Streetlife Serenade

Streetlife Serenade

by Billy Joel
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Overview

Streetlife Serenade

Billy Joel hit a bit of a slump with Streetlife Serenade, his third album. Stylistically, it was a reiteration of its predecessor's Tumbleweed Connection obsessions, spiked with, of all things, Rockford Files synthesizers and ragtimes pulled from The Sting. That isn't a facetious reference, either -- it's no coincidence that the record's single and best song, "The Entertainer," shares a title with the Scott Joplin rag that provided The Sting with a main theme. Joel is attempting a grand Americana lyrical vision, stretching from the Wild West through the Depression to "Los Angelenos" and "The Great Suburban Showdown." It doesn't work, not only because of his shortcomings as a writer, but because he didn't have the time to pull it all together. There are no less than two instrumentals, and even if "Root Beer Rag" (yet another sign of The Sting's influence) is admittedly enjoyable, they're undeniably fillers, as is much of the second side. Since he has skills, he's able to turn out a few winners -- "Roberta," a love song in the vein of Cold Spring Harbor, the mournful "Streetlife Serenader," and the stomping "Los Angelenos" -- but it was the astonishingly bitter "The Entertainer," where he not only disparages his own role but is filled with venom over "Piano Man" being released in a single edit, that made the subtext clear: he'd had enough with California, enough with the music industry, enough with being a sensitive singer-songwriter. It was time for Billy to say goodbye to Hollywood and head back home to New York.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/1998
Label: Sony
UPC: 0074646938225
catalogNumber: 69382

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joel   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Mike Deasy   Guitar
Richard Rodney Bennett   Guitar
Richard Bennett   Guitar
Joe Clayton   Conductor,Conga
Gary Dalton   Guitar
Don Evans   Guitar
Wilton Felder   Bass,Keyboards
Emory Gordy   Bass
Hertzberg   Guitar
Larry Knechtel   Bass
Art Munson   Guitar
Raj Rathor   Guitar
Michael Stewart   Guitar
Ron Tutt   Drums
Tom Whitehorse   Banjo,Pedal Steel Guitar
William D. "Smitty" Smith   Organ,Keyboards
Mike Deasey   Guitar
Don Evans & The Initials   Guitar
William Smith   Organ

Technical Credits

Billy Joel   Arranger,Producer
Ron Malo   Engineer
Michael Stewart   Arranger,Producer
Brian Hagiwara   Cover Painting
Ron Coro   Art Direction
John Naatjes   Tape Research

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Streetlife Serenade 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago