Thursday, November 17, 2011

Billy Joel Piano Man (Legacy Edition) and Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection

I really enjoy the music of Billy Joel. It's hard to believe, but his recording career began 40 years ago. I can remember watching the video for Innocent Man and listening to Uptown Girl in my parent's car. I remember trying to learn all of the events and lyrics of We Didn't Start the Fire. I can remember when I finally had the chance to see Billy Joel in concert the first time, and the friend that went with us left before Piano Man, the encore that evening.

In honor of this milestone, Columbia/Legacy records released both Piano Man (Legacy Edition) and Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection.

Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection boxed set
    Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, is commemorating forty years of Billy Joel's career as a solo recording artist with a pair of historic releases--a limited edition Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection boxed set and a two-disc Legacy Edition of 1973's Piano Man album (exclusively featuring a long-lost fabled radio concert from 1972)--each appealing to aficionados of the iconic American singer-songwriter-performer. Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection brings together for the first time, in one elegantly designed box, the artist's complete catalog of 14 essential titles, from 1971's Cold Spring Harbor through 1979's Grammy-winning Album of The Year 52nd Street and 1981's live Songs In The Attic to 2001's Fantasies & Delusions, the first album of Billy's classical compositions. Each album has been recently remastered in 24 bit audio for this edition and comes in cardboard jackets replicating the original album covers and sleeves. 
     Included in the box are: 
    1. Cold Spring Harbor (1971) 
    2. Piano Man (1973) 
    3. Streetlife Serenade (1974) 
    4. Turnstiles (1976) 
    5. The Stranger (1977) 
    6. 52nd Street (1978) 
    7. Glass Houses (1980) 
    8. Songs In The Attic (1981) 
    9. The Nylon Curtain (1982) 
    10. An Innocent Man (1983) 
    11. The Bridge (1986) 
    12. Storm Front (1989) 
    13. River Of Dreams (1993) 
    14. Fantasies & Delusions (2001) 
    15. Collected Additional Masters (1985—2007) 
    "This has been a long time coming, putting all my albums into one package," said Billy in a recent in-depth interview for The Complete Albums Collection. "I'd never seen them all together in one place until I got the box set. It represents a lot of work! It's a little overwhelming, actually, looking at each individual album and remembering how much writing and recording, the time spent arranging and producing everything that went into each album." In addition to offering brand-new remasters of every Billy Joel studio album, Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection includes two lavish 60-page booklets, printed lyrics to every Billy Joel composition, a new Q&A with Billy conducted by noted music journalist Steve Morse, and a bonus disc of 17 rare and non-album recordings including "Elvis Presley Boulevard" (B-side of the "Allentown" single, 1982); the live cover version of the Beatles' "I'll Cry Instead" (B-side of "An Innocent Man," 1983); "House Of Blue Light" (B-side of "We Didn't Start The Fire," 1989); and "You Picked A Real Bad Time" (B-side of "All About Soul," 1993). "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and "The Night Is Still Young" are outtakes that did not see light of day until 1985. Several tracks on the bonus disc originated as Billy Joel's contributions to various multi-artist movie soundtracks, notably his covers of the Elvis Presley hits "Heartbreak Hotel" and "All Shook Up," both from 1992's Honeymoon In Vegas. Billy covered Lloyd Price's 1959 hit, "Where Were You On Our Wedding Day," for the 1999 movie, Runaway Bride, and Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood" for A League Of Their Own in 1992. In 1982, Billy Joel contributed his original "Nobody Knows But Me" to In Harmony II, a Columbia LP to benefit Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop. Other cover tunes on the bonus disc range from Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love" and Leonard Cohen's "Light as the Breeze" to the Gerry Goffin-Carole King standard "Hey Girl" (Freddie Scott, 1963). In 1991, Billy Joel contributed "When You Wish Upon A Star" to Columbia's Disney tribute album, Simply Mad About The Mouse. And in 2001, Billy Joel sang the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" at the Radio City Music Hall All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson concert. The exclusive bonus disc included on Billy Joel - The Complete Albums Collection closes with "All My Life," a 2007 single (which marked Billy's first newly-written song since 1993's River of Dreams) now making its first appearance on an album. Random copies of The Complete Albums Collection ordered through the Official Billy Joel store ( will be autographed by Billy Joel, so big fans will want to be sure to order their copy there.

