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Weekend Earworms: Moving Sucks. Billy Joel Doesn’t.

Weekend Earworms: Moving Sucks. Billy Joel Doesn’t.

An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!

As I write these first few words it is 11:50pm and I have a new hatred for cardboard boxes and stretch wrap. I’m saying goodbye to the luxurious tiny excuse for an apartment I have now and saying hello to a slightly larger one with no laundry that’s right next to a train line. While that might seem like a raw deal, my new place is literally next door to one of my favorite Chicago pizza places. So while it’ll be loud and I’ll have to hit the laundromat every now and again, the bright side is that I’ll soon be – and I’m think I’m using the correct technical term here -“Pizza Rich.”

But in the midst of moving, missing out on work, and wondering how I’ve collected so much useless shit in this apartment, the one thing that has saved my sanity while packing is all of the beer has been music. I’ve had the first song stuck in my head all week for obvious reasons and I think most would agree, falling down a rabbit hole of Billy Joel’s discography is never a bad thing.

“Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”

Technically a song about being upset at anyone wasting their time “movin’ up” in The Jeffersons‘ sense of the words, I think Mr. Joel would have written the song differently had he known one could become “Pizza Rich” like me. Most are familiar with the album version of the tune, this version from BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test (and any song from that performance) is just phenomenal.

Who was it that said “Billy Joel songs are like Lays potato chips because you can’t just have one”? Was it no one? Am I the first to make that sort of lazy and dated reference? Alright, cool. Well, it’s true. I don’t think it’s possible to hear one Billy Joel song and think “Yeah, that’s enough.”

“The Longest Time”

The thing that sticks with me about this song, and I’m sure as it does with everyone else, is how incredible the vocals are in it. It’s fairly common knowledge by now that Joel recorded each harmony himself so the layering of all of them together sounds amazing. Though I bet when this song came out, people’s heads exploded when they learned something like that could be done.

“Tell Her About It”

I know that there is no way the songs that I’ve chosen today will appease everyone out there. In fact, they barely appease me considering the massive amount of hits Billy Joel has had. But I wanted to stay away from more somber tracks like “Piano Man” or “Just the Way You Are”. Additionally, I didn’t want to go with the awesome yet low-hanging upbeat fruit of “Big Shot” or “We Didn’t Start The Fire“. I find those to be generally overplayed but “Tell Her About It” hits a sweet spot of underplayed and upbeat. That, and I didn’t want to push “River of Dreams” on anyone despite fond memories of singing along to it in the car with my mom when I was 10. Also, Rodney Dangerfield is in the video above for what I can only assume are “80s Reasons.” Hey, speaking of weird cameos in Billy Joel videos…

“You’re Only Human (Second Wind)”

Often forgotten about, this song actually peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1985. It’s a tune about second chances and a video where a magical Billy Joel talks sings a kid off the ledge of a bridge by showing him how his life could turn out a la It’s A Wonderful Life tactics. Really though, this video is here for one thing and one thing only: Mythbuster Adam Savage was in it.


Oddly enough, the song has actually worked on me and I have actually found my second wind in finishing packing. IMA BE PIZZA RICH, BEEYOTCHES!!!

What are your favorite Billy Joel songs? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


Images: Billy Joel

Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. Be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)

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