Some hit songs with staying power are well-known and loved as classics. And sometimes those hit songs sounded quite different in their early versions. I've posted examples before, like Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" before the sax when it sounded more like a lounge tune, Blondie's "Heart of Glass" in its original style, and now I found the way Billy Joel's original version of "Only the Good Die Young" sounded... as a reggae tune.
The song, written by Joel and included on his 1977 album The Stranger, had a reggae groove to it. Turns out drummer Liberty DeVitto hated the reggae beat, allegedly telling Joel, "I friggin' hate Reggae! The closest you've been to Jamaica was when you changed trains in Queens!"
Whether that quote is true or not, DeVitto did convince Joel to move the song in a different direction, and the version they went became a big hit that you'll still hear on the radio. But it's always wild to hear the original version, as if you were in an alternate universe. Let's check it out, mon!
And for comparison, here's the final version you know and love: