Billy Joel: 'I'm done making albums'
Billy Joel is never – ever – getting back together. With the recording studio. Or the producers, conductors, orchestrators and arrangers that have nurtured all of his previous projects.
Joel made a shameless (and dare we say, bold) comment recently when he said that he's done making albums. Forever. The statement was made during a new interview with The New Yorker where Joel talked about his current residency at New York's famed Madison Square Garden. Since the beginning of the year he'd been playing the venue once a month. All 12 dates that are scheduled sold out well in advance, and tickets are almost non-existent on the secondary market as well.
Many fans are asking, "How can a guy who vows to keep playing MSG as long as ticket demand continues not want to make another album?"
The answer? "Some people think it's because I'm lazy or I'm just being contrary," Joel told the magazine. "But, no, I think it's just -- I've had my say. If I put out an album now, it would probably sell pretty well, because of who I am, but that's no reason to do it. I'd want it to be good."
"I've seen artists on that treadmill, putting out albums year after year, and the albums get worse and worse, less and less interesting, and it's, like, 'Maybe you should stop,'" he continued. For the fans who are bummed about the announcement, rest assured that Joel still rolls through all his huge hits in concert, including his customary five-song encore closed out with "Only the Good Die Young."
Billy Joel takes up residence at Madison Square Garden (Updated 12/12/2013)
The legendary Billy Joel was sufficiently overwhelmed to be among this year's class of Kennedy Center Honors recipients, along with Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, opera singer Martina Arroyo and actress Shirley MacLaine.
Joel, who has collected six Grammy Awards during his 40-year recording career, was humbled to be given the honor and told the Associated Press, "This is different. It's our nation's capital. This is coming more from my country than just people who come to see me."
The Kennedy Center Honors are indeed the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The awards presentation was preceded by a gala dinner also attended by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and will air on December 29, 2013 as a two-hour CBS television special.
The award comes at a significant time for Joel, who became the first entertainer to set up a performing residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He will play monthly as long as the ticket demand continues. He's currently set to perform sold-out shows beginning in 2014 on January 27, Feb. 3, March 21 and April 28. He also threw in the date of May 9, which just happens to be his 65th birthday. It's not clear when additional shows will be announced, but as of now there is no official end date to the residency.
Joel first performed at MSG in 1978, and has since played the iconic venue 46 times. He'll also play Brooklyn's Barclays Center on New Year's Eve to prep for the MSG run.
Joel set for a Return to the Stage (Updated April 3, 2013)
Billy Joel's break is over. The legendary performer is returning to the road after a three-year absence, set to play a few festival dates that could lead to something much, much bigger.
The sexagenarian has put a lot of thought behind what his next road show might look like, and fans could be shocked to know they might not be hearing "Piano Man," "New York State of Mind" or "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." Instead, Joel's plan is to play the songs that weren't hits. In fact, his ultimate goal is to feature entire albums on these tour stops – and he's already got a few cities in mind, including Philadelphia, New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Chicago.
Though official plans are still very much up in the air, Joel's plan isn't to disregard the hits completely, but find a balance between the familiar songs and the ones fans don't remember. But if one thing is certain, it's that Joel certainly has a massive catalog to choose from. He hasn't produced a new album since 1993's "River of Dreams," and due to a lack of new material, has no plans for one in the near future. Still, there are 12 previous projects from which Joel can cull live material, and his aim is to make every show different than the one before.
No matter what, it will be tremendous to see a living legend like Billy Joel back on stage. This after he quietly retreated from the stage after wrapping a co-headlining tour with Elton John in early 2010. Later that year, Joel had hip replacement surgery, and he chose to devote more time to his family and a motorcycle shop in Oyster Bay, Long Island. But his five-song set at the Hurricane Sandy benefit show at Madison Square Garden seems to have scratched the itch again, and it's only a matter of time before Billy Joel is tickling the ivories once again.
Billy Joel Tickets - "This" Is a Veritable History of Music
A god of music unlike anything ever seen, you'd be surprised that one Billy Joel born on May 9, 1949, only lived in the Bronx in the suburb of Hicksville where as an adolescent teenager he joined street gangs and boxed as a welterweight. On a sidenote: he did learn to play piano as a child. That's a good thing to mention, given that was his rise to stardom as he ended up signing a record deal with Columbia Records in 1973 for his debut "Piano Man".
Billy Joel Tickets - The Piano Man From the Bronx
The obvious title track, 'Piano Man,' earned him musical acclaim, which can today be heralded as his trademark vintage defining single of his music career. He later had more hits under his belt -- such as 'Say Goodbye to Hollywood,' 'New York State of Mind,' 'Just the Way You Are,' and 'My Life.' A true musical deity of dynamic and dynamite proportions, Billy Joel cemented his standard into the Pop music arena.
Billy Joel Tickets - His Universal Sound and Appeal
He had charisma. He had unearthly talent. He had the ability to always bring the hits even when genres shifted in the music industry. All of his songs are true-blue and beautiful classics. My God, is there anything more to say about Billy Joel?
Billy Joel: Madison Square Garden NYC Setlist
Billy Joel is one of the most successful recording artists of all time. For 50 years, the Bronx-born musician has been playing piano, singing and composing hit music, starting with Cold Spring Harbor in 1971 and ending with Fantasies & Delusions in 2001. (I know, I know, can we get a new album already?) Putting aside his obvious…Read more
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