Music News

Billy Joel and Elton John

Before piano rock became all the rage on pop radio in the last decade, Billy Joel and Elton John had already created the template. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the music of Joel and John was so pervasive on radio and anywhere else music could be heard that you'd have to have been exiled somewhere remote sans electricity to have avoided hearing one of their songs. What is often forgotten is that both men wrote timeless music that was as palatable to the masses as it was artistically respectable. The lyrics of Billy Joel and Elton John (or, rather, Bernie Taupin) were, more often than not, eloquent and perceptive evocations of common human experiences. They told beautifully vivid stories that have become part of the cultural lexicon of Western civilization, and they continue to do so today.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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