Music

Join lifelong Billy Joel fans, Michael and Jack, as they take deep dives in to Billy’s history, songs, albums, tours, band members and more.

Episodes

This holiday week, settle in with some classic songs, a small glimpse into the Philadelphia music scene, and some exciting new artists making music today! 

 

This is our second playlist episode, where Jack and Michael take turns playing DJ to spin some tunes and tell some stories behind them. 

 

Jack’s on the turntable (literally, in some cases) this time to bring you: 

 

All You Wanna Do Is Dance: Classic Songs Ripped Directly From 45s 

  • Lover’s Concerto by The Toys
  • Devil With The Blue Dress / Good Golly Miss Molly by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit 
  • Wheels
  • Jumpin Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones
  • Whiskey Man by The Who
  • Sweet Things You Do by Eddie Floyd
  • Reach Out (I’ll Be There) by The Four Tops 

 

My Life: Songs Featuring Jack On Drums

  • Thousand Lives by Church Girls
  • Impossible One by The Yarrows
  • Sangamon River Lament by Gavilan
  • Tree Beard’s Journey by Borrowed Equipment

 

Keeping The Faith: New Music!

  • So Ferocious by Carie Blanton
  • Civic Duty by Chipocrite
  • Yellow Dandelion by Jo-Armon Jones feat. Georgia Ann Muldrew
  • Ours by Joe Pug
  • Right by Xenia Rubinos

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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Date: May 14, 1974

City/State: Boston, MA

Venue: Orpheum Theatre

Supporting: Jesse Colin Young & Livingston Taylor

 

The Setlist: 

  1. Travelin' Prayer
  2. Somewhere Along The Line
  3. Technical Difficulty Blues
  4. Piano Man
  5. The Entertainer
  6. The Ballad of Billy The Kid
  7. Worse Comes To Worst
  8. Everybody Loves You Now
  9. Captain Jack
  10. Ain't No Crime

 

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In less than 50 minutes, the bootleg recording of Billy Joel at the Orpheum Theater in 1974 reveals the trajectory of his career up to that point and hints toward the challenges and major changes to come. 

 

It’s not his most popular bootleg, but as a warts-and-all snapshot of this moment, it’s surprisingly revelatory. 

 

The show, recorded on May 14th of that year, is Billy’s first performance in Boston, Massachusetts. He’s the first opener on a three-band bill with Livingston Taylor and Jesse Colin Young. 

 

But, already there are hints of his future success  and the changes he’d make over the next few years.

 

Of the nine songs Billy plays here, Three will get updated on 1981’s Songs in the Attic and you can already hear some of the changes taking form. All but two are from Piano Man. And, one is only a few weeks old. But more than the songs themselves, this recording is a rare glimpse of Billy between his first hit song, Piano Man, and Streetlife Serenade, an album he felt was a failure out of the gate. 

 

You’ll hear the west coast feel of his live band, an approach that he’d soon consciously jettison for the tougher East Coast sound that would become his hallmark. And, you’ll hear him wrestle with technical issues, often humorously. He’s also developing his rapport with his audience, and their response points to where his career would soon go.

 

Join us as we dive deep in Billy Joel, live at the Orpheum Theater in 1974.

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

 

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They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. If that’s true, then the sun rose for Billy Joel in 1983. That’s not to say things were bleak before then. But the past year or so carried a more somber tone. In 1982, Billy was in a bad motorcycle accident that left his hands severely injured for months. Despite this, he completed, released, and toured behind The Nylon Curtain. That album is arguably his most ambitious, and also his most serious and thematically heavy release. 

 

But, that all turned around the next year. 1983 found Billy Joel jet-setting to private islands, dating supermodels and releasing his ninth studio album, An Innocent Man.  Stylistically, the music harkened back to the 50s and early 60s. And, in contrast to its predecessor, it was one of his biggest sellers, and easily his most light-hearted. 

 

An Innocent Man would go platinum seven times and spawn seven charting singles. In 1984, Billy would tour in support of his blockbuster hit. But, the previous year, he was enjoying life. 

 

In this episode, Michael & Jack are diving deep into 1983. The year that saw an album release, hit singles, heavy-rotation videos, tabloid-pages romance, and more for Billy Joel.

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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Sometimes, the best way to find out what makes a songwriter special is hearing someone else sing their songs. Listening to how other artists interpret their work brings out aspects of the music that weren’t as obvious before. 

 

That’s what Michael and Jack discovered when they put this episode together. This week, They're diving into versions of Billy Joel songs performed by other people. To do it, we compiled more than two dozen versions of Billy’s music performed by other artists. 

 

For the most part, we stuck to songs that were officially released or performed on television. The styles range from 60s blue-eyed soul to 80s pop, country sensations to punk and indie rockers. The arrangements varied from straight-ahead covers to nearly unrecognizable renditions.  Also featured are 2 Billy covers by drummer Liberty DeVitto's former band The Fun(k) Club that have never before been released!

 

Join us, as we go through the good, the great, the bad, and the bizarre Billy Joel covers. We’ll talk through these new versions and what we learned about the original performances along the way.

