Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Piano Man By The Numbers

I think I've mentioned in a previous post how I'm in the middle of the (painful) process of having to replace about 3,500 songs to my ipod. One thing I may not have mentioned, which is making the process even slower, is that I'm a stickler for accuracy. I'm not the kind of person that's OK with listing half-right song titles, artist names and/or album titles. I might have mistakes but they're going to be honest mistakes. I'm not going to have "Teenage Wasteland" under The Who. And I'm not going to credit "Imagine" to The Beatles. It always amazes me how many people don't care about that stuff.

Anyhow, so that's slowing things down a little bit. I'm having to look stuff up on a regular basis as I pull tracks off of old CD's and the internet. Figuring out which songs should be credited to Crosby, Stills & Nash versus Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, for example, was an hour project in itself. But I'm getting there. And the nice thing is that, along the way, I'm learning a ton of stuff I never knew courtesy of Wikipedia. The Wiki page for basically any major artist is interesting. I highly encourage everyone to browse a few when you have the time.

As an example, here are some tidbits that I culled from Billy Joel's page over the weekend...

-Grammy Awards: 6 (Two for "Just The Way You Are" in '78. Two for 52nd Street in '79. One for Glass Houses in '80. A Lifetime Achievement Award in '91.)

-Grammy Nominations: 23

-Number of US record sales: 66 million (Counting only from Piano Man in '73 to his live double disc in 2000. The actual total is a little higher. Think about that though. 66 million records. That's a lot of records.)

-All-time Billboard #1 Songs: 3 (I never would have guessed these three in a million years...It's Still Rock 'n Roll To Me, Tell Her About It & We Didn't Start The Fire)

-Billboard Top 20 Songs: 23 (And surprisingly, Piano Man isn't one of them. Piano Man never charted higher than 23rd.)

-Billboard #1 Albums: 4 (And surprsingly, The Stranger isn't one of them. It's his best selling album but it only got up to #2. His #1 albums are 52nd Street, Glass Houses, Storm Front & River Of Dreams.)

-Random Note #1: The University of Notre Dame made him sign something before a show there in the 70's promising he wouldn't play "Only The Good Die Young." His response? Played it 6 times in a row at the show and earned himself a lifetime ban from South Bend. I had no idea Billy Joel was banned for life by ND.

-Random Note #2: His 12 straight sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in 2006 is a record, breaking the 11 straight sell-outs that Springsteen played at MSG.

-Random Note #3: Uptown Girl has been covered by, among others, Alvin & The Chipmunks and Aaron Carter.

-Random Note #4: Billy never graduated high school but has honorory diplomas from no less than 5 institutes of higher learning. And they are...Fairfield University, Berklee College Of Music, Hofstra University, Southampton College and the University of Syracuse.


Hadley said...

No Easy Money? No Get It Right The First Time? The public has terrible taste!

Clarke said...

Agreed. I can't believe Tell Her About It was a #1 song. Must have been a slow week. I mean, I like Billy Joel but come on. Tell Her About It?