Billy Joel – “It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me”

Did you know that Billy Joel’s song “It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me” was #1 on this date, July 19th, back in the year 1980?  And amazingly was his first #1 single!!  He had been releasing albums since 1971 and this was his first #1???  Incredible!!

If I am not mistaken, it was also his first Gold Record, but the song went on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone.  It is featured on his album from 1980, ‘Glass Houses’ (which I proudly have on vinyl that I have recently rediscovered).

From what I can gather, the song is about how the press was talking up the “new wave” of music at the time and He thought that this so called “new sound” wasn’t really new but it was just rock. It seems also that the label said he needed to change up his style and sound to stay relevant. He felt he would stay relevant and it didn’t matter how he dressed or what he did.  Below is the video and check out the lyrics below.  Enjoy!

Lyrics:

“It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me”

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
“Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?”
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
“Welcome back to the age of jive.
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress trashy till you spend a lot of money.”
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

 

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
“Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?”
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
“Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby blue Continental.”
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
‘Cause it’s always been the same old scene.
There’s a new band in town
But you can’t get the sound from a story in a magazine…
Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
“You could really be a Beau Brummel baby
If you just give it half a chance.
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers.”
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
“Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?”
Should I try to be a straight ‘A’ student?
“If you are then you think too much.
Don’t you know about the new fashion honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money.”
It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me

Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

 

P.S. – In looking up info on this song, I found a podcast from the website Songs Your Sick Of where they covered this song on their April 26th, 2016 show.  Not sure it is worth listening to it, but thought that it was odd someone spent 40 minutes talking about one song.  It is definitely not an earth shattering podcast, but if your bored, give it a listen.

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