By 1984, Billy Joel was known for changing styles from album to album. What’s less recognized was how often he changed voices. And, one night that year in England, those voices were all on display.
Close listening to any Billy Joel record reveals a variety of tones, accents, and affectations in the singing. Add to that the many impressions he’s done over the years in interviews and concerts.
Many of them were on display, and front and center, when BIlly and the band took the stage at Wembley Arena in June of 1984. Deep into the An Innocent Man tour, the concert was simulcast on radio and television in Europe.
As a result of it being broadcast, the mix is often more dry and a little muted with the singing more prominent than usual. At the same time, Billy seemed to be leaning into the many different vocal affectations more often than usual.
The concert itself is a great performance, with the band augmented by a horn section and a guest star and a baby on the way. But in particular, it’s an excellent showcase for Billy’s so-called rubber voice.
Join us, as we dig deep into Billy Joel at Wembley Arena in 1984.
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