10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Billy Joel wasn't a happy man. He'd had decent success with the Piano Man album, but he wasn't above biting the hand that fed him: the Streetlife Serenade single "The Entertainer" complained outright about Columbia Records executives cutting the single for "Piano Man" down from five minutes to make it more palatable to radio. Elsewhere on the album, Joel was scripting visions of a past and present that weren't leaving him with many options. The title track seemed to mock fellow performers. "Los Angelenos" sounds like he's lost whatever love he had for the west coast (except maybe his hooker friend "Roberta"), while "The Great Suburban Showdown" sounds as if Joel's packing in his entire career for a shot at moving back into his old Long Island bedroom. Two instrumentals ("Root Beer Rag" and "The Mexican Connection") suggest Joel was pressed for time. "Weekend Song" and "Souvenir" further pile on the existential despair, whether Joel's own or what he imagines from the corporate workers around him. He'd soon make it back to New York and kick into high gear.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Billy Joel wasn't a happy man. He'd had decent success with the Piano Man album, but he wasn't above biting the hand that fed him: the Streetlife Serenade single "The Entertainer" complained outright about Columbia Records executives cutting the single for "Piano Man" down from five minutes to make it more palatable to radio. Elsewhere on the album, Joel was scripting visions of a past and present that weren't leaving him with many options. The title track seemed to mock fellow performers. "Los Angelenos" sounds like he's lost whatever love he had for the west coast (except maybe his hooker friend "Roberta"), while "The Great Suburban Showdown" sounds as if Joel's packing in his entire career for a shot at moving back into his old Long Island bedroom. Two instrumentals ("Root Beer Rag" and "The Mexican Connection") suggest Joel was pressed for time. "Weekend Song" and "Souvenir" further pile on the existential despair, whether Joel's own or what he imagines from the corporate workers around him. He'd soon make it back to New York and kick into high gear.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

max5191 ,

Great Album!

This is a fantastic album especially Streetlife Serenader, but iTunes messed up Root Beer RAG not BAG, RAG!

cryptical70 ,

Great keyboards from Billy

STREETLIFE SERENADE is one of my favorite Billy Joel albums because it's a great showcase of his keyboard work. Back in the early 70s, before music was burdened by electronics, most progressive musicians, such as Billy, primarily used acoustic piano (Streetlife Serenade), electric piano (Los Angelenos), organ (Weekend Song) and moog synthesizer (Great Suburban Showdown, The Entertainer, Mexican Connection, Root Beer Rag). Beyond the excellent keyboards, this is a great collection of early songs. Many people overlook this album, but it's all classic 70s Billy Joel.

David Byrne 77 ,

Simply Amazing!

This is a great album and is very underrated, so it is less well known to Billy Joel fans who only know him from his late '70's, '80's, and '90's music. This album is a bit uneven, but there are several standouts and many of the rest are gems. My personal favorites are Los Angelenos which is an amaizing sounding, but very cinical song, probably the best on the album, The Entertainer, Joel's story of his success with Piano Man, Streetlife Serenader, and Root Beer Rag (which is misspelled here as Root Beer "Bag", come on iTunes, get with it, I own the CD and it is clearly labeled as Root Beer "Rag", so please change it as soon as you can and be a little more careful next time). There really aren't any throwaway songs as they all sound so sincere (but the album is a bit uneven). Since it's one of Joel's early albums (his best years were up until 52nd Street, after that his work plundges and doesn't really return until River of Dreams) and one of his bests, Streetlife Serenader is a must buy for any fan.

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