This year marks the 40th anniversary of “Cold Spring Harbor.” Not a lot of pop/rock music lovers even know that it was that album by a very young Billy Joel that would pave the way for millions of records sold and countless sold-out shows and (more recently) hours of entertainment on TMZ.
“Cold Spring Harbor” (an incredible album by the way) was followed by “Piano Man’ and from there the doors flew up for a guy who once played on a Shangri La’s demo of “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” as an unknown session guy in 1964. He was 15-years old.
“The Hits” is a collection of 19 songs that chart the amazing career of the original Piano Man, the Entertainer, the Stranger, the guy with a thousand songs and thousand stories.
Sure these songs have all been previously released in Joel’s exhaustive catalog. In fact, unlike his past compilations there are no new cuts or rarities. There are 19 songs that we all know and love and have stood the test of time and karaoke.
The one thing that makes this a difficult sell – unless you are a die-hard fan – there are already at least nine compilations ranging from 1985 – 2004. Each of them had – at the very least – an alternate version of a previously known hit – if not a handful of new tunes. “The Hits” has nothing new.
If you want to introduce someone – or be introduced – to Billy Joel this is a fine way to do it. A better way would just be to buy the albums these songs appear on. Then you can have a collection of timeless pop/rock classics by Christy Brinkley’s ex-husband (too soon?).
Stand Out Tracks
Everybody Loves You Now
Say Good-Bye to Hollywood