Billy Joel is the closest thing Madison Square Garden has to a sure thing — certainly more than the Knicks or the Rangers or the Liberty. It’s been 21 years since Joel released a new pop album, yet he sold out the arena 12 times in 2014 alone, and he’ll play his second (also sold-out) show of 2015 tonight. He has established a standing residency there, like a guy who plays a monthly nightclub gig, except that the club happens to seat 18,000.
By the measure of hit-making, his stats are staggering. The New Yorker's profile of him last year pointed out that he's had 33 songs in the Top 40. That's about a quarter of the songs he's written and recorded. Most of those charted in the era when you had to sell a lot of records to get there, too.