Monday, December 3, 2007


Over ten years ago, Billy Joel announced that he wasn't going to write any more songs, he said he was done with it. Earlier this year he released a new song, a love ballad called "All My Life," which he released on iTunes. Now, news comes that he has another new song, but he wrote it and barely appears on the recording. It's called "Christmas In Fallujah," and it is being recorded by a young singer-songwriter named Cass Dillon, who was in his single digits when Billy released his last full length rock album, The River Of Dreams. According to a Billboard interview, Billy felt that the song, about a guy spending the holidays in the Middle East, needed to be sung by a younger voice.

I don't think Billy gets enough credit for his songwriting. He'd be the first to admit that some of his songs are a bit cheesy (I've read interviews where he openly mocks "Just The Way You Are"). But he writes about regular people struggling with the world around them with a near-Springsteenian eye. "The Downeaster 'Alexa,'" "Goodnight Saigon" and "Allentown" are great examples of this. Billy isn't in my top echelon of favorite artists, but I've always been a big fan. I'm looking forward to this song, which hits iTunes tomorrow.

Incidentally, I really respect Billy's deciscion to get off the treadmill. He has nothing more to say, why put out new albums just because he's "supposed" to? He tours, plays the old songs that his fans want to hear, and that's great. I think it's more natural for a guy like him, who has recorded so many great songs, to quit if he can't match the quality of his earlier music. Not everyone can be Springsteen or Petty. That said, I have high hopes for this new song.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not everyone can be Springsteen or Petty? You must be joking. Billy Joel can write circles around both of them with one hand tied behind his back.