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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Before They Were Stars: Billy Joel

In 1970, just three years before his solo commercial breakthrough with Piano Man, Billy Joel released a psychedelic hard rock album on Epic Records with partner Jon Smalls under the name Attila.

With Joel on Hammond organ and Smalls on drums (there were no guitarists or bassists on this album) and everything cranked to 12, nothing could possibly go wrong.

Besides everything.


Attila was not only a massive flop, going nowhere on the charts. Billy Joel himself hated the record, calling it "psychedelic bullshit". AllMusic even called it the "worst record ever made".

Accolades like that make this an automatic classic here at History's Dumpster.

Alas, we would never see a follow up to Attila, Billy Joel ran off with Jon Smalls' wife, whom he later married (which usually puts a wrinkle in things, creatively.) But the two later made up and Smalls produced two of Joel's later concert albums.

1 comment:

  1. I freaking LOVE this record, but it most definitely is psychedelic bullshit. If you "liked" Ultimate Spinach, Autosalvage and Aorta, this the crap for you. Grand Funk Railroad without the pretension. And the guitars.


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