As one of the most iconic and beloved artists of all time, Billy Joel’s life story is ripe for exploration through documentary filmmaking. His illustrious career has spanned decades, from his early days in a piano bar on Long Island to his current status as an international music superstar. Documentaries about him offer a unique insight into this larger-than-life personality, providing fascinating glimpses into his creative process, personal life, and the struggles and successes that have made him who he is today. Here are some of the best documentaries about Billy Joel’s life and career that you won’t want to miss.
1. Billy Joel – Biography Documentary
Billy Joel has been renowned for his iconic music and timeless hits since the late 1970s. His eclectic catalog spans genres from rock, pop, jazz-rock fusion, and classical, to gospel. However, what many people don’t know is that Billy’s life offstage is as compelling as his music. This documentary explores how the singer-songwriter’s upbringing and personal circumstances shaped his songs, career, and ultimately his life story.
2. Billy Joel | Shades of Grey (1993) Full Documentary | The Making of The River of Dreams Album
Billy Joel is a musical legend and his classic albums have inspired generations of music fans. With Shades of Grey, his 1993 documentary, we can go back in time and experience the making of The River of Dreams album. A feature-length film which takes us on an emotional journey through the life and times of one of the greatest musicians ever.
3. Billy Joel – A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia 1987 (Documentary)
Billy Joel has been delivering powerful songs for decades, and his music continues to inspire new generations of fans. But it was in the late 1980s when Billy Joel truly made history, travelling to Russia as part of a cultural exchange program during the Cold War. The resulting documentary A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia 1987 documents this incredible journey that changed both Billy Joel and those he encountered along the way.
4. Billy Joel: Extraordinary With Fareed Zakaria (CNN+ 2022 Interview)
Fareed Zakaria takes viewers on an extraordinary journey to discover the remarkable career of Billy Joel. The CNN+ 2022 interview offers an in-depth look at his life, music, successes and challenges. From his humble beginnings in Long Island, New York to becoming one of the world’s most successful singer-songwriters, this documentary will explore how he got there and how he remains one of the most beloved artists of all time. Zakaria will explore the unique combination of talent and luck that propelled Joel to international fame, as well as his determination to face and overcome the obstacles he has encountered along the way. He will also dive into some of Billy’s most famous songs and uncover why they have stood the test of time.
5. Billy Joel – The Joel Files
An in-depth look into the life and career of music legend, Billy Joel. The Joel Files takes you on a journey through Billy’s storied past, from his early upbringing to becoming one of the most successful songwriters of all time.The documentary interviews some of the biggest names in music who have had an influence on Billy’s career. Through their comments and stories, we gain an insight into how the music of Billy Joel has been shaped over the years.
6. VH1 Storytellers – Billy Joel, Both Episodes, 1997
The two-part series about Billy Joel, is one of the most iconic stories ever released. It tells a mesmerizing tale of the artist’s rise to fame and his incredible legacy in music. Through interviews with family members, friends, and colleagues, viewers get an intimate look at how each part of Joel’s life shaped him into the musician he eventually became. The story is told through intimate conversations and spectacular stage performances that capture the passion and energy of Joel’s music. He also showcases exclusive interviews with some of music’s biggest names, such as Elton John, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and more.