Song of the Day, March 10: Sometimes A Fantasy by Billy Joel

joelfantasyToday’s song finds a well-known balladeer make a different approach pay off. By the time he released his finest album, 1980’s Glass Houses, Billy Joel was a bona fide star. A string of Top 20 hits from Top 5 albums established him as an accomplished singer of story songs and romantic ballads. His pop smarts and subtle rock edge were a perfect blend, but didn’t always result in critical acclaim.

Glass Houses responded to that situation brilliantly, with Joel exploring a range of styles from poppy punk to edgy new wave to urgent new takes on his pop traditions. One of the finest surprises was a Top 40 hit about phone sex. Sometimes A Fantasy is a charming wink-and-nod look at romantic frustration. Joel turns in a great vocal, keeping what could be a smarmy rant into something simmering. The result, expertly supported by his long-time band, is an unexpected moment in a strong catalog.

Enjoy this fun song today.

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