I was 8-years-old and my best friend who lived a few houses down had just received the cassette tape as a birthday gift. We listened to “Uptown Girl” over and over until the tape nearly broke.
How often do you listen to it?
Not a week goes by where I don’t listen to at least a few of the tracks on that album.
Why is this your favorite album?
To go along with the fact that I’m a huge Billy Joel fan, this album also delivers a heavy dose of nostalgia for me personally.
This was the first album that I had ever owned. I got it for Christmas in 1984. I knew I was going to get it because I “accidentally” saw it in my parents closet where they kept all of the Christmas presents. In the days leading up to Christmas, I constantly thought of how and when I would open the present. Would I open it first or wait until it was the last one under the tree? The anticipation was almost too much. It was the first present I opened that morning. Other than a few Star Wars figures, I don’t really remember any other present that year. I listened to this constantly on my parents old cassette player until they were basically forced to buy me a Walkman a few weeks later. To this day, I think I could still recite the album word by word.
The album was tribute to the music of Joel’s youth growing up in the 50’s and 60’s and the songs are still some of my favorites today and are some of Joel’s best and most versatile creations. “Leave A Tender Moment Alone” is at the top for me. The rhythm and flow of that song with the piano and harmonica is something that can almost always get me in a good mood. “Innocent Man,” “Uptown Girl,” “Longest Time,” “Tell Her About It,” and “Keeping The Faith” were all Top 40 hits with “Tell Her About It” reaching No. 1 in September of 1983. Lesser known songs such as “Easy Money” and “This Night” are top quality as well.
Which track would be your walk up music?
“Easy Money,” I think a song that inspires images of Rodney Dangerfield would be an appropriate way for me to begin an at bat and try to win the psychological battle against the pitcher.