 

Songs covered include:

 

  • Beyonce - Honesty
  • Diana Krall - Just The Way You Are
  • Joan Baez - Goodnight Saigon
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo - River of Dreams
  • The Hoosiers - We Didn't Start The Fire
  • The Creak - Sleeping With The Television On
  • Sheena Easton - The Entertainer
  • Garth Brooks - Shameless
  • Westlife - Uptown Girl
  • Dolly Parton - Travelin' Prayer
  • Helen Reddy - You're My Home
  • Jennifer Warnes - And So It Goes
  • TexasFrets - Souvenir
  • The Manhattans - Everybody Has A Dream
  • Andy Mientus feat. Jennifer Hudson - Everybody Loves You Now
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Uptown Girl
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Only The Good Die Young
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - The Longest Time
  • Barry White - Just The Way You Are
  • Bayside - Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
  • Copeland - She's Always A Woman
  • Ronnie Spector and The E Street Band - Say Goodbye To Hollywood
  • Richard Marx - Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)
  • Peter, Paul & Mary - Summer, Highland Falls
  • Bill Medley - Until The Night
  • The Fun(k) Club - Handball
  • The Fun(k) Club - You May Be Right (Glass Houses Exclusive)
  • The Fun(k) Club - She's Got A Way (Glass Houses Exclusive)

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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1974 saw Billy Joel back in the studio mere months after 1973's Piano Man.  Billy wasn't ready for a new album but pushed his way through to complete Streetlife Serenade which was released October 11, 1974 on Columbia Records.

 

The album peaked at #35 on the album charts and featured the single "The Entertainer," which is the sole song that has gotten a significant amount of live performances since its release.

 

Michael & Jack discuss this often forgotten and under documented album and shed some light on some lesser known gems.

They also go song by song through the album and discuss each track and their reflections on each.

 

 

BILLY JOEL - STREETLIFE SERENADE

 

One side

  1. Streetlife Serenader
  2. Los Angelenos
  3. The Great Suburban Showdown
  4. Root Beer Rag
  5. Roberta

Another side

  1. The Entertainer
  2. Last of the Big Time Spenders
  3. Weekend Song
  4. Souvenir
  5. The Mexican Connection

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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Artists who rose to stardom in the 1970s were the first generation to have that rise documented on TV cameras. Billy Joel was no exception.

Michael & Jack comb through as many of Billy's 1970's TV appearances as they could find to share their observations along the way. Watching these in chronological order, you really get the feel with how Billy's stage presence and live band developed throughout the decade.

Join us as we discuss all things Billy Joel on TV in the 1970s.

 

Appearances include:

 

  • Old Grey Whistle Test - 1973
  • Speakeasy - 1974
  • Don Kirshner's Rock Concert - 1974
  • Midnight Special - 1975
  • Mike Douglas Show - 1976
  • Old Grey Whistle Test - 1978
  • Beat Club - 1978
  • Saturday Night Live - 1978

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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September 1, 2020

EP 015 - Year In Review: 2003

The year was 2003 and once again, Billy was at a crossroads. He mounted a shorter Face To Face tour with Elton John before taking one of the longest hiatuses of his career which would stretch into the end of 2005.

 

Michael & Jack chronicle a year in which saw depression, Billy vocally discussing retiring, and the end end of the professional relationship with the longest tenured band member. But the year wasn't all bad. Billy & Twyla Tharp launched the hugely successful broadway show Movin' Out, had another successful run with Elton John and more. Michael attended 3 shows on that tour which we discuss as well.

 

Join us as we talk all things Billy Joel in 2003.

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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The year was 1987. Billy and the band were well into their tour supporting The Bridge album. An incredible opportunity came along that would change everyone involved's life forever.

 

Billy Joel and his band became the first American pop act to bring a full-scale touring production to Russia.  While other US artists had played behind the Iron Curtain before, never had the Russians experienced a full on rock show until now.

 

Join Michael & Jack as they go back to 1987 and discuss this monumental 6 date tour that helped thaw relations between the two nations, and saw musicians and crew alike come away touched by the warmth and kindness they received throughout. 

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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In 1993, Billy Joel began work on what would become his final pop studio album, River of Dreams. What began with he and his live band tracking in a makeshift studio in a boathouse on the east end of Long Island, ended with a new producer, new musicians, and a new direction.

 

Michael & Jack revisit the Shades of Grey documentary that chronicles the journey of arguably Billy Joel's most personal album to date.

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

 

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Liberty DeVitto is the drummer that Billy Joel chose to record those unforgettable albums and memorable tours between 1975 and 2005.  Michael & Jack discuss his brand new autobiography Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness which is out now from Hudson Music.

 

Join us for a special candid conversation with Liberty DeVitto as he discusses the book and much more.

 

In this episode, Michael & Jack also share their thoughts after reading the book which chronicles Liberty's family history, as well has his personal life and playing career.  Early announcements promised two things: A foreword by Billy Joel and Liberty discussing every song they recorded together. This book delivers on that and so much more.

 

Among the great stories, we also learn the news of the long-overdue reconciliation between Liberty and Billy and the reclamation of this great friendship.

 

Order Liberty's new book:         Hudson Music      |      Amazon

 

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Email us: glasshousespodcast@gmail.com

 

Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast on the web / social media:

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