Billy Joel - The Essential Billy Joel

Number of Discs
Release Date
Billy Joel
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Legacy / Sony Music Distribution


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Released in conjunction with Billy Joel's grand experiment with classical music, The Essential Billy Joel was a welcome reminder of Billy Joel's way with a pop song, improving on the previous Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2 by extending into the '90s and delving deeper into his catalog. There were some casualties along the way -- it's easy for a fan to carp about the absence of personal favorites like "She's Right on Time" or "Travelin' Prayer," and it may even make some sense that "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" or "Shameless" didn't make the cut, but it's mind-boggling that "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" isn't here (we won't mention that the classical pieces that end the record, no matter how surprisingly good they are, are as out of place as Attila would have been) -- but for the most part, this has every one of Joel's heavy-hitters, and his craftsmanship, both as a songsmith and record maker, has never shone brighter. The biggest fault is that there is a notable drop-off in quality after 1986's The Bridge (which ends midway through disc two), but even so, this is as good a distillation of Joel's talents imaginable. In fact, as the first disc unfurls, even cynics may wonder why he's been dogged by the critics, since singer/songwriter pop doesn't come better than "Say Goodbye to Hollywood," "New York State of Mind," "Only the Good Die Young," "My Life," "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," "Don't Ask Me Why," "Allentown," and their seven companions. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Disc 1:
1) Piano Man - Billy Joel (05:38)
2) You're My Home - Billy Joel (03:13)
3) Captain Jack - Billy Joel (07:18)
4) The Entertainer - Billy Joel (03:40)
5) Say Goodbye to Hollywood - Billy Joel (04:38)
6) Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) - Billy Joel (05:14)
7) New York State of Mind - Billy Joel (06:05)
8) She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel (03:21)
9) Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) - Billy Joel (03:30)
10) Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel (03:55)
11) Just the Way You Are - Billy Joel (04:50)
12) Honesty - Billy Joel (03:53)
13) My Life - Billy Joel (04:44)
14) It's Still Rock & Roll to Me - Billy Joel (02:57)
15) You May Be Right - Billy Joel (04:15)
16) Don't Ask Me Why - Billy Joel (02:59)
17) She's Got a Way - Billy Joel (03:01)
18) Allentown - Billy Joel (03:