That's Not Her Style

Album: Storm Front (1989)
Charted: 97 77
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Songfacts®:

  • Ever since they got together in the mid-'80s, Billy Joel and his wife Christie Brinkley were fodder for tabloids who couldn't get enough of the rock star and the supermodel. When they weren't making Beauty and the Beast jabs about the physically incongruent pairing, the rags were slinging mud at Brinkley.

    Joel wrote "That's Not Her Style," the opening track from his 11th studio album, Storm Front, to refute over-the-top rumors about his wife's supposed infidelities and plastic surgeries. He told Rolling Stone, "I've learned to kind of laugh at a lot of tabloid stuff. But I have my forum, too, to reintroduce myself, to say, 'Hello, this is what you've read. Let me just tell you what's really going on."
  • When asked if the song might draw even more attention to the tabloid gossip, Joel responded: "That's a dilemma for me, because no one knew the other woman I was married to. So I could write 'Just The Way You Are' and other songs and people could identify with it. With Christie, if I write a love song about a woman or if I write anything about a woman, people assume I'm writing about her. And I know if it were me listening, I'd be going, 'God, there's that jerk singing about his beautiful supermodel wife again. I'm so sick of reading about the two of them. Screw him.' But I also know that a lot of great artists - Picasso, Chopin, others - used the women they loved as their muse, to represent women in general. So I'm in good company."
  • The single's cover art shows a naked woman, photographed from behind, sitting on a chair with Joel posing next to her. Well, she's not completely in the buff: She's wearing high heels. That's the image Joel was greeted with when he begrudgingly arrived at the photo shoot. He famously hates being photographed ("I should be heard and not seen," he says) but didn't mind hanging out with a nude model for eight hours.

    He told SiriusXM in 2016: "This poor girl had to put up with me ogling her - but obviously she liked being on camera, I didn't. But I completely forgot about the camera, because I was focused on the girl, so it worked."
  • This, along with "Storm Front," features backing vocals from Richard Marx. To return the favor, Joel played piano on Marx's "I Get No Sleep" from his 1991 Rush Street album.

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