Heading into summer, I was in the mood for something really upbeat. “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel fits the bill, so it is this Friday’s song. If you follow me, you know that I have been a Billy Joel fan since The Piano Man was released in 1972. I have shared several of his songs before. This song is from the 1977 album The Stranger.
The first version of “Only the Good Die Young” that I picked to share this week is from Joe’s appearance on the hit BBC series The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978. Joel had just earned his first U.K. Top 40 hit with “Just The Way You Are.” He and his band traveled to England for a major tour. Ahead of his first headlining show in the country, Billy performed all the hits from The Stranger plus other classics from his repertoire.
The second version is from the summer of 1987. Billy Joel had accepted the Kremlin’s invitation to the U.S.S.R. for six fully-staged rock shows in Moscow and Leningrad, fulfilling a longtime desire to perform in Russia.
This song has all of the elements that make Joel’s songs so engaging and memorable. Its theme is more than a little self-centered, but it is very much of its time. Hope you enjoy “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel.