It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

Last updated
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Glass Houses
B-side "Through the Long Night"
ReleasedMay 12, 1980
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Billy Joel singles chronology
"You May Be Right"
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
"Don't Ask Me Why"

"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" is a 1980 song written and performed by Billy Joel, from the hit album Glass Houses . The song was number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two weeks, from July 19 through August 1, 1980. The song spent 11 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 7th biggest hit of 1980 according to American Top 40. The song is an examination of the themes of a musician's declining fame and changing public tastes that were expressed in his 1975 hit "The Entertainer". According to drummer Liberty DeVitto in an interview, the sound engineer for the song had him tune his snare drum extremely low so that it would "flop" when he played it. [3]


The single eventually reached Platinum status from the RIAA for sales of over 1 million copies in the United States. [4] Pop rock musician Drake Bell covered the song in 2014 on his rockabilly album Ready Steady Go! . [5]

Critical reception

In review made a week later after single release, Billboard editors noticed the laconicism of backing support and Joel's vocal that made the song sparkling. [6]


Chart history

Certifications and sales


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada213,000 [12]
United States (RIAA) [13] 2× Platinum2,000,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png

Double-dagger-14-plain.png Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Music video

A music video for the song was made, showing Joel performing the song live with his band. According to his band members, the song vocals were performed live by Joel during the video's filming. [3]


"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody of the song entitled "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" in 1980, popularized on the Dr. Demento radio program. It was not released, either as a single or an album track. Yankovic commented, "I wrote that in 1980, but even by 1983 (when my first album came out) it felt a bit dated. Also, we figured that Billy wasn’t very likely to give us his blessing on that one anyway, so we never even bothered asking." [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

Billy Joel American singer-songwriter, composer and pianist

William Martin Joel is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and composer. Commonly nicknamed the "Piano Man" after his first major hit and signature song of the same name as well as the similarly named 1973 album, he has led a commercially successful career as a solo artist since the 1970s, having released 12 studio albums from 1971 to 1993 as well as one studio album in 2001. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, as well as the seventh best-selling recording artist and the fourth best-selling solo artist in the United States, with over 150 million records sold worldwide. His 1985 compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling albums in the United States.

<i>Glass Houses</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Billy Joel

Glass Houses is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on March 12, 1980. It features Joel's first song to peak at No.  1 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me". The album itself topped the Pop Albums chart for six weeks and was ranked No.  4 on Billboard's 1980 year-end album chart. The album is the 41st best selling album of the 1980s, with sales of 7.1 million copies in the U.S. alone. In 1981, Joel won a Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" for his work on Glass Houses. According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the album featured "a harder-edged sound" compared to Joel's other work, in response to the punk and new wave movements. This was also the final studio album to feature the original incarnation of the Billy Joel Band, augmented by new lead guitarist David Brown.

Drift Away 1973 single by Dobie Gray

"Drift Away" is a song by Mentor Williams written in 1970 and originally recorded by John Henry Kurtz on his 1972 album Reunion. Mentor Williams was a country songwriter, and John Henry Kurtz was an actor and swamp rock singer. It was later given to soul singer Dobie Gray for whom it became a surprise international hit and the best known version. In 1973 the song became Dobie Gray's biggest hit, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and certified gold by the RIAA. It was the final pop hit for Decca Records in the United States.

Uptown Girl 1983 single by Billy Joel

"Uptown Girl" is a song written and performed by the American musician Billy Joel. The lyrics describe a working-class "downtown man" attempting to woo a wealthy "uptown girl". It was released on September 29, 1983, on his ninth studio album An Innocent Man (1983).

Just the Way You Are (Billy Joel song) 1977 single by Billy Joel

"Just the Way You Are" is a song by Billy Joel from his fifth studio album The Stranger (1977). It was released in September 1977 as the album's lead single. It became both Joel's first US Top 10 and UK Top 20 single, as well as Joel's first gold single in the US. The song also topped the Billboard Easy Listening Chart for the entire month of January 1978.

Crocodile Rock 1972 single by Elton John

"Crocodile Rock" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded in summer 1972 at the Château d'Hérouville studio in France, where John and his team had previously recorded the Honky Château album. It was released on 27 October 1972 in the UK and 20 November 1972 in the U.S., as a pre-release single from his forthcoming 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, and became his first U.S. number-one single, reaching the top spot on 3 February 1973, and staying there for three weeks. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on 5 February 1973 and Platinum on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA.

My Sharona 1979 single by The Knack

"My Sharona" is the debut single by The Knack. The song was written by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger, and released in 1979 from their album Get the Knack. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart where it remained for six weeks, and was number one on Billboard's 1979 Top Pop Singles year-end chart.

"Come Go With Me" is a song written by C. E. Quick, an original member of the American doo-wop vocal group The Del-Vikings. The song was originally recorded by The Del-Vikings in 1956 and was released on Fee Bee Records.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (song) 1973 single by Elton John

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a ballad performed by musician Elton John and the title track on his 1973 album of the same name. The song's music was composed by John, while the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin.

My Life (Billy Joel song) 1978 single by Billy Joel

"My Life" is a song by Billy Joel that first appeared on his 1978 album 52nd Street. A single version was released in the fall of 1978 and reached No. 2 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart. Early the next year it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Yes, Im Ready

"Yes, I'm Ready" a song by Barbara Mason from her album Yes, I'm Ready (1965). It has been covered by numerous artists, and was a hit single for Teri DeSario and K.C. when they recorded a duet version in 1980.

Urgent (song)

"Urgent" is a song by the British-American rock band Foreigner, and the first single from their album 4 in 1981.

"Weird Al" Yankovic discography Cataloging of published recordings by "Weird Al" Yankovic

The discography of American singer, songwriter, musician and parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic consists of fourteen studio albums, ten compilation albums, eleven video albums, two extended plays, forty-six singles and fifty-four music videos. Since the debut of his first comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums—more than any other comedy act in history—recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and performed more than 1,000 live shows. His works have earned him five Grammy Awards among sixteen nominations, along with several gold and platinum record certifications in the United States. Yankovic's first single, "My Bologna", was released in 1979, and he made his chart debut two years later with his second single, "Another One Rides the Bus", which peaked at number four on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. His self-titled debut studio album was released on Scotti Brothers Records in April 1983, peaking at number 16 on the US Billboard 200 and being certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Ricky", the album's third single, became his first single to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 64.

Billy Joel discography

American singer-songwriter Billy Joel has released thirteen studio albums, six live albums, sixteen compilation albums, ten video albums, sixty-one singles, three promotional singles and forty-five music videos.

Honesty (Billy Joel song) 1979 single by Billy Joel

"Honesty" is a song by American singer and songwriter Billy Joel. Columbia Records released the song as the third single from his sixth studio album 52nd Street (1978) in 1979. "Honesty" was solely written by Joel, while production was handled by Phil Ramone. The song was not included on any of Joel's US-released compilation packages; however, it appears on the Dutch and Japanese editions of Greatest Hits Volume 2, replacing "Don't Ask Me Why" (1980). "Honesty" is a piano ballad that talks about the inherent lack of shame.

You May Be Right (song) 1980 single by Billy Joel

"You May Be Right" is a single written and performed by rock singer Billy Joel from his 1980 album Glass Houses. The song reached #7 on the US charts and #6 in Canada. It failed to chart, however, in the UK. This is unlike his preceding and succeeding singles "All for Leyna" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me". The Japanese single features "Close to the Borderline" as a B-side.

Dont Ask Me Why (Billy Joel song) 1980 single by Billy Joel

"Don't Ask Me Why" is a Billy Joel song released in 1980. The track contains all acoustic and Latin percussion instruments performing in an Afro-Cuban rhythmic style. An eclectic, instrumental "Latin Ballroom" piano solo, played over the bridge section after the second verse, is also featured in part of the song; Joel states that the mix for the midsection includes "fifteen pianos overdubbed on top of each other." The song spent two weeks at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Oh, Pretty Woman American single

"Oh, Pretty Woman" or "Pretty Woman" is a song recorded by Roy Orbison, written by Orbison and Bill Dees. It was released as a single in August, 1964 on Monument Records and spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 from September 26, 1964, the second single by Orbison to top the US charts. It was also Orbison's third single to top the UK Singles Chart.

Hey Girl (Freddie Scott song)

"Hey Girl" is a song written and composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It first became a popular Top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in August, 1963 when recorded by Freddie Scott. Donny Osmond took the song back to the Billboard top ten chart with his cover in 1971. There have also been many other cover versions of this song, including a cover by Billy Joel in 1997.

With You Im Born Again 1979 single by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright

"With You I'm Born Again" is a 1979 duet written by Carol Connors and David Shire that originated on the soundtrack of the 1979 motion picture Fast Break. It was performed by Motown recording artists Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright and became an international hit for the duo, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK singles chart.


  1. Thomas, Stephen. "Glass Houses - Billy Joel". AllMusic . Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  2. Brusie, David (October 28, 2014). "With Glass Houses, Billy Joel attempted to overhaul his image". The A.V. Club . Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. 1 2
  4. "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA.
  5. Collar, Matt. "Drake Bell - Ready Steady Go! Review". Allmusic. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  6. "Review: Billy Joel — It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (PDF). Billboard . 85 (20). 17 May 1980. p. 68. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved 31 May 2020 via American Radio History.
  7. InfoDisc, Daniel Lesueur, Dominic Durand, Lesueur. "InfoDisc : Bilan des Ventes par Artiste". Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2016-10-16.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – It's Still Rock and Roll to Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  9. "Canadian 1980 Top 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  10. "Top 100 Hits of 1980/Top 100 Songs of 1980". Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  11. "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. "Juno Album, Singles Data" (PDF). Billboard . January 24, 1981. p. 102. Retrieved March 2, 2021 via World Radio History.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. "American single certifications – Billy Joel – It's Still Rock 'N' Roll To Me". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved March 2, 2021.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  14. "Weird Al Yankovic - It's Still Billy Joel To Me". Paste Magazine. 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2019-12-18.