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Steve Peake

This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Billy Joel's "Sometimes a Fantasy"

By December 27, 2006

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d31182g8ep7.jpgEven if Billy Joel's attempts at rocking out can never quite hide his pop leanings, and even if the closest he can get to tough and threatening is sounding a bit like a '50s greaser, this tune from 1980's Glass Houses stands clearly as one of his finest rock efforts over his long career. Power chords have rarely found their way into Joel's tuneful, typically keyboard-driven pop, but on "Sometimes a Fantasy," he effectively combines such a driving sound with an affected, angry vocal delivery, and the result is an interesting take on the new wave exploding around him at the time. And although the song sometimes sounds like Joel is trying too hard to prove his rock chops and pedigree, the track certainly deserved a far better pop fate than reaching a mere No. 36 on the Billboard charts. After all, the Top 10 hit "You May Be Right" is hokier and not as interesting musically. Still, I'm sure Joel still weeps into his pile of money all these years later over this one of his very few songs that didn't become a monster hit.

Album Cover Photo Courtesy of Columbia Records

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