YMMV: Billy Joel

  • Critical Dissonance: He's never been a critical favorite, but is still a major star.
  • Covered Up: "Shameless" and "To Make You Feel My Love" are both more famous through their covers by Garth Brooks.
    • "To Make You Feel My Love" wasn't even a Joel original- it was written and first performed by Bob Dylan... meaning that Joel was on both ends of this trope with the same song.
  • Despair Event Horizon: From "Piano Man": "'Bill, I believe this is killing me', as the smile ran away from his face..."
  • Ear Worm: "We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning..." Even worse if you know the lyrics.
    • "Pressure", "Allentown", "Uptown Girl", "Tell Her About It", "My Life", "Big Shot", "Piano Man", "Just The Way You Are", "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me"—-he is a king of ear worm-writers.
    • No mention of I Go To Extremes? That sound is mindblowingly catchy.
    • "Only the Good Die Young" is one of the catchiest songs of all time.
    • "Only Human (Second Wind)" is another. Try getting that synth out of your head. I dare you!
  • Growing the Beard: His 1973 album, Piano Man, containing such classics as "Captain Jack", "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" and of course "Piano Man".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)" is about the violent destruction of New York, despite being written before 9/11/2001. Joel sang the song at a number of 9/11 tribute concerts to defy the trope.
    "I wrote that song 25 years ago, I thought it was gonna be a science fiction song... I never thought it would actually happen. But unlike the end of that song, we ain't going nowhere!"
    (Thunderous applause)
    • More recently he sang it again at an NBC benefit concert telethon for victims of Hurricane Sandy. He even changed one line of lyrics to reference the serious damage sustained by Staten Island in the storm.
  • Ho Yay: Billy observes that there is a lot of it in the shower scenes in his "Allentown" video, something he didn't notice at the time.
  • Magnum Opus: His 1977 album The Stranger.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "We Didn't Start The Fire" tends to be parodied quite a bit on the internet.
    • There are tons of YouTube videos of pianists doing their rendition of the "Prelude" to "Angry Young Man".
  • Narm Charm / Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The video for "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" is corny beyond all belief, but doesn't detract from the song's message.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The video for "Pressure".
  • Painful Rhyme: "Uptown Girl" features the world/girl combination.
    • Possibly justified since it's on an album that's a pastiche of 50s and 60s music styles, when that word combination ran rampant.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • "Movin' Out" is a mostly harmless song, but the sound effects of screeching tires can be heard in the middle of the song... which is not exactly a kind thing for drivers to hear on the radio.
    • Discussed in "Pressure".
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "Second Wind", both the song and the video, are pretty obvious and perhaps cheesy about teen suicide, but that doesn't make them any less powerful.
  • Squick: The "instant pleasuredome" line in "You're My Home."
    • "Captain Jack" counts as well.
  • Tear Jerker: If you live in New York—or really anywhere in the New York metro area—then "Miami 2017 (I've Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)" can definitely be this.
    • The same can be said about "New York State Of Mind."
  • Unintentional Period Piece: "Big Shot" sings about attending hot spots like Elaine's (it closed in 2011) and wearing Halston original dresses (Haltson died in 1990).