company at the time, Family Productions, following the poor commercial performance of the album Cold Spring Harbor.

Billboard Hot 100

Billboard'' Hot 100Hot 100US
Joel's first major hit and his signature song, "Piano Man" peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1974.

Library of Congress

The Library of CongressUnited States Library of CongressU.S. Library of Congress
In 2016, the Library of Congress selected "Piano Man" for preservation in the National Recording Registry for its "cultural, historic, or artistic significance."

Inside the Actors Studio

Inside the Actor's StudioInside the Actors Studio: 100th Guest SpecialL'Actors Studio
In a talk on Inside the Actors Studio, Joel said that he had to get away from New York due to a conflict with his then recording company and hence lived in Los Angeles for three years with his first wife.

Columbia Records

ColumbiaCBSCBS Records
After this bad experience, Joel wanted to leave his contract with Family Productions for Columbia Records, but the contract that he had signed made this very difficult.

Real estate

real-estateluxury real estateland
The verses of the song are sung from the point of view of a bar piano player who focuses mainly on the “regular crowd” that “shuffles” into the bar at nine o'clock on a Saturday: an old man, John the bartender, the waitress, businessmen, and bar regulars like "real estate novelist" Paul and navy sailor Davy.

Limerick (poetry)

limericklimericksLimerick (verse)
As for the lyrics, Joel has observed that with their five-line grouping, they were more in the form of a limerick than a typical poem.

Greatest hits album

greatest hitsbest ofbest-of
It was first released as a single on November 2, 1973, and then as the second track on Joel's Piano Man album and was later released on several greatest hits collections.

C major

CC-majorkey of C
Joel wrote and originally performed the song in the key of C major.

Waltz

waltzesvalseSmooth Waltz
It has a waltz time signature and begins with a jazzy piano solo before moving into its piano and harmonica introduction.

Time signature

common timetime time
It has a waltz time signature and begins with a jazzy piano solo before moving into its piano and harmonica introduction.

Bassline

bassbass linewalking bass
The verses and the chorus feature a descending walking bassline in C that ends with a D – G turnaround.