In my quest to play piano I’ve had to dig deep into my record collection to find piano-based stuff. In many cases, I’ve had to dig deep into records I used to own and tonight it dawned on me that I could probably figure out some Billy Joel tunes. He’s a baritone like me (so I can actually sing ’em) and I used to have his Greatest Hits and I played the shit out it–though it’s more likely I taped it and played the shit out of the tape. Nobody seems to take Mr. Joel all the seriously these days but I grew up in the late 70’s/early 80’s period where he cranked out some tasty hit songs. I immediately dialed him up on YouTube and found that, like many smart artists, his entire video catalog is officially posted. My immediate pick to figure out was “Allentown” as I’d always liked the way the chords flowed. I listened and watched for a while and fumbled on my guitar and couldn’t quite keep up with what was going on, so I searched for someone else’s chords–and, like usual, found a page that was about 2/3 correct. It got me on the right track and I figured out everything that was incorrect and then I noticed at the top of the page it said:

“Have you seen a mistake? Has someone defaced this transcription? Help Lovebolts by editing it or reverting to an older version.”

So I clicked through and found that you could indeed do real editing to an existing chord page. I spent about a half hour combing over “Allentown,” making sure I caught every detail and fixed all the broken chords. You can view it here. I added a little note at the bottom that explains that Mr. Joel adds lots of notes to his chords, thus making it almost impossible to render this song accurately on an acoustic guitar. I was impressed by the ease by which I was able to fix everything and it made me wonder why more chord sites aren’t set up like this. I’ve done a few Kinks chord pages over the years and corrected many more and I love to lend my ear to the world in this way. As I’ve said before, I love searching for chords and coming across disturbingly accurate work.


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