More piano songs like this?
September 25, 2019 4:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm making a play list of 'happy piano' songs. These feature a rolling rollicking happy piano sound. Can you think of more?

I'm on holiday! But I'm finding the wind down from term quite difficult. I've decided that a cure for my grumps is to do things and make things, and I'd like to make a playlist of songs that feature the 'happy piano'. But I'm getting stuck, so I turn to the hive mind for more!

Examples: Lady Madonna by the Beatles. It's in Linus and Lucy , Vince Guaraldi. It's even in I'm too sexy for my shirt by Right Said Fred. (not great audio of piano youtube timestamp link.)

It's not quite in Crocodile Rock- while this is an upbeat song and nearly fits, the piano is not quite rolly enough.

I'm also not looking for sad piano music.

Thanks!
posted by freethefeet to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 


Iko Iko
posted by aspersioncast at 5:00 AM on September 25, 2019


"I Wish I Knew" by Billy Taylor.

For proper roll-y piano you want New Orleans style, though. Try "Tipitina" by Professor Longhair or "Harlem in Hamburg" by James Booker.
posted by offog at 5:33 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Billy Joel's Scenes from an Italian Restaurant might fit
posted by wellred at 5:43 AM on September 25, 2019


Thank you, I enjoyed these. However while Honky Tonk Train Blues is fun the piano isn't the rolly bit of the song, so it's close but not quite.

Iko Iko doesn't have piano?

Offog these are good but drifting a bit far into jazz, not quite as boppy as I am looking for.

Sorry to be picky, hope that helps clarify what I am looking for. Covers are good too.
posted by freethefeet at 5:43 AM on September 25, 2019


My husband googled and found an album called "rock and roll piano hits" and "boogie" is another word that's helpful to explore.
posted by freethefeet at 5:49 AM on September 25, 2019


Night Music: Jools Holland & Doctor John as the "Boogie Woogie Twins" (playing begins just after the one-minute mark).
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:52 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


There's a swell little (10-second) riff in Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," beginning around the 2:48 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hxx8IWIvKg0
Also, what about "Glad" by Stevie Winwood and Traffic? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v8YQ6sU6I4
posted by wisekaren at 6:15 AM on September 25, 2019


How about Darling I Need You by John Cale? Maybe also his Paris 1919. And there's a happy piano part in L.A. Woman, starting around 2:30.
posted by Redstart at 6:34 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Mess Around, Ray Charles.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:35 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


How about Kraftwerk's Tanzmusik?
posted by bricoleur at 6:39 AM on September 25, 2019


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6GEcdh5whk
posted by james33 at 6:50 AM on September 25, 2019


Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino. If that fits what you’re going for, check out Fats Domino (and the other Fats, Fats Waller—Ain’t Misbehaving). The older recordings make the piano a bit faint but it’s a similar vibe.
posted by sallybrown at 6:51 AM on September 25, 2019


(I'm just learning to play piano myself and am really enjoying playing "Shortnin Bread" but that's way too easy for you so how about.... ) Sweet Georgia Brown. This video is just amazing and heartwarming: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2077923542503206&id=1451682208460679
posted by hazyjane at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2019


I feel the earth move, by Carole King.
posted by hydra77 at 7:05 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


Fun project!

Aretha Franklin:
Her version of Good Times has this sound but the piano may not be prominent enough

What about Jerry Lee Lewis?
Great Balls of Fire
Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On
Jailhouse Rock (you could see if the Elvis version does it for you too)

Ray Charles:
Hallelujah, I Love Her So
What'd I Say
The Right Time

Stevie Wonder, Fingertips
posted by CiaoMela at 7:09 AM on September 25, 2019


Ragtime, the most obvious composer being Scott Joplin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1yqBt-PkT4
posted by falsedmitri at 7:30 AM on September 25, 2019


what about the DUNGADUNGADUNG piano parts of Blackstreet's No Diggity
posted by Dressed to Kill at 7:31 AM on September 25, 2019


Iko Iko doesn't have piano?

The Dr. John cover of it does, by golly. I suspect you'll find a lot of what you're looking for in the more poppy Dr. John albums, like Dr. John's Gumbo or In The Right Place. Particularly listen to his song Such A Night (linking you to a live performance as it's sublime).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also, in general I think a search term you might want to try is "Tin Pan Alley". That's become a descriptor for the kind of quasi-ragtime-y things I think you're looking for. You may also find actual ragtime stuff, but it could also lead you to a lot of the people who were trying to emulate that in the early 70s for some reason.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2019


Probably not what you're looking for, but damn I love the piano riff here: The Spinners - We'll Have It Made.

Probably at least close to what you're looking for, given that it's taken to be an influence on Lady Madonna, Humphrey Lyttelton - Bad Penny Blues.
posted by kimota at 7:43 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I had a couple other thoughts--sorry for lack of links!

Wanda Jackson:
Let's Have a Party
Hard Headed Woman

Per Wikipedia, "McCartney based his piano part for the song on Humphrey Lyttelton's trad jazz rendition of "Bad Penny Blues"--just listened to this and it definitely has the piano sound.

