Billy Joel covering the music of other musicians is something like a grand master of any martial art deciding to practice the favored style of another grandmaster. It’s not done by just anyone since that would be an insult unless it was done in a way that was highly impressive and managed to convince everyone that it was in fact a warranted act. But Billy Joel doing this with other artists is something that’s quite beautiful and more than a little expected since he’s a legend in his own right. He’s earned the ability and the right to do this and has been welcomed by other artists to perform their tracks since there aren’t a lot of milestones he hasn’t hit in his own career. He’s been there, done it, seen it, lived it, and as a result he’s just that good and able to take on whatever project he wants or needs to. Covering someone else’s music is like a tribute to that person and Joel has been all about respecting the music if nothing else, which is pretty cool.
After all if you can’t respect your own work then how are you supposed to respect that of others?
5. Candle In The Wind-Elton John
To cover someone like Elton John you’ve really got to have made your way into the industry and made a mark. Elton has actually extended this respect to a good number of musicians, of whom Billy Joel is one. Thankfully Joel does an awesome job on just about any artist he decides to do a cover for and leaves people wondering just who did it better at times.
4. Maybe I’m Amazed-Paul McCartney
It goes without saying that a lot of original artists do the best recording of their songs but that’s not to say that someone else can’t come along and put their own little spin on it. Joel stays pretty faithful to the music and doesn’t alter much if anything. And if he does then you can barely hear it throughout the track unless you’re a diehard fan that picks everything apart.
3. A Hard Day’s Night-The Beatles
Beatles fans seem kind of divided on this issue sometimes since a lot of the diehards don’t feel like cover songs are worth much while others feel that they’re clever homages to the original music. It’s hard to know which way to lean sometimes but since I’ve been listening to Billy Joel since I was a kid I think I’d say that he does a good job of showing respect to most songs.
2. All Shook Up-Elvis Presley
With as many people that have done Elvis songs over and over it’s fair to say that a person doesn’t have to be on key all that much when performing one of his tracks. But if you’re really going to do it right then you need to adhere to what he laid down and respect the music and the fans that helped to make it great. After all just because other people have done it doesn’t mean another person needs to slack off.
1. Highway to Hell-AC/DC
This was more of a collaboration than a real cover it feels like but Billy Joel was there and he was filling in so it seems close enough. He’s done such a great job throughout his career that it’s no wonder why he’s become such a popular singer and songwriter.
The Piano Man is a legend now and for as long as his memory lasts.