"Prelude/Angry Young Man" is a song written by Billy Joel which appeared as the sixth song on the album Turnstiles in 1976. Live versions have been released as the second track of KOHЦEPT, the 11th track of the first disc of 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert, and the opening track on the first disc of 12 Gardens Live and Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert. It is also included in the Broadway show Movin' Out.
The instrumental "Prelude" lasts roughly a minute and 45 seconds, starting with a rapid-fire hammered piano riff on the middle-C piano key, joined by various instruments, swinging through styles such an Aaron Copland-styled ballad to funk to a Southwestern beat. To this day, Joel plays the fast-paced prelude himself, but early on he moved the song to the very beginning of the setlist, largely because the prelude section was easiest to manage during the adrenaline moments of starting a show, as opposed to being attempted after he'd already expended much of his energy for other songs.
It is then followed by "Angry Young Man", which paints a slightly sardonic picture of youthful, militant rebellion that is unflagging, trying to fight life's ills despite constant failure ("He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl / And he's always at home with his back to the wall / And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost / And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross / And he likes to be known as the angry young man") The song contrasts the angry youth with the protagonist's mature, world-weary outlook, which could possibly be seen as either be the same angry young man when he is older or somebody who was once felt as the angry young man currently does ("I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage / I found that just surviving was a noble fight / I once believed in causes too / I had my pointless point of view / And life went on no matter who was wrong or right".)
Despite never having been released as a single, "Prelude/Angry Young Man" has become a popular song among fans as well as a staple of live shows. "Prelude" was used as an opening theme for the German TV talk show Live (1988-1996); and also used as theme song for Grampian Television's summertime news magazine programme "Summer at Six" in the early 80's.
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Famous quotes containing the words man, young, angry and/or prelude:
“Yknow, George, I feel that in a small way were doing something important. Its satisfying a fundamental urge. Its deep in the race for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace. And were helping him get those things in our shabby little office.”
—Frances Goodrich (18911984)
“Much is made of the accelerating brutality of young peoples crimes, but rarely does our concern for dangerous children translate into concern for children in danger. We fail to make the connection between the use of force on children themselves, and violent antisocial behavior, or the connection between watching father batter mother and the child deducing a link between violence and masculinity.”
—Letty Cottin Pogrebin (20th century)
“I am absolutely sure that a lot of Daddy anger has more to do with unrealized dreams than with messy rooms. Trust me. Youre not really angry at your kids. Youre angry at somebody else, somebody who is a far less distinguished person than he dreamed of being.”
—Hugh ONeill (20th century)
“The less sophisticated of my forbears avoided foreigners at all costs, for the very good reason that, in their circles, speaking in tongues was commonly a prelude to snake handling. The more tolerant among us regarded foreign languages as a kind of speech impediment that could be overcome by willpower.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941)