Johnny Mathis

The Sixth Day of Mellowmas: Enemy Mathis

Jason: Hey, did you see? Billy Joel is playing Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve!

Jeff: Is he playing new material? Because otherwise, I don’t give a shit.

Jason: Same old stuff, same old ticket prices!

Jeff: Is there a single song from his catalog that qualifies as a “deep cut” anymore?

Jason: Maybe “Scandinavian Skies” and “Surprises”?

Jeff: Even those have been played plenty of times. Goddammit, Billy Joel, I loved you.

Jason: Speaking of surprises, I have something that isn’t one.

Jeff: Billy Joel did something shitty? Lay it on me.

Jason: Billy makes a guest appearance on a new Johnny Mathis record.

Jeff: *groan* That’s perfect.

Jason: Hang on.

Jeff: “Chances Are” Billy Joel will never make me happy again.

Jason: Let’s go back in time to 1980 and find Billy Joel, so we can tell him “You’re going to release a song with Johnny Mathis.”

Jeff: He’d smash a beer bottle and cut us! And I’d thank him for it.

Jason: And then I’ll do that thing where he goes to punch me in the face, but I duck and he hits you instead.

Jeff: I’d duck too, and he’d hit Liberty DeVitto. A taste of things to come, Liberty!

Jason: I think it’s clear that Billy Joel will probably never release another album of new pop material again. But why go down this road?

You know who else he duetted with for Christmas?

Jeff: Tony Bennett?

Jason: Rosie O’Donnell.

Jeff: I feel like as long as he doesn’t have to leave home or write anything, he’s probably happy to chip in.

Jason: And probably Tony Bennett. I don’t know. It wouldn’t surprise me at all, you know.

Jeff: Here I am, feeling like a fucking fool.

Jason: Well-played, says I and the three people who just got our two jokes.

Jeff: Two old Billy fans, putting off the inevitable!

Jason: Well, let’s do this. I’m expecting competence and boredom. You?

Jeff: The same. Which is a step up from “All My Life,” of course.

Jeff: Billy Joel is not playing that piano.

Jason: I was just wondering!

Jeff: In fact, I’m not sure that’s Johnny Mathis on the album cover. Is that CGI? That’s the goddamn creepiest Mellowmas cover photo since Andy Williams.

Oh hi, Billy.

Jason: He sounds great.

Jeff: Doesn’t he? I was just thinking that. If only he’d use his powers for good.

Ack! Johnny! Who mixed this?

Jason: And Johnny Mathis sounds like he looks.

Jeff: You know these guys never saw each other during the recording.

Jason: Oh, absolutely.

Jeff: Also, it was probably recorded in, like, August of 2011.

Jason: There’s also a duet with Gloria Estefan. Are we sure this album is being released in 2013?

Ah, there you go. Yeah, I would be willing to bet this isn’t Billy on piano.

Jeff: Boy, you listen to this, and it sure is hard to figure out why the music industry is in the toilet.

Jason: This is Billy recording a vocal in one take.


Jeff: Is Johnny Mathis human? This Billy Joel vocal is making me sad, because he sounds terrific.

Jason: I thought Mathis died years ago in a tragic accident also involving Jim Nabors.

Jeff: Macadamia choking!

Jason: Well, that was…pleasant. You know, competent.

Jeff: Pleasant, and yet thoroughly depressing.

Jason: I was not expecting a vocal that solid from Billy.

Jeff: He’s still got it! But he won’t use it.

Jason: I’m despondent.

Jeff: Even listening to The Bridge would cheer me up.

Jason: Wow. They were in the studio together!


Jeff: That scarf makes me even more despondent!

Jason: Could be worse.

Jeff: What…what is that? I will never sleep again.

Seriously, that’s scary.

Jason: That is supposedly Natalie Cole and Johnny Mathis.

Jeff: No, that’s Lou Gossett Jr. in Enemy Mine makeup.

Jason: That’s not a nice thing to say about Natalie Cole.

Jeff: I’M IN A BAD MOOD. On the other hand, I see Enemy Mine is available for $2.99 on Google Play. Watching that can’t make me feel any worse than this, right?

Jason: Please. Go. I’m going to go back to my fantasy where I tell Billy Joel that he’s going to wind up on a Johnny Mathis record. That was fun.

Jeff: Dennis Quaid never recorded a lousy Christmas song. I’m giving him my money.

  • Mordalo

    Here I thought nothing could be scarier than the photo you have of Judy Collins.
    I stand corrected. That link will haunt me for the remainder of my days.
    Curse you both.

  • Terje Fjelde

    Mathis, finally! Noting that the mixing console is not the penis enhancer it could have been, as befits the music.

  • rockymtranger

    I’m shocked to see both of those guys in the studio together because I was sure that Billy didn’t sing direct to the track. The phrasing is bizarre. This gets a big ol’ “meh” from me.

  • Beau

    Billy Joel has become Calculon: “I don’t do two takes. Amateurs like you do two takes. I do one take.”

    Then John Goodman’s evil Santa came down and visited the studio.

    (Hmmmm … Mellowmas-inspired Futurama fan fiction. This could be a thing.)

  • Jay

    “If that’s John Saxon I’m dead.”

  • MatthewBolin

    Second from the left in that photo: What he hell did Donald Rumsfeld play during that session?

  • jefito

    Devil’s advocate.

  • Jay

    It *is* so nondescript that it’s startling when they go off the fucking rails….relatively…at 3:00…and the unnecessary key change underscores the unnecessary recording as a whole. I suppose that’s the heartbeat of Mellowmas.

    “I always like to keep an ex-lover’s music around………Deniece is good too.”

  • mlk

    This makes me sad. I like Mathis Christmas songs, from years gone by- though he still sounds the same. And I love Billy Joel, who does sound good here. But I don’t hear his voice and think holiday music. And they’re doing my favorite song- but one that should have been retired after Nat. So there’s a lot going for it, but it just makes me think of better days gone by.

  • Rob Ross

    Great. Billy fuckin’ Joel and Johnny “music for insomniacs” Mathis. Why don’t you play the fuckin’ “Fiddler On The Roof” soundtrack while you’re at it so I can be reminded of my shitty childhood at this time of year?