30 Day Music Challenge Day 16: A childhood favourite I still listen to

For this one, I’m going to pick a particular album, by an artist who I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet in this challenge. That album is River of Dreams by Billy Joel.

River of Dreams was Billy Joel’s final pop music album, released in 1993 after over 20 years of pop hits all over the world (it wasn’t his final album altogether though – he would release a classical album a few years later, and in recent years he has been releasing live albums from recent tours). My dad bought this album when it came out (or roughly about then), and I would have only been about 7 years old at the time. I remember hearing the album a lot then, and I must confess I still listen to it at lot now, even though I now own all of his other albums, too.

Interestingly enough, recently in an interview Billy himself admitted that this was one of his two favourite albums (the other being 1981’s The Nylon Curtain). He also discussed how he knew this would be his last album, with the final song “Famous Last Words” being his way of saying that he was calling it quits in terms of songwriting, that he had given it everything he had to give and felt now was a good time to go. And although there are many great songwriters who go on for decades, there are definitely a lot who don’t seem to know when to stop, so it’s kind of nice to hear of one who is just being honest with themselves.

For me, this album just captures so much of who Billy Joel is and was as a musician – it really is only the sort of album one can make after the sort of career he had, with that kind of experience. It has the pop songs, it has the ballads, it has the huge soul numbers, it even has a couple of funkier songs on it. If you have never heard this album in full, you are missing out in my opinion.

The song I have decided to include is the title track, “The River of Dreams”:

11 thoughts on “30 Day Music Challenge Day 16: A childhood favourite I still listen to

  1. Brilliant choice. I love this album. 🙂
    It’s very hard not to like a Billy Joel album, actually. There’s something so cheeky, yet so likable about his music!

  2. Familiar words but unfamiliar tune. Was it remade for Lion King? I like this version. It has more energy than the one I’m thinking of. I do like Billy Joel’s music. I might just have to run out and get this album! 🙂

    • You know, for ages I thought it was remade for Lion King too, but I watched that not too long ago and don’t remember hearing that song – it just has that feel that the LK soundtrack had, I guess. But yes, this is a great album, definitely one of his best. 🙂

  3. Pingback: 30 Day Music Challenge – The Beginning! | wantoncreation

    • Ahhh awesome to know! 🙂 It’s always fun to find people with similar music tastes, or tastes in anything really. I agree, this is one of his best, and apparently one of his favourites too (alongside The Nylon Curtain (did I mention that in this blog post? I should go back and look but…ehhh, whatever haha)).

      • I agree 🙂

        Just from a listeners perspective, it’s hard not to see how it’s one of his favorites as well. The great thing about Billy Joel is that he puts so much of himself in his music, it’s hard not to see him having a lot of fun with this album.

        • Yeah, he really does put himself into his music, and this album really summed up where he was at that point with his career. It’s this odd clash of everything he had been up to then, and this knowledge (for him) that this album was it, he was going to stop here while it was still good and while he was still enjoying it. 🙂

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