First Hit #1: September 24, 1983
Tell Her About It was produced by Phil Ramone, who also produced Maniac. I mention that because these are two songs that could not be more different. Maniac was contemporary dance and film music, Tell Her About It is decidedly retro. It wouldn’t feel out of place decades earlier, it has traditional pop harmonies, a slight big band influence, and a general mood that makes the song of a piece with early Beatles and girl groups. Even the video is heavily indebted to the past, with nods to Ed Sullivan and retro set design.
It’s a throwback, but a loving and well executed one. I’ve always found Billy Joel to be one of the more retro-minded pop stars of the ’80s, and this might be one of his more deliberately retro recordings to date. But all pop music is really built on the same foundation, so it still does have a place and it isn’t dated at all. It’s just a bit closer to its influences than some other songs.