Elton John vs. Billy Joel: Who is the best Piano man?

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Difference between Elton John and Billy Joel

There has always been dispute over who is the real piano man, is it Elton John or Billy Joel? The answer really depends on who the person talks to, either a John or Joel fan. Those that are new to the music world, probably don't have much knowledge of Elton John and Billy Joel and they may wonder exactly what is different about these two people. The two differ in many categories, such as the antics that they used on stage, the stages of their lives in which depression was displayed and the lyrics of their music.

Elton John
Billy Joel

On Stage Antics

Both singers are known to put on a show that most people do not forget. However, they do this in very diverse ways. John Elton is known for his flashy outfits that he comes out on stage with, including outfits that are flashy with glitter and feathers. He even includes hats and sunglasses in his outfits. Billy Joel on the other hand was also known for what he did on stage. However, it did not involve wearing outfits that would make any man scream, but instead, Joel would take the time at the end of his concert to rip up the newspapers and magazines that were tarnishing his name and reputation.

Depression

Both singers had serious bouts of depression, but the ways in which they dealt with this depression is very different. Elton John started dealing with his depression through the use of illegal drugs and drinking in order to deal better. He was known for his temper tantrums that would take place before or after shows against those that worked for him, thus he did get a reputation as being somewhat of a ‘Madonna’ during this time. Joel also dealt with his depression through the use of alcohol. However, Joel instead of taking his depression and anger out on those around him, instead chose on many occasions, to drive his car into things including a persons living room during one episode.

Lyrics

The lyrics of both men’s music are something that most people debate to this day. When listening to John's lyrics, many of the lyrics point to his sexuality that he later revealed to the world. In Joel's lyrics, people were amazed at how he would describe many things and it turns out that all those times of making fun of people came back to bite Joel, when he turned out to be a balding man, those of which he constantly made fun of.

Similarities and Differences

  • Elton John and Billy Joel are two of music's legends who still perform on rare occasions today. However, the two are not as similar as people would have thought.
  • On stage both singers were known to make sure that people knew that they were there. However, they did this in different ways. Elton John used costumes and accessories to make a statement, while Billy Joel used the end of his concert to let the media know how he really felt about what they wrote about him.
  • Both artists dealt with depression, however they way that they shown their depression were in completely different ways. Elton John treated those around him like he was a spoiled princess, while Billy Joel drove his car into homes and objects.
  • Both men used lyrics to express their feelings. Elton John let his sexuality be known, while Joel had his feelings towards others come back and bite him while he became those that he made fun of.

 
 

Discuss It: comments 2

  • Guest
  • David Holland wrote on April 2011

I think a clarification needs to be made. Whereas Billy Joel writes all lyrics and music in his songs, Elton John writes the music to Bernie Taupin's lyrics.

Elton has never written lyrics. Every Elton John song (except instrumentals) will read "Written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin", or "Elton John & Tim Rice" for things like the Lion King. Occasionally he works with other lyricists, so unlike Billy, Elton does not write lyrics.

  • Guest
  • M.E. wrote on July 2016

I think Joel's faster songs are generally better than John's, but John's slower songs are generally better than Joel's.

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