Billy Joel vs. Elton John? Who's your piano man?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Matt L, Dec 28, 2012.

Billy Joel or Elton John?

  1. Billy Joel

  2. Elton John

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  1. Beano Addict

    Beano Addict Member

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    Same here. Is writing classical pieces regarded as the absolute pinnacle of talent? Or is it playing it expertly? I don't see it as different levels. Chopin couldn't write Benny & The Jets and that means pretty much nothing to me. Nobody can do it all.

    EJ likely couldn't write in that style. His writing sessions last 15-20 min and if he can't come up with anything with potential, he stops cold and tries again later or another day. To write something like a Fugue, a Nocturne, a Movement, a Sonata, or anything like that, you'd need to spend time chipping away at it. That explains the 8-year period between BJ's last commercial album and his classical release. Can't imagine EJ having the patience for that long a creative process, frankly. Though he still enjoys listening to classical.

    BJ was attracted to R&R mostly due to Motown and the Beatles. After decades of it, he's R&R'ed out and has no desire to write in that style. Rediscovered classical and tried his hand at writing in some established styles. That album is mostly derivative but there are a couple of bright points, my favorite being the obvious Bach-inspired Invention In C Minor. A short but well written piece.
     
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  2. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    You are really scraping the barrel to find bad analogies. Anyone who can sing anything like Frankie Valli would be quite talented.
    But Billy Joel is so much more than that as a singer. Which is another thing about him, he is not at all limited by music style. The guy can sing just about anything. He is great at singing his rock n roll and rock songs, but also good at ballads.
    And, dig this, he actually ******WRITES LYRICS*****

    Read this again.................******WRITES LYRICS*****.... he isn't handicapped by merely being a piano player that sings. He is a GREAT piano player that .... ****WRITES LYRICS******
     
  3. Tiny Montgomery

    Tiny Montgomery Supporting Member

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    That wasn’t an analogy. You can shout “**********WRITES LYRICS**********” in angry all caps all you want. It’s not that important to me. Elton was part of a songwriting partnership, and I happen to like their songs a lot more than anything Billy Joel ever wrote on his own.

    Also, he wrote lines like “even rode my motorcycle in the rain” as though it were the pinnacle of badassery, when it’s an inevitable, mundane occurrence for anybody who’s ever ridden a motorcycle regularly.

    Sure, Bernie wrote some clunkers, too, but simply writing lyrics isn’t a big deal. Neither of them was exactly Dylan.

    FWIW, I can’t stand Frankie Valli, either.
     
  4. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    I love songs from both of them. I like the way Elton hits the keys more, and his sense of melody is more angular, too, which tickles my ears as well.

    But they're both great, and neither usually get the dial turned when I'm listening to the radio while driving.
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    I'm pretty sure he could cadge together a lyric. It might not be earth-shattering or profound, but he's been around the block, and probably has tried his hand at it already.
     
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  6. Beano Addict

    Beano Addict Member

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    The beauty with you is that you put your foot in your mouth a million different ways.

    How about this gem you wrote a while back?

    "Lyrics, in general, are dreck. It just depends on whose yardstick you measure the dreck with.
    Songs that have no "dreck" in the lyrics aren't likely to get much attention." - Rockledge

    So if lyrics are dreck, why do you care about them and why would you use that of all things to hang your "talentless hack" argument about EJ with?

    Might want to take some notes on arguing a case. :)
     
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  7. Telefunky

    Telefunky Member

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    :bow
     
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  8. Laurence

    Laurence Silver Supporting Member

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    Warren Zevon
     
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  9. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Son, I never get angry, ever. Your comprehension skills need honing, the reason I used caps is for EMPHASIS.
    Elton was part of a songwriting PARTNERSHIP ( <<<this is emphasis, with no emotion whatsoever)
    In other words, he depends on someone else for what he does.
    Lock himself in a room by himself, and have him come out with a song. What he will come out with is some instrumental piano tinkling.

    Billy Joel is self contained. Lock him in a room and he will emerge with music and something to sing.
    And far better at both than either BT or EJ. With a far wider range of styles, from rock n roll to rock to easy listening.
     
  10. Tiny Montgomery

    Tiny Montgomery Supporting Member

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    I’m pretty sure BJ’s lyrics are ghost written by a real estate novelist.
     
  11. Quintus

    Quintus Member

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    IMO, much of EJ's early work was brilliant, but after Goodbye Yellowbrick Road his music really dropped off with the exception of a couple songs. BJ's body of work is much more consistent over his career.
     
  12. mycroftxxx

    mycroftxxx Member

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    Probably unwise of me to wade in here, but what the heck...

    I happened to see both of them live when each was close to the pinnacle of his career (IMHO) - Billy Joel in 1979 on the tour supporting 52nd Street (my personal favorite of his oeuvre; I don’t care for any of his stuff after 1982’s The Nylon Curtain), and Elton John in 1980 (his best days as a recording artist were definitely behind him, again IMHO, but he was still known as an excellent live performer).

    Performance-wise, I call it a near-draw with a very slight edge to Billy Joel - there was a real passion throughout the show; he played 2.5 hrs and no opening act; band was spot-on all night. And the songs were excellent and well-chosen. Elton John also played about 2.5 hrs without an opening act, but he left the stage for about 15 minutes in the middle and Nigel Olsson took the spotlight for 3-4 songs (he had just released a solo album); passable but not memorable. Song-wise, a good selection, and he did an extended and clearly improvised piano solo in the middle of “Amoreena” - very nice! But the costumes (he wore the duck for the last half of the show) were a bit of a distraction, and there were a couple of clunkers from his post-Rock of the Westies releases. Ultimately, I’m glad I got to see them at that time in their respective careers.

    When I assess their recorded output...first, I eliminate everything post-Rock of the Westies for EJ and post-The Nylon Curtain for BJ, as that’s where my interest ends for each. And then I’ll call it a draw. I think maybe EJ has a few more highs (nothing BJ has done tops “Amoreena”, for example, although “Until the Night” comes close) but also more clunkers than BJ (“Daniel”, anyone?).

    Hope this is a fair and measured take on the topic. Some of the hyperbole in this thread has been a bit wearing...
     
  13. 55hz

    55hz Member

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    Which one faded first?
     
  14. Rockledge

    Rockledge Member

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    Billy Joel never faded. The other guy did. Way back. Mid 70s.
    FFFFFFFFFFffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddddddeeeeeeeeeeeedddddddddd............
    Just like that.
     
  15. Beano Addict

    Beano Addict Member

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    You must be a glutton for punishment to continue writing your ignorant nonsense after getting embarrassingly schooled a number of times in this thread. ;)

    Still waiting for you to address any of the facts I presented with something more than the vapid rants you've gone on.
     

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