Billy Joel – Scenes From An Italian Restaurant


Billy Joel – Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

Billy Joel “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” is a song from Billy Joel’s 1977 album The Stranger. Although never released as a single, it has become one of Joel’s most celebrated compositions among fans, appearing on most of his compilation albums. In an interview, Joel cites the second side of The Beatles album Abbey Road as one of its primary musical influences. The song is effectively a medley of three distinct pieces fused into one: “Italian Restaurant” begins as a gentle, melodic piano ballad, depicting a scene of two old classmates reuniting in an Italian restaurant; this segues into a triumphant and uptempo jazz-influenced section featuring a clarinet and saxophone solo, followed by a rock and roll section (which Joel calls “The Ballad of Brenda and Eddie”).

At 7 minutes and 37 seconds, it is the longest of Joel’s studio cuts.

The song has been highly acclaimed in retrospective reviews, with Scott Floman, music critic for Goldmine magazine, describing the song as “an epic multi-sectioned masterpiece which starts as a slow smoky ballad, builds up to a jaunty piano rocker with a New Orleans flavor that also shows off Joel’s knack for telling stories and creating rhymes, before finally returning to smoky ballad territory again.”
On May 6, 1977, before the song’s official release, Joel premiered it in a performance at C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University. Joel dedicated that performance to Christiano’s, a restaurant in the nearby hamlet of Syosset, which operated until February 2014. Billy Joel admitted, years later, that the shout out to the local restaurant was similar to shouting out “Yankees” at a Manhattan concert.[3]
After years of speculation about exactly which restaurant inspired the song, Joel stated in an interview included on 2008’s The Stranger 30th Anniversary Edition DVD that the song was written about Fontana di Trevi, a restaurant across from Carnegie Hall, which he frequented during a series of June 1977 concerts in Manhattan.

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From: Wikipedia

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