I Go to Extremes (1989) – Billy Joel

Too high or too low there ain’t no in-betweens

One of my best friends at school Gary did a caricature of my family which resides in my ‘reflection‘ menu, and he was a huge Billy Joel fan. We used to have it out, because my musical tastes were oriented towards Elton John and his Billy. I remember when Elton John’s song ‘Kiss the Bride‘ came out and he would chastise me singing the chorus, ‘I want to kiss the bridegroom‘! Like his caricature, it was a pretty smart retort. So, I ended going with him to see Billy Joel’s concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

I like many of Joel’s songs including today’s track ‘I Go to Extremes‘. I’m stubborn and still wouldn’t put him in Elton John territory, but he had a massive impact on music especially in the late 80s / early 90’s. I always liked the manic-feel of ‘I Go To Extremes‘. I personally can relate a lot to it and the lyrics. He does piano interludes in there which just kicks arse. I don’t know why they didn’t put that same piano part after he sings ‘I Go to Extremes’. It’s a crazy song for crazy people and that sits fine with me.

It’s all or nothing at all
Darling I don’t know why I go to extremes
Sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I’m shot
Sometimes I don’t know how much more I’ve got
Maybe I’m headed over the hill
Maybe I’ve set myself up for the kill
Tell me how much do you think you can take

I Go To Extremes is the fourth track on Billy Joel’s 11th studio album, Storm Front (1989). It was released as the second single from the album in 1989.  The song was originally written as an apology to Joel’s wife at the time, Christie Brinkley who of course appeared in the original movie Vacation. The song is believed to be about Joel’s own lifestyle. It reached the top ten in the US at number six.  Dennis Hunt of The Los Angeles Times believed the song was the highlight of the album, saying that it was the only song that wasn’t “tainted by a social message.”

1. I go To Extremes – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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