Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11-6-12 The Obscure Richard Marx Song of the Day: Miami 2017

Obscure Song #13. Miami 2017

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"Miami 2017" is one of those songs BillY Joel fans might have heard, and even then, many of them not until 2001, when Joel performed the song live at the benefit concert played at Madison Square Gardens in the days after the Sept. 11 attack.  It was 20 years before that when Joel had released it on his Songs in the Attic, which was itself an album of more obscure stuff he'd performed live. 

To make it even more obscure, Marx's version was a bonus release off of Paid Vacation 1994 only on the Japanese and European versions. Hearing him talk about getting his copy of Glass Houses on vinyl, remembering how it smelled, back when you waited in line to buy a favorite artist's album and you took it home and holed up in your room and poured over the liner notes and shut the rest of the world out, reminded me how much things have changed in just our lifetimes. It's not the fall of NYC, but it's pretty amazing.

(Sidenote: Marx sang back up on Joel's Storm Front, both the title cut and "That's Not Her Style" and I will admit to trying to pick him out.)

If I ever get a chance to ask, I really want to know what appealed to him about this particular Joel song. If it were me, the first appeal is that impossibly catchy piano riff that opens and closes the song. The second, which I can't quite put my finger on, is, for lack of a better word, the tone, or the key, or ... something that makes this song stick in your head for hours. But as a story song about the collapse of NYC, told from a senior citizen's perspective who has retired to Miami, it's still a puzzling choice, especially for exclusive overseas bonus material. 

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