So he wrote "We Didn't Start the Fire" with rapid-fire allusions to more than 100 headline events between 1949 (the year he was born) and 1989.
Joel himself has mixed feelings about the song, he said "It's a nightmare to perform live, because if I miss one word, it's a train wreck."
On this date in 1989, "We Didn't Start the Fire" started a two-week run as the No. 1 song in America. It would be Billy Joel's last No. 1 song.