Billy Joel - who turns 68 today - is best known for writing songs like 'Uptown Girl' and 'We Didn't Start the Fire,' but those aren't his personal favorites. The Piano Man opened up about the top songs from his own discography while chatting with Stephen Colbert on 'The Late Show' in January. So to celebrate his birthday, check out Billy Joel's five favorite Billy Joel songs.
Joel's first pick in his top 5 songs is 'Vienna' from the 1977 album 'The Stranger'. The song offers candid advice to young, ambitious listeners who, like him, didn't have the patience to take life as it comes.
"It was an observation that you have your whole life to live," Joel later told Howard Stern. "A lot of people in their 20's think they have to get it all together by their 30's and they kill themselves trying to get the golden ring. You have an entire life to live. The lyrics, 'slow down you crazy child' - in other words, you have a whole life...Slow down, you're going to be fine. No matter what you do, be good at it, and whenever you get there, you get there."
4. 'And So It Goes'
The brooding ballad that caps off the 1989 album 'Storm Wind' was written about Joel's failed relationship with model Elle MacPherson, who also inspired his 1983 hit 'Uptown Girl'.
'You May Be Right' is the first song you hear on Joel's rocking 1980 album 'Glass Houses'. But the first thing you hear is the sound of shattering glass, which was was recorded to symbolize what 'You May Be Right' meant for Joel's career. The song was supposed to "shatter the image of Joel as just a samba-playing pianist," according to biographer Ken Bielen.
2. 'She's Right on Time'
If you've never heard of this song from the 1982 album 'The Nylon Curtain', don't worry. Even Joel considers it one of the more obscure songs in his long catalog. It's also one of the most unique, according to Joel. "It's the only Christmas song I ever wrote," he told Matt Lauer back in 2005.
1. 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant'
Joel's top song is also one of his longest. 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant,' which is also from 'The Stranger,' clocks in at just over seven-and-a-half minutes long. That's because the track is actually a medley of unfinished songs strung together in the same manner as the second side of The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' (1969).
Joel's song tells the story of two Long Islanders in love. "It's basically the story of Brenda and Eddie told through a meeting at an Italian restaurant during a dinner," Joel later said. "It's something that a lot of Long Islanders do, kind of reminisce over Italian food. And everybody's got their Italian restaurant."