♫ It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me ♫ (Redux)

I played this back in 2019 and tonight I’m playing it again … just because I wanted to!  Yes, I know, I have a list as long as my arm of songs you guys have requested and I did look at the list tonight, but then … this one just popped into my head and …

Released in May 1980, this was one of Billy Joel’s most popular songs, and his first #1 hit on the Hot 100, spending two weeks at the top spot in July 1980. The single was certified Platinum, which at the time meant sales in excess of 2 million.

The song is a cynical look at the music industry as a publicist/manager begs the protagonist to remain hip for the younger crowd (“What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?” / “Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?”), and the protagonist’s refusal to change, claiming his music will remain relevant regardless of his appearance. The song was a reaction by Joel to the new music genres that were around in the late 1970s (punk, funk, new wave). It was inspired by Joel reading a review about a particular (unnamed) band, and realizing that he had no idea what their music sounded like.

I love the song, and especially love the saxaphone solo played by Richie Cannata.

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Billy Joel

What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing?
Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide?
Maybe I should buy some old tab collars?
Welcome back to the age of jive
Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey?
You can’t dress this trashy till you spend a lot of money
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?
Should I get a set of white wall tires?
Are you gonna cruise a miracle mile?
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby-blue Continental
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me

Oh, it doesn’t matter what they say in the papers
‘Cause it’s always been the same old scene
There’s a new band in town but you can’t get the sound
From a story in a magazine
Aimed at your average teen

How about a pair of pink sidewinders
And a bright orange pair of pants?
Well, you could really be a Beau Brummel, baby
If you just give it half a chance
Don’t waste your money on a new set of speakers
You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me


Ooh, what’s the matter with the crowd I’m seeing?
Don’t you know that they’re out of touch?
Well, should I try to be a straight-A student?
If you are then you think too much
Don’t you know about the new fashion, honey?
All you need are looks and a whole lotta money
It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways
It’s still rock and roll to me
Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound
Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me

Songwriters: Billy Joel
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

40 thoughts on “♫ It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me ♫ (Redux)

  1. Jill, great Billy Joel song. It has a nostalgic feel and is a precursor to “We didn’t start the fire.” We are huge Billy Joel fans here. Keith

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  2. A fun song, but I think he did better. Of his hit singles I prefer We Didn’t Start The Fire, but I had most of his albums and there are some great songs on those.


  3. His music and his success certainly proved his point 😇. I always felt though yhat he was rather versatile in the music he wrote.
    The husband got me headphones so now I can listen to whatever I want without disturbing his peace 🤣 but this one I might know by heart and I do not need to listen to it. Great song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just got new wireless headphones, too, and I LOVE them!!! I was tired of the earbuds that I kept having to connect and disconnect a dozen or more times a day. I agree with you about Billy Joel … he was a very versatile artist!


          • I don’t have any trouble getting them to stay in my ears, but I just don’t like them, and don’t like fighting the wire and untangling it every time I use them! Loving the wireless headphones!


            • I used to own a great pair of wired headphones for plugging directly into a stereo system. But I would have been in danger if they had been wireless. I loved them at high volume, which is why I have trouble hearing now. I admit it.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Another thing I love about the wireless ones is that I can get up, go to the kitchen or bathroom, and keep listening to whatever I was listening to! I’m near deaf, too, but not from loud music … I was born thus.


                • Mommy didn’t cook you right! — I got that from my step-daughter who was born with only a few stumps were her thumb and fingers should have been. She accused her mother of not cooking her right, despite the fact she was born some 32 days overdue. She finally popped out the day her mother was being driven to the hospital for a C-section. But 32 extra days of cooking was still not enough for her. To say she was born with a chip on her shoulder was just anstomically wrong. She was born without a middle finger, and she very badly wanted to give her mother that finger!

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            • Not sure if we share the same problem, Bee, but earbuds are not shaped or sized to fit in my ears and stay put. They are too big and too round. But even the earlier ones did not work. I no longer remember how they were shaped when they first came out, but they were just as useless. “Abnormal” people like us are not catered to. Which in truth is okay with ne, I hate being mistaken as normal.

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    • Same here … while I liked it okay, it wasn’t among my favourites. I think perhaps it grows on us as we grow older and find ourselves being the ones in the outdated clothing and driving the cars that are “out of style”. 👵 👴


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