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This song would be considered "next-to" a cappella - it contains only one actual instrument, that being a bass guitar. Everything else is voice, finger snaps and claps.
The song is a tribute to the Doo-Wop sounds of the '50s that Joel loved, complete with lyrics about being crazy in love with a girl. The song began, however, as a classical piano piece Joel was working on, which is also how is song "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
" came about.
Joel did all the vocal tracks himself, which required him to cover a lot of range. The original plan was to bring in a vocal group to sing it with him, but that didn't work out. Joel's producer Phil Ramone told Billy that their best option was for him to do it all himself.
On the TV show Family Guy, this song was used in a flashback to discuss the invention of singing. It showed several cavemen sitting around grunting, until they all spontaneously break out into this song. (thanks, Bert - Pueblo, NM)
The song got a lot of airplay in Philadelphia, where Joel was always a very popular artist. It was even played on Soul stations there, and the song became a favorite of the guys who would later form the vocal group Boyz II Men. When Howard Stern hosted a Billy Joel town hall special in 2014, Boyz II Men performed this song. They explained that when they were going to high school, most of the selections for acapella groups were much older songs, but this one was "the most contemporary song we could sing and still be cool."
Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.
Penny Ford of Snap!
The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.
The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind
, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish
and Siamese Dream