Root Beer Rag

"Root Beer Rag" is a song from Billy Joel's 1974 album Streetlife Serenade.wikipedia
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Streetlife Serenade

"Root Beer Rag" is a song from Billy Joel's 1974 album Streetlife Serenade.
Joel's live shows in the 1970s frequently featured the instrumental "Root Beer Rag" and the short song "Souvenir", which Joel often played as the final encore.

Billy Joel

Joel Billy JoelBilly Joel’s
"Root Beer Rag" is a song from Billy Joel's 1974 album Streetlife Serenade.
Although Streetlife Serenade is often considered one of Joel's weaker albums (Joel dislikes it himself), it contains the notable songs "Los Angelenos" and "Root Beer Rag", an instrumental that was a staple of his live set in the 1970s.

Honesty (Billy Joel song)

HonestyHonestlyHonesty" (Billy Joel song)
An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album, including "Big Shot" in the US, "Until the Night" in the UK, and "Honesty" in Japan and some European countries.

Big Shot (song)

Big ShotBig Shot" (song)
An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album, including "Big Shot" in the US, "Until the Night" in the UK, and "Honesty" in Japan and some European countries.

The Stranger (album)

The StrangerEverybody Has a DreamThe Stranger 30th Anniversary Edition
A live version was included with the DVD that was part of the 30th anniversary re-release of The Stranger. However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Until the Night

An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album, including "Big Shot" in the US, "Until the Night" in the UK, and "Honesty" in Japan and some European countries.

Ragtime

ragragtime musicrags
An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album, including "Big Shot" in the US, "Until the Night" in the UK, and "Honesty" in Japan and some European countries.

52nd Street (Manhattan)

52nd StreetWest 52nd Street52nd
An instrumental track in a very fast ragtime style, it was later released as the B-side of several singles from Joel's 52nd Street album, including "Big Shot" in the US, "Until the Night" in the UK, and "Honesty" in Japan and some European countries.

C major

CC-majorkey of C
The song is in C major and is one of three studio instrumentals that Joel has released.

Mark Bego

Music critic Mark Bego describes it as Joel "doing his best Scott Joplin impersonation" and "his one recorded ragtime number."

Scott Joplin

JoplinScott Joplin's early life and career
Music critic Mark Bego describes it as Joel "doing his best Scott Joplin impersonation" and "his one recorded ragtime number."

Moog synthesizer

MoogMoog bassMoog synthesiser
In response to an audience question about the song's origin during one of Joel's musical lectures, he gave the following explanation: I got my first Moog Synthesizer.

Synthesizer

synthesizerssynthsynths
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Turnstiles (album)

TurnstilesSummer, Highland FallsTurnstiles'' (album)
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Mellotron

Mellotron M-400Mellotron M400Mellotron 400
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

She's Always a Woman

However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Glass Houses (album)

Glass Housesglass houseSleeping with the Television On
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

The Nylon Curtain

However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

The Bridge (Billy Joel album)

The BridgeRunning on IceThe Bridge'' (Billy Joel album)
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Storm Front (album)

Storm FrontStorm Front'' (album)
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

River of Dreams

Famous Last WordsRiver of Dreams TourRiver of Dreams'' LP
However, Joel did feature synthesizers on subsequent albums, including Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) - as credited in the liner notes and there is a Mellotron on "She's Always a Woman" - Glass Houses (1980), The Nylon Curtain (1982), The Bridge (1986), Storm Front (1989) and River of Dreams (1993).

Pedal steel guitar

pedal steelsteel guitarpedal
Other instruments include a pedal steel guitar and drums, the latter of which are played with drum brushes.

Percussion mallet

brushesmalletsmallet
Other instruments include a pedal steel guitar and drums, the latter of which are played with drum brushes.

Figure (music)

figurefiguresfiguration
A figure used in the beginning and then throughout the song is similar to one that Joel would use the introductions of later songs, including "Prelude/Angry Young Man."

Prelude/Angry Young Man

Angry Young Man
A figure used in the beginning and then throughout the song is similar to one that Joel would use the introductions of later songs, including "Prelude/Angry Young Man."