This rock Icon released today’s song in1980 just as New Wave was climbing to the top of the music scene, and in 1981, the arrival of MTV would push New Wave music to the height of its popularity. But before all of that, today’s singer had already become sick of electronics and synthesizers.
The song spent two weeks at #1 of the Billboard Hot 100 and 11 weeks in the top 10, making it one of 1980’s biggest hits. In the song, he ironically imitates the style of New Wave music while criticizing the genre lyrically.
His argument was simple: While marketing people tried to generate excitement by describing the next big thing as a new big thing, the singer and songwriter believed that almost all of the music that was being released in the “New Wave” genre, by bands like the Police and the Cars, wasn't that different than material from 20 years earlier.
Tease: On the way, what song did today’s artist realize he had copied chord for chord only AFTER he recorded and released today’s song?
Only after he wrote this song, today’s artist says he realized that the chords were the same ones Bob Dylan used on "Lay Lady Lay."
But that didn't slow down the success of this song, or stop him from scoring two more number one hits throughout his legendary career with "Tell Her About It" and "We Didn't Start The Fire."
Today’s song, his first number one, is one of his most popular songs and was certified Platinum, which at the time meant sales in excess of 2 million.
"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody of the song entitled "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" in 1980 that aired on Dr. Demento’s radio show.
It was not released for sale because he figured that Billy wasn’t very likely to give his blessing so he never even bothered asking for permission.