Retro of the Day: Billy Joel

Honesty” is a song by American singer-songwriter Billy JoelColumbia Recordsreleased the song as the third single from his sixth studio album 52nd Street(1978) in 1979. “Honesty” was solely written by Joel, while production was handled by Phil Ramone. The song was not included on any of Joel’s US-released compilation packages; however, it appears on the Dutch and Japanese editions of Greatest Hits Volume 2, replacing “Don’t Ask Me Why” (1980). “Honesty” is a piano ballad that talks about the inherent lack of shame.

 

 

The song received mostly positive reviews from music critics, who generally praised its lyrics and piano instrumentation. It also received comparisons to other songs by Joel. “Honesty” peaked at number twenty-four on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the album’s third consecutive top forty hit. It was certified gold by Recording Industry Association of Japan for ringtone download sales of over 100,000 units. Joel performed the song live several times with Elton Johnand later with Bryan Adams. “Honesty” has been covered and sampled by various artists, most notably by American R&B recording artist, Beyoncé Knowles.

 

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979)

Peak
position

Canadian Singles Chart[16]

16

Finnish Singles Chart[29]

29

France (French single)[30]

1

Italian Singles Chart[31]

36

Japan Oricon Singles Chart[32]

53

Netherlands (Single Top 100)[17]

31

New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[18]

38

South African Singles Chart[33]

8

US Billboard Hot 100[19]

24

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