Piano Man is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on November 9, 1973. Joel’s first recording with Columbia Records, Piano Man emerged from legal difficulties with his former label, Family Productions, and became his breakthrough album. However, the Family Productions print logo was used until 1986. The album did not get certified gold by the RIAA until 1975, but Joel only received $8000 in royalties (US$36,383 in 2017 dollars).
The single “Piano Man”, a fictionalized retelling of Joel’s experiences with people Joel met as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #4 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. “Travelin’ Prayer” and “Worse Comes to Worst” peaked at numbers 77 and 80 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively, while the album reached number 27 on the Billboard 200. (“Travelin’ Prayer” later earned Dolly Parton a Grammy Award nomination when she covered it for her 1999 album The Grass Is Blue.)