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EVERY Billboard #1 hit discussion thread 1958-Present

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by alphanguy, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. MongrelPiano

    MongrelPiano [INSERT COOL CUSTOM TITLE HERE]

    Location:
    USA
    Wow, he's clearly coming unhinged, isn't he...
     
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I like the song: granted it got old incredibly quickly and became almost unbelievably grating…and does sound a lot like a clumsy attempt to rewrite one of REM’s signature songs…and it does kind of go a little too eagerly for the cheesy nostalgic feels of the aging Forrest Gump gang…and….screw it, it sucks.

    But I like it.

    3/5
     
    Frank, Steve Mc, DesertHermit and 4 others like this.
  3. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    "I hate “We Didn’t Start The Fire” so much. I hate it with my whole being, my entire soul. I hear that nattering keyboard riff and those hyperactive bongos and “Harry Truman Doris Day,” and I become a different being. My blood becomes lava. My teeth become knives. In seconds, I could reduce a rhinoceros to ashen bone with the sheer acidity of my stomach bile. As a song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is a cursed and godforsaken work of torment, a towering abomination."

    Tell us how you really feel lol
     
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  4. MongrelPiano

    MongrelPiano [INSERT COOL CUSTOM TITLE HERE]

    Location:
    USA
    I'm sure he cranked "Afternoon Delight" on repeat after writing that to decompress. :p
     
  5. Cheevyjames

    Cheevyjames Forum Resident

    Location:
    Graham, NC
    Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire.

    I wonder if I'll be one of the few to say this, but I don't hate this song. Everything Billy Joel did is at least a tad cheesy so I'm not worried about that aspect of his music. This "listing" quality of this song strongly reminds me of REM's It's the End of the World as We Know It. I like the REM song a lot more, though. We Didn't Start the Fire is a nostalgia-fest and I remember at the time feeling like there was a lot of looking back to the 60's in US popular culture. The song and especially the video really hammer it over your head. So it's a list of historical people and events over the past 30 years before this came out. If this happened today, would he be able to get 4 minutes worth of cultural material since 1992? Things just changed so radically between the 50's and the 80's. It's been technology and the pandemic for us. As far as this song goes, it's a list with a "statement" in the chorus. It's a damn catchy song. I don't know if the bridge being essentially the same thing on top of different chords is a good move or a bad one. It basically amounts to a change and nothing else. The chorus hook is extremely memorable, but that shouldn't surprise since Billy Joel had a knack for writing things that get stuck in your head. I can stand to hear this one every few years or so, but even when it was new it didn't really move me. It's catchy and singable, but also if you go any deeper than "nostalgia-fest" it's confusing as to what he's actually trying to say. We're actively trying to put out the fire? What is the fire? I dunno. REM did it better, all around. This one's not completely horrible, though.
     
  6. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I actually think the last 30 years have been totally momentous, as momentous as ‘50-80. Don’t make me write a sequel.
     
  7. Reckoner

    Reckoner Made in Canada

    We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel

    At this time I was in my very brief cassette single days and my girlfriend and I would occasionally pick them up for each other as little thoughtful gifts. She knew that I enjoyed this song, so one day I came out of work to find she had bought it for me and left it on the front seat. So, I have a strong nostalgic factor for this track and I recall it made me ask my Greatest Generation (too old for a boomer) parents about the historical references. I learned a little....I guess that's a bonus?
    4/5
     
  8. KJTC

    KJTC Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    My parents loved this song. Totally targeted their generation.
     
  9. Hoover Factory

    Hoover Factory Old Dude Who Knows Things

    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    We Didn’t Start the Fire

    It seems a lot of people hate this, including Billy Joel. I’m in the minority - I like it and I like it a lot. Maybe it’s because I’m a history buff; maybe because I can remember many of the events described in the song; or maybe I just have lousy taste in music. :D
     
  10. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    We Didn’t Start The Fire

    Needs more bongos
     
  11. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Yeah, I'm glad he pulled the plug when he did.
     
  12. DesertHermit

    DesertHermit Now an UrbanHermit

    We Didn’t Start The Fire - Billy Joel
    I’m with the minority on this one. I really liked it when it was first released and I still like it now. My father was the big Billy Joel fan in our house and I loved asking him to explain the references throughout the song that I didn’t understand. Being a bit of a sad twat, I also enjoyed going and looking many of these things up in the library (in actual books!) to learn more about them. Besides, having a dad who would automatically purchase any new Joel album meant I could save my hard earned dosh for other records! :winkgrin:
     
  13. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled meeeeee!

    Location:
    United States
    The song was fun for the first few listens. I'm a boomer so it kind of speaks to me, but the other cuts on the album are better.
     
  14. torcan

    torcan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    When this song first came out I really didn't like it that much - but it was played on the radio constantly. Once I realized what the song was trying to do, I listened more closely when it came up and started liking it enough to include it on my year-end top 100 for 1989, but rather low on the list. In a way it's kind of cute, but nothing I'd go out of my way to listen to. I have the 45 and play it once every few years. I like the follow-up I Go To Extremes better.
     
    DesertHermit and pablo fanques like this.
  15. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    The song is certainly ripe for parody, I've actually written a few myself for my radio shows over the years. I remember at the time feeling that the 80's got short shrift, like there should have been a 12 inch mix that had another verse or two
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 11:02 PM
  16. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

    We Didn't Start The Fire - Billy Joel
    [​IMG]
    I was going to say "I guess I'm in the minority in liking this...," but now that I've taken my seat to write a post it doesn't seem to be minority opinion any more.

    For me, Billy Joel is like comfort food - doesn't really satisfy but makes me feel OK about things. I can't explain it. As Classic Rock era musicians go I know relatively little about him and I almost never think about his music when I'm not listening to it, but at the same time I feel like I'm a fan, and whenever a song of his comes on I'm really into it. In my youth he was a big part of my LP "collection" (as it were - I only owned a handful of albums when vinyl was a thing). Never felt passionately about any of it, but somehow I bought him more than I bought most other artists.

    So it's not the greatest song and he's not my favorite artist, but it still works for me like most of his stuff does.

    I took off a star because of the generationally self-important notion that history was some dumpster fire his "me generation" was somehow uniquely qualified to extinguish. You didn't storm the beaches of Normandy, but you watched a lot of stuff happen on TV, so great job I guess Firefighter Billy.
     
  17. Yam Graham

    Yam Graham Senior Member

    Location:
    West Midlands,UK.
    On the subject of Joel's supposed loveletter to his generation...Baby Boomers...who got to define the start dates, cut off dates.
    This Baby Boomer, Generation X and on always intrigues me.
     
    DesertHermit likes this.
  18. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    The start dates and cut off dates are not generally well defined (some people will irately insist that on 1964 or 1965, others 1960, etc.) and are the subject to debate.

    The generational classification doesn't apply nearly as neatly in my country, (though there is a marked difference between Gen Z and Millennials due to high-speed, faster internet in the last two decades, for sure) but in America people really need these classifications, sub classifications and sub-sub-classifications of other humans in order to function in a complex society; it's maybe comparable to national tropes and stereotypes in Europe, which are actually remarkably well-defined for the major countries. I always wonder how countries like China do this; because we aren't bombarded by their culture, we don't know.
     
  19. Yam Graham

    Yam Graham Senior Member

    Location:
    West Midlands,UK.
    It's a good job I find these sort of things nonsense otherwise I'd be in a permanent state of not knowing what I am.
    Born in 1963.
     
    DesertHermit and Lance LaSalle like this.
  20. Looking For Today

    Looking For Today Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California
    Remember not being fond of it when it came out. Still not fond of it. But then again what do i know i liked You're Only Human (Second Wind) which nobody liked really did they?
     
  21. DesertHermit

    DesertHermit Now an UrbanHermit

    I despise the obsession with generational stereotyping. For me it is an almost uniquely American phenomenon designed to classify and stratify so as to market. I find it all strangely capitalist and ultimately boring.
     
    Lance LaSalle and Yam Graham like this.
  22. Yam Graham

    Yam Graham Senior Member

    Location:
    West Midlands,UK.
    Its amusing and annoying at the same time.
    Anyways....I'm a Boomer / Gen X depending on who's in charge that day!!!!
     
    DesertHermit likes this.
  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    It comes up here in other ways: witness the sheepish exclamations of "I liked them even though they were technically a girl's band" or whatever that we see on this thread. It's gotten worse from what it was in the eighties. Nowadays, one can tell a person's political persuasion and beliefs to the nth degree based on their haircut, the car they drive, the food they choose to eat, the books they read, the TV they watch, the websites they visit.

    This cultural trait of putting people in boxes has been seized by modern social media, who use these boxes to form a specific profile to sell to advetisers to more effectively market to them. The human soul becomes a simplified, categorizable thing and the process is further refined by these social media profiles, as humans tend to conform to becoming what they're told they are (even if the instruction is implicit rather than explicit.)

    The digitization of the human soul. A horrible cancer on the psyche of the world.
     
  24. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    I was born in 1961. We're kind of the Boomer's little brothers.

    They made that generation too damn long. I don't feel I'm the same generation as someone born in 1946. My wife's parents are Boomers born in 1949 and 1951. :laugh:
     
  25. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled meeeeee!

    Location:
    United States
    I only feel like i'm into the boomer generation because I had older brothers and sisters who were born in the mid 40s, and I latched onto the music very early in my life. Like you, I fall into the younger half of the boomers. We're kind of the forgotten boomers. We're in that no-man's land of boomerhood and Gen-X hell. But, I don't much relate to Gen-X.
     

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