Friday, April 8, 2011

Discography: Billy Joel

As I've said before, I try to be open as far as my musical tastes although it's very hard me to like rap, hard rock that doesn't have a melody and twangy country.  On this blog, I'll try to be as unbiased as possible but let's face it, we all have our own favorites and opinions and a blog would be pretty bland without giving some idea of what music I like.  As time goes by, you'll probably be able to pick up on songs or artists that I don't like and those that I do...

I listen to 107.1 K-Hits (KTHI) in Boise.  They used to play great songs from the 60's and 70's and I'm a little perturbed that they recently switched to 70's and 80's.  The two greatest decades without question are the 60's and 70's, when you go out to the 50's or up to the 80's, you lose a lot of quality.  However....this morning I heard "My Life" by Billy Joel.  I had just watched the Biography feature on him last night.  I'm struck by how many times he has bounced back from adversity (you know he started out as a boxer; a pretty good one actually, going 22-4).  To use the analogy, he gets knocked down and just keeps getting up again.  One thing I didn't know about him--his manager, who was his ex-wife's brother, mismanaged his accounts to the point where Billy lost 90 million dollars!  A staggering figure.

Another observation about Joel:  Most artists, even though the songs are different, they sound similiar.  With Billy Joel, however, you can't corner him into a category or say that his songs sound the same because they don't.  He always has a new sound or a new feel for each song that he comes out with.  I've always been impressed by that.

Here is the Discography from one of rock's biggest all-time stars:

1971:  Cold Spring Harbor (#158)
1973:  Piano Man (#27)
1974:  Streetlife Serenade (#35)
1976:  Turnstiles (#122)
1977:  Stranger (#2)
1978:  52nd Street (#1)
1980:  Glass Houses (#1)
1982:  The Nylon Curtain (#7)
1983:  An Innocent Man (#4)
1986:  The Bridge (#7)
1989:  Storm Front (#1)

1993:  River of Dreams (#1)
2001:  Fantasies and Delusions (#83)--a classical music collaboration with his father and half-brother

Live Albums:
1981:  Songs in the Attic (#8)
1987:  KOHUEPT (#38)
2000:  2000 Years:  The Millenium Concert (#40)
2006:  12 Gardens Live (#14)
2011:  Live at Shea Stadium:  The Concert

1980:  Billy Joel Box Set
1985:  Greatest Hits Volume I & II (#6)--If all you want is a GH package, this is the one to get.  But I strongly recommend his "Stranger" and "52nd Street" albums at the very least.
1988:  Starbox
1989:  Souvenir:  The Ultimate Collection
1994:  A Voyage on the River of Dreams
1997:  Greatest Hits Volume III (#9)
           The Complete Greatest Hits Collection:  1973-1997/ Greatest Hits Volumes I, II and III
2000:  The Ultimate Collection
2001:  The Essential Billy Joel (#29)
2004:  Piano Man:  The Very Best of Billy Joel
2005:  My Lives Box Set (#171)
2010:  The Hits
2011:  She's Always a Woman - Lovesongs

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