Many country fans know this tune thanks to Garth Brooks, but it was originally written and recorded by Billy Joel for his 1989 Storm Front record. It wasn’t released as a single, so Garth reached out an asked if he could record it.
When Garth recorded it in 1991, it went on to become his 7th career #1 hit.
Although for Garth, he admitted that it was quite the risk to record that one:
“‘Shameless’ was the longest shot we took with a song. I was talked into becoming a member of a CD club… you know, the 40,000 CDs for a penny deal. With those clubs, they write you with the selection of the month. If you don’t write back and cancel, then they send it to you and charge you for it.
I was on the road for six months with no one to check the mail and came home to find six compact discs in my mailbox. ‘Storm Front’ by Billy Joel was one of them. I hadn’t listened to Billy Joel since the late seventies, probably since ‘Glass Houses.’ I fell in love with the album and fell back in love with Billy Joel’s music.
One of his songs really captured me, a song called “Shameless.” I kept watching it, and when he did not release it as a single, we contacted his people in the hopes that we could cut it. His people sent us a letter acknowledging that he knew who I was and was very honored that I was cutting it.
That was quite a compliment for me then, as it is now. My hope is that Billy, as writer, hears this cut and says, ‘Yeah man, the guy’s got balls.'”
Enter Cody Johnson…
During the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Cody Johnson gave his fans live-stream performance (like every artist was at the time), spanning songs across his entire discography with, of course, a few covers sprinkled in there.
And one of those covers, the Garth Brooks hit, “Shameless.”
CoJo revealed ahead of the cover that it was his first time having a go at “Shameless,” and he was pretty nervous about winging it live.
“I promise you… half of this crowd, too many Coronas (no pun intended), you’ve sang this karaoke.
I’ve always wanted to yell this title at the top of my lungs… but if I mess this up, this is Facebook live, don’t act like you paid $50 bucks to come see this.
I’m scared to death right now.”
Armed with nothing but his stellar voice, an acoustic guitar and his fiddle player… he absolutely crushed it.
And while we’re at it, how about Garth and Billy Joel from Shea Stadium.