1975 Billy Joel – The Entertainer
Billy Joel’s third studio album, Streetlife Serenade, came out in 1974. The Entertainer became the album’s first and only single late in the year. It was an extremely cynical look at some of the challenges facing musicians. The song included a complaint about the way his record label had cut his single Piano Man to make it short enough to get airplay on AM radio stations. Ironically, the label also cut an entire verse out of The Entertainer because of its length and some language they worried about.
The single peaked at #34 on the Hot 100 and #30 on the Adult Contemporary chart in early 1975.
Sadly, it wasn’t long before Billy’s records (however briefly) showed up in the back of the discount rack: after The Entertainer, none of his singles reached the charts in 1975 or 1976. While his fourth album, Turnstiles, contained such outstanding songs as New York State Of Mind and Prelude/Angry Young Man, the 1976 album stalled at #122 on the Billboard album charts. Neither of the singles from the album attracted much attention.
In 1977, Phil Ramone produced Billy’s fifth album, The Stranger, which included Just the Way You Are. That single was finally the first in a long string of hit records.
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