Music video by Billy Joel performing Piano Man. (C) 1985 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
"Piano Man" was Billy Joel's first major hit and his signature song. "Piano Man" was released as a single in November 1972 and has been on several albums.
"Piano Man" is a fictionalized retelling of real people Joel met during his days as a piano-lounge singer in Los Angeles, after the failure of his first album, Cold Spring Harbor. Joel's own personal feelings about this failure are expressed in the failed dreams of the characters in his song. At the time, Joel was trying to get out of a bad deal with the record company Family Productions, so, according to Joel, he was "hiding out" at the bar, performing under the name Bill Martin while Columbia Records tried to get him out of the deal.