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Published April 26, 2009, 12:00 AM

Elton John, Billy Joel fashion over the years

Comparing the two pianomen's looks



“Rocket Man” or “Movin’ Out” (see next photo)


In their prime, the performers did everything with energy. Dressed in ostrich feathers, John got the lift he needed for his mid-’70s piano acrobatics. Funny thing: John has more hair now than he did 25 years ago, while Joel has let it go.

  • <br />“Rocket Man” or “Movin’ Out” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />In their prime, the performers did everything with energy. Dressed in ostrich feathers, John got the lift he needed for his mid-’70s piano acrobatics. Funny thing: John has more hair now than he did 25 years ago, while Joel has let it go.
  • <br />“Something About the Way You Look Tonight” or<br /><br />“She’s Got a Way” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />While Joel could never compete with then-wife Christie Brinkley’s radiance, even on John’s wedding day in 1984 he out-dressed his bride, <br /><br />Renate Blauel.
  • <br />“Written in the Stars” or “It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />In the mid-1970s and early ’80s, Joel and John were recording and performing at a crazy pace, which led to some awkward photo ops at key moments, such as John getting his star on the Walk of Fame in 1975 and Joel winning a Grammy in 1980.
  • <br />“The Bitch is Back” or “Pressure” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />While John has more history with playing dress-up (here for his 50th birthday with partner David Furnish), Joel got in the spirit, or at least a tie-dye T-shirt and wig, to imitate Joe Cocker in 2006.
  • <br />“I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”<br /><br />or “Don’t Ask Me Why” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />Both John and Joel are sharp-dressed men, but sometimes too sharp. John toned down his extravagant suits, but still couldn’t handle subdued in ’99. Joel’s button-up look was tight in the late ’80s, but the shoulder pads were a little too big.
  • <br />“Nikita” or “Leningrad” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />The piano men took similar approaches to performing in Russia: red checker diplomacy. With an outfit for every occasion, John was sure to look smart, while Joel had Brinkley’s disarming charm to lend a hand.
  • <br />“Club at the End of the Street” or “New York State of Mind” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />Nothing makes musicians look more insignificant than posing with pro athletes. John with New York Yankees Joe Girardi and Paul O’Neill in the <br /><br />mid-’90s and Joel with Yankees Bobby Murcer, Jim Spencer and Ron Guidry in 1980.
  • <br />“That’s What Friends Are For” or “You May be Right” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />Similarly, nothing ups your cool quotient like posing with some beautiful celebrity friends, especially if they have more hair. Elizabeth Taylor peeks over John’s shades, while Sheryl Crow (left) and Russell Crowe (seated at right) lend Joel some backing vocals.
  • <br />“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” or “Big Shot” (see next photo)<br /><br /><br />Over his four decades as a performer, Elton John has modeled thousands of pairs of sunglasses. Joel has forgone shades, but occasionally goes with classic Ray Bans.