Legacy Edition of Piano Man
    The forthcoming Legacy Edition of Piano Man, Billy Joel's 1973 debut album on Columbia Records, includes the 10-song original album in its entirety, remastered for this release in addition to a second disc premiering the first-ever release of Billy's mythic performance at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studio on April 15, 1972 (a year prior to his signing with Columbia). Philadelphia Daily News music writer Jon Takiff, an eye-witness to the event, has penned a new essay on the Sigma Sound show for the Legacy Edition of Piano Man. The release and failure of a flawed Cold Spring Harbor, his first solo album, on an indie label in 1971 prompted then-struggling musician Billy Joel to go to Los Angeles and cut-his-chops incognito in local piano bars as Bill Martin (chronicled in Piano Man's title track). Unbeknown to Billy, WMMR, a top-rated Philadelphia FM station, had begun spinning "Captain Jack," a live track from a Billy Joel show they'd recorded at Sigma Sound, and the station's phones were going off-the-hook. The "Captain Jack" live recording was turning into a bonafide underground FM anthem, opening the door for a New York audition, competing major label interest, and a Columbia Records contract for the song's author and performer. "Columbia was Bob Dylan's label," Billy said. "That was the deciding factor. At this time, you were allowed to build your career through FM radio, album tracks, concerts, singles and Bob Dylan was iconic for not being a hit singles type of artist. This was a company that knows how to build a career with an artist, so we decided to go with Columbia. "I never sat down and said I'm gonna write a hit record. I wouldn't know a hit record if it bit me. I just wrote songs. I wrote them for me, I wrote them for the band, or I wrote a song for the women in my life. I was just writing songs for me. It's music that I wanted to hear. If I didn't hear certain kind of music on the radio, I realized, 'Well, if I write and record this it'll probably be on the radio and that's what I'll hear.' That's what I was thinking. Not so much about having hits, but about making music that I liked. I only really ever did it for me. That may sound selfish, but I'm the only person that I really know all that well." The Legacy Edition of Piano Man makes available, for the first time ever, Billy's full performance at Sigma Sound, re-mixed from the original studio recording. The concert includes three Billy Joel songs--"Long, Long Time," "Josephine," and "Rosalinda"--which do not appear on any other albums by the artist and, of course, the performance of "Captain Jack" which launched one of the most remarkable careers in show business. The legendary Sigma Sound performance is available exclusively on the new Legacy Edition of Piano Man (and is not included on The Complete Albums Collection).
    Billy Joel - Piano Man (Legacy Edition) 
    DISC ONE: The Original Album 
    1. Travelin' Prayer 
    2. Piano Man 
    3. Ain't No Crime 
    4. You're My Home 
    5. The Ballad Of Billy The Kid
    6. Worse Comes To Worse 
    7. Stop In Nevada 
    8. If I Only Had The Words (To Tell You)
    9. Somewhere Along The Line 
    10. Captain Jack 
    DISC TWO: The Sigma Sound Studios Performance 
    Travelin' Prayer 
    The Ballad of Billy the Kid
    She's Got A Way 
    Everybody Loves You Now 
    Long, Long Time 
    Captain Jack 
    Tomorrow is Today 
    Recorded live in April 1972 at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, PA Previously unreleased


Courtesy of Sony/Legacy, one A Busy Mom of Two Reader will win a copy of the Piano Man Legacy Edition.

Giveaway will remain open through December 1st. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. One winner will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winner will be contacted by e-mail (be sure to leave one!) and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.
No compensation was received for this post. I received a review copy of Piano Man Legacy Edition and information about the album releases. In addition, Sony/Legacy is providing the Piano Man Legacy Edition for the giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Uptown Girl...I'm a child of the 80's, after all.

Susan Heim said...

I've always loved "She's Got a Way." It's a beautiful song, and I love that the woman in the song is very imperfect, but he still adores her anyway. Isn't that what we all want?

Unknown said...

This would be a perfect Christmas Present for my Step Dad!

Kathy Davis said...

Piano Man is my favorite Billy Joel song. It was popular when I was in college in the early 70s and it always brings back memories when I hear it.

Kathy Davis

Giant Sis said...

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant is my favorite - my hubby introduced it to me and now I always think of him when I hear it!
wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

kellyr78 said...

I like Captain Jack because the lyrics are so descriptive


Welcome to My World said...

Piano Man bc it more or less is part of the story behind how he met one of his wives.

Stacey M said...

Billy Joel was a part of growing up in the 80's. It would be impossible to pick a favorite.

Charlene Canfield said...

There are so many! I do love Piano Man!

Emma B. said...

I like Uptown Girl - it's catchy and fun!

Jay said...

I like Uptown girl. Fun and good reminiscing.

pmh said...

i have two faves: piano man b/c it is classic and then "she's got a way" because it is so romantic! thanks for the opportunity

Jennifer Donohue said...

My favorite is Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel). It's a beautiful song, and he wrote it about his daughter. Makes me cry when I hear it.

Kathy said...

The Ballad of Billy the Kid

nmh001 said...

We Didn't Start the Fire! It's amazing how he connected so many historical events in one song.

Unknown said...

My favorite is She's Got A Way the words are GREAT!!!
heartnsoulcooking at gmail dot com

Christian said...

Piano Man! Simply the best! (Christian N.

Wanda McHenry said...

Captain Jack. I've just loved that song since the first time I heard it, the lyrics are just so real!

Rafflecopter: WANDA MCHENRY

Springflowers2 said...

She's gotta way is one of my favorite songs. I resonates with me.

Nancye said...

I love all of his songs, but my favorite is "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" and "You May Be Be Right! Classics!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Kaz said...

"Uptown Girl"... This song always reminds me of growing up with my mom who was a single parent. We used to dance around the kitchen in the mornings as we got ready for school and work etc.

Kaz said...

"Uptown Girl" as it reminds me of growing up as a kid with my mom who was a single parent. We would dance around to this song when it would come on the radio in the mornings whilst we got ready for school and work.

Dolly said...

'Goodnight Saigon' is my favorite song, strange as that may be - I get chills every time I hear it. (how can you ask to choose one favorite from such a body of work??)

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

corey1971 said...

I would say piano Man (Corey Olomon)(