Attila was the name of a band featuring a young Billy Joel. Joel 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. The instrumentation was organ and drums, with Joel also handling the bass lines with a keyboard, similar to the Doors' Ray Manzarek. Their creative partnership ended in 1970 when Joel ran off with Small's wife, Elizabeth, although this did not end their collaborations, as Small produced Joel's ? video as well as the Live at Shea Stadium performance.
Their only album, Attila, was released on July 27, 1970. Attila has been selected by AllMusic critics as one of the worst rock albums of all time. Joel himself has gone on record as describing the album as "psychedelic bullshit".
End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like "Godzilla", "March of the Huns", "Brain Invasion". A lot of people think [I] just came out of the piano bar... I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. "It was great, but we can't stay in the club."-- Billy Joel, Interview with Billy Joel by Dan Neer in 1985
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote, "Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll -- hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila."
Songs written by Billy Joel and Jon Small.