This is a terrific album and includes some of Billy Joel's best songs. Perhaps most notable (certainly one of our favourites) is the title track, about a man who plays piano at a bar and the people he sees there. The piano figures heavily not only in this song but throughout the album; the harmonica, banjo, sax, and organ are also put to good use on various tracks.
'Travelin' Prayer' is a prayer for a man's girlfriend to be all right whilst the man in her life isn't with her. There's a frantic beat to this song, a contrast to the idea of it being a prayer, which would normally be expected to be more sedate. But it works well, giving the impression that the man's prayer is a desperate one. Then there's 'Ain't No Crime,' a song about human nature; 'You're My Home,' a touching track about deep love; and 'Stop in Nevada,' told from the woman's point of view, about starting over.
The songs are strong, with a depth of emotion one likes to hear; the music is catchy, and Joel has a good voice.
Note: mild language and sex.
Favourite lyrics include: 'He say, Son can you play me a melody/I'm not really sure how it goes/But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete/When I wore a younger man's clothes' ('Piano Man'); 'Well he never traveled heavy/Yes he always rode alone,/And he soon put many older guns to shame/Well he never had a sweetheart/Though he finally found a home/Underneath the boothill grave that bears his name' ('The Ballad of Billy the Kid').
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!