Hard Rock

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United States

Years: 1969 - 1970
Styles: Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock


Billy Joel - Hammond organ, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1969 - 1970)
Jon Small - Drums (in band: 1969 - 1970)


Old Music Encyclopedia Picture     Attila was the name of a band featuring a young Billy Joel. Billy was a member of a band called The Hassles; he and the drummer, Jon Small, broke away from the Hassles and formed Attila in 1969.

    In Attila, Joel played his organ through a variety of effects pedals, creating a heavy psychedelic hard rock album completely without guitars. On the cover of the band's eponymous album, both Joel and Small were dressed as barbarians; in an interview on the back of the album, Joel claimed to forget the name of his previous band and stated that he only "sweated" two things -- perfecting his sound and the war in Southeast Asia.

     "A critical and commercial disaster, it featured Joel on a heavily distored B-3 organ, with an Attila the Hun theme that included Joel and Small’s appearance on the cover dressed as Huns. The album’s lack of success virtually guaranteed that there would not be another Atilla project; the group’s demise was also sealed when Joel began an affair with Small’s wife, Elizabeth, whom he eventually married." – Stacia Proefrock[1]

  1. All Music Guide to Rock. The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop and Soul. 3rd Edition 2002. Edited by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, page 42


Attila (1970)

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