Saturday, June 26, 2010

Best Thing I Heard Today: Billy Joel doing "Shades of Grey"

Billy Joel's songs are sort of like Weird Al's, without any laughs: each one shamelessly apes the style of some other famous band. (Or classical composer.) Here's Billy's Cream song:

There are people who will tell you that Billy's a terrible lyricist, literal and bludgeoning, dwelling on esoteric minutiae while grinding his own little axes; but then, there are people who have lost every trace of human kindness. What he is is a GREAT tunesmith--unless he's trying his hand at "soul"--whose lyrics fit the melodies pretty well and don't offend. Well, sometimes they involve "soft soap" (or lack thereof), and THEN they offend.

The Cream song in question is "Sweet Wine." Billy Joel's "Shades of Grey" shouldn't be confused with Joel Grey's version of "White Room":


Jeff Mariotte said...

I heard "Shades of Grey for the first time today, listening to one of my wife's CDs in the car. Immediately heard the "Sweet Wine" riff, and had to Google it to see who else had noticed. Not many of us, apparently.

Josh Langhoff said...

Oh wow, I hadn't thought of this in a while! Both good tunes -- and I'm pretty sure I heard "Shades of Grey" on my wife's CD as well.