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There really was an outlaw called Billy The Kid, but he wasn't from West Virginia, he didn't rob banks and he wasn't hanged. Joel explained in 1975 to ZigZag: "Basically it was an experiment with an impressionist type of lyric. It was historically totally inaccurate as a story, it wasn't supposed to be listened to as a story. I like writing more soundtrack type things, and I wanted to try something musical. I wrote that song all in one day – it was kind of a spoof on the rock-star type of thing."
Joel paid special attention to the arrangement on this song, which helped it capture the Old West vibe. Said Joel: "I wanted it to sound like The Magnificent Seven. Jimmie Haskell wrote it and conducted the string section, but I told him what I wanted. I worked pretty closely with the arrangements on the Cold Spring Harbour album. It was too much on that."
A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."
Al Jourgensen of Ministry
In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.
You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound
, plus a collection of other classics for the likes of Aftershock, Ali and Goodfellaz.