Song Of The Day 5/28/2014: Billy Joel vs. Jay-Z - "Big Shot Pimpin'" (Brat)


M*A*S*H*U*P Week: The unthinkable has happened: I've found a way to get Billy Joel up on Song Of The Day with none of the appurtenant guilt. I'd go into my long, very mixed emotional history with The Man Of Piano but most of my longtime acquaintances are overly familiar with it, quite aware that whatever level of esteem I have for him tends to be in and of the moment. Right now it's neutral-positive. I played Turnstiles the other night, so if I'm making it through entire albums of his, he gets the points. But that's neither here nor there nor especially rock and roll to me.

"Big Shot" is one of Joel's well-researched rock attempts, just outside the inner sanctum of his Top 10 successes, probably not one of the aeries that chime through your wood-paneled memories when his name is sounded. You could accuse it of being a bit preening, which is why mixing it up with Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" makes both thematic and reconstructive sense. Now it's got some testosterone to it, and a gently Middle Eastern gait.

I thought of some other title-driven combination possibilities that might man up some of Joel's past works:

  • "Just the Way You Are" vs. "Just Like Candy" by Jesus & Mary Chain
  • "Uptown Girl" vs. "Uptown" by Prince
  • "Only The Good Die Young" vs. "Die Young" by Ke$ha
  • "An Innocent Man" vs. "No One Is Innocent" by the Sex Pistols
  • "We Didn't Start The Fire" vs. a piping hot cauldron of molten lava

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