Columbia/Legacy Recordings is commemorating forty years of Billy Joel’s career as a solo recording artist by releasing a limited edition Billy Joel – The Complete Albums Collection boxed set.
The CD collection ($199) 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)
12. 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.
You can order this lavish boxed set containing memorable music from Billy Joel, a cherished gifted American singer songwriter HERE.