It’s the 45th anniversary of Billy Joel’s “52nd Street”. We talked rock’n’roll, from Billy Joel seeing the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show to British Invasion bands that followed, garage rock, and the New York City punk scene that influencedhis approach after the1978 “52nd Street” album. But we also talked at length about baseball…
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…a live performance of the then new song “New York State of Mind” in June, 1975 in San Francisco.This may be the earliest known live recording of the gem, but most certainly it would be one of the last performances where no one in Billy Joel’s audience applauds during the piano intro in recognition!
Billy Joel is certainly not “The Stranger” to spectacular popularity, or the record books documenting same. And it’s not as if Billy Joel had not been a prolific recording singer/songwriter or an infrequent touring musician prior to his fifth album, “The Stranger”, in Fall 1977. But strangely his album sales were in a decidedly negative trend after “Piano Man”. “The Stranger” changed all that, permanently. Billy Joel joins me In the Studio on the album’s 45th anniversary.
Just for fun, check out this previously unreleased demo of Billy Joel leading his band through a reggae version of “Only the Good Die Young”, no doubt in tribute to the popularity of Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1977 when Billy Joel’s The Stranger was recorded. You can find it on the excellent My […]
Billy Joel “Glass Houses” has sold over ten million copies, stayed at #1 for six consecutive weeks, was the 4th-best seller for the entire year 1980, and won Billy Joel a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Hear him In the Studio.
Billy Joel performs “You May Be Right” with Elton John July 1994 at The Meadowlands
People that have not been in Billy Joel‘s corner since the days of The Hassles and Cold Spring Harbor and Piano Man, the latter released forty-five years ago this Autumn, truly cannot appreciate the depth of affection millions feel for this guy. But those lucky few who packed Spark’s Saloon to the rafters in Huntington […]
“From a town known as Oyster Bay Long Island, Rode a boy with a six-pack in his hand…” As Billy Joel prepares to blow out the candles on seventy this week, it felt right to dust off something more akin to seventeen. There are moments in time when a photographer’s lens or a tape recorder’s microphones capture […]
This timeless 1976 performance of soon-to-be classic “New York State of Mind” serves as proof positive that, even before his 1977 blockbuster “The Stranger” brought him to mass popularity, Billy Joel was a terrific live entertainer with a superb band.
For some reason this song never became memorable to me when the original studio recording was released in Fall 1977 on Billy Joel‘s The Stranger album. Yet when I remastered the live version from the oft-bootlegged December 1977 concert at his home venue Nassau Long Island Coliseum, it’s bossa nova vamping in the choruses of […]