Lots of Little Richard songs--start with Good Golly Miss Molly

Another Stevie Wonder track:
Blowin in the Wind (this has a surprisingly rollicking sound, despite being slow and not totally upbeat)
We Can Work It Out has him playing an (electronic?) organ but I think it's worth a listen to see if it piques your interest
posted by CiaoMela at 7:49 AM on September 25, 2019


Fats Domino: Whole Lotta Loving
posted by rongorongo at 7:52 AM on September 25, 2019


Very nerdy, but if this hits the "happy piano", Tom Lehrer - Poisoning Pigeons In The Park. All of his stuff is just about the same level of whimsy.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:06 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I suspect you'll find a lot of what you're looking for in the more poppy Dr. John albums, like Dr. John's Gumbo or In The Right Place.

I think the Empress is right, and I'll throw in Let's Make a Better World as a specific.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:38 AM on September 25, 2019


One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces by Ben Folds Five
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:58 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Big Chief by Professor Longhair.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:09 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Road and the Sky: x Rockaday Johnnie: Elton John

Call Me the Breeze: x cover of JJ Cale: keyboard is near the close and worth the wait
posted by effluvia at 9:11 AM on September 25, 2019




Maybe This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies?
posted by saladin at 9:58 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


The Meters, Cabbage Alley
Booker T. and the M.G.’s, Slim Jenkins’ Place
posted by xil at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2019


Gettin' Nasty by Ike Turner somehow makes descending arpeggios lift up to the clouds.
posted by bendybendy at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'll Be Your Shelter (Just Like a Shelter) - The Housemartins
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:08 AM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Kodachrome?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 12:02 PM on September 25, 2019


As a song built on a sampled piano, it may not be "rolly" enough for you, but Lizzo – Good as Hell makes up for that in feel-goodness.
posted by Beardman at 12:52 PM on September 25, 2019


Liberace!
posted by Beardman at 12:56 PM on September 25, 2019


Queen of the Roller Derby, Leon Russell x
posted by effluvia at 1:44 PM on September 25, 2019


Kate – Ben Folds Five is pretty much the bounciest piano song ever. ("One Angry Dwarf" is kind of a revenge song...)

Really, just go through the whole Ben Folds/BFF oeuvre and pick and choose. He also does a lot of covers, which are fun. Some of his songs are really story-oriented and melancholy; others are just flat-out piano pounders. (I was in the balcony of a 2,000-seat auditorium for one of his solo shows – just him and a baby grand. The balcony shook.)

Opening Up from Waitress – again, it's by Sara Bareilles, so go for her stuff.

You and Me (But Mostly Me) from Book of Mormon

Dare I say... Let It Go? (It's not a bop, exactly, but it's a free-singin' piano banger! Trust me, as someone who has had to listen to it at least 852 times.)

Merry Happy – Kate Nash


Ride on Time – Black Box ("piano house")

I mean, it's Herbie Hancock on electric piano, but I love As – Stevie Wonder.

Ooh, Billy Preston! Nothing From Nothing, perhaps?

She's A Rainbow – Rolling Stones

This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks

Oh, Yoko! – John Lennon

Jackie Wilson Said and Come Running – Van Morrison

I Love L.A. – Randy Newman

Pata Pata and I Shall Sing (live) – Miriam Makeba

Don't Stop Me Now – Queen

I'm Still Standing (Elton John) – Taron Egerton
(Sing soundtrack)

I should probably go home now :)
posted by St. Hubbins at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Joe Jackson, Steppin' Out.
posted by she's not there at 4:51 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Rockin' Pneumonia and Boogie Woogie Flu, Johnny Rivers.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:12 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Lloyd Price - Personality
posted by q*ben at 6:08 PM on September 25, 2019


Dr. John - Didn't He Ramble ; Closer Walk With Thee. I played this over and over after his death, and I love the transition from solemn to rollicking. Long, but stick with it! His joy in playing s worth it.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:10 PM on September 25, 2019


This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 6:29 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Van Morrison, Bright Side of the Road
posted by lois1950 at 9:06 PM on September 25, 2019


"On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe"

Bonus: player piano!

Double bonus: it's about a train! (if they're into that)
posted by Rhaomi at 12:41 AM on September 26, 2019


My go to happy piano song is Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
posted by tarshish bound at 3:16 AM on September 26, 2019


'Via Con Me ('It's Wonderful')' by Paolo Conte. A bit jazzy, but very bouncy.
posted by ovvl at 9:17 AM on September 26, 2019


I submit "Nora's Boogie" by Michael Kaeshammer. Jazzy, but with a fast tempo that makes me tap my toes.
posted by Monster_Zero at 1:40 PM on September 26, 2019


Mentioned upthread, but the eponymous Ben Folds Five debut album is chock full of rollicking piano.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:02 AM on September 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


Anything by Rob Rio.
posted by purplesludge at 10:34 PM on September 27, 2019


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