Big Shot

Billy Joel

About Big Shot

"Big Shot" was the second hit single from Billy Joel's 1978 album 52nd Street. The song was released in early 1979, just as his other hit single from that same album, "'My Life", was peaking at #3. It would soon become his second top-twenty hit of 1979, peaking at #14. The song is superficially about the protagonist mocking a woman with a severe hangover for her intoxicated escapades around town, making numerous social and verbal faux pas while high on alcohol and drugs ("But now you just can't remember / All the things you said / And you're not sure you want to know / I'll give you one hint, honey / You sure did put on a show!") The song makes late 1970s cultural references to such nouveau riche fads as Elaine's restaurant and Halston. At one point, Joel said in an interview that the song was actually about himself (that he was the one who "had to be a big shot".) A rumor that the song was based on a bad date with Bianca Jagger, Mick Jagger's first wife, is up for debate. In an interview in 2006, Billy Joel said, "I read that the song 'Big Shot' is said to be about a date I had with Bianca Jagger. I never had a date with Bianca Jagger." But in an interview with Howard Stern on November 16, 2010, Joel admitted that the song was written after having dinner with Mick and Bianca Jagger. Joel told Stern that while writing the lyrics to "Big Shot," he was thinking of Mick singing the song to Bianca. 


Year:
1992
213 Views
Playlists:
#1

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You went uptown riding in your limousine
In your fine Park Avenue clothes
You had the Dom Perignon in your hand
And the spoon up your nose
And when you wake up in the morning
With your head on fire
And your eyes too bloody to see
Go on and cry in your coffee
But don't come bitchin' to me

Because you had to be a big shot, didn't you
You had to open up your mouth
You had to be a big shot, didn't you
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
You know what everything's about
You and to have a white hot spotlight
You had to be a big shot last night

They were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people you knew at Elaine's
And the story of your latest success
Kept 'em so entertained
But now you just can't remember
All the things you said
And you're not sure you want to know
I'll give you one hint, honey
You sure did put on a show

Yes, yes, you had to be a big shot, didn't you
You had to prove it to the crowd
You had to be a big shot, didn't you
All your friends were so knocked out
You hand to the last word, last night
You're so much fun to be around
You had to have the front page, bold type
You had to be a big shot last night

Well, it's no big sin to stick your two cents in
If you know when to leave it alone
But you went over the line
You couldn't see it was time to go home
No, no, no, no, no, no, you had to be a big shot, didn't you
You had to open up your mouth
You had to be a big shot, didn't you
All your friends were so knocked out
You had to have the last word, last night
So much fun to be around
You had to have a white hot spotlight
You had to be a big shot last night

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Billy Joel

William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man," in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. He also has the third best-selling album in the United States with his Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2. more »

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Written by: BILLY JOEL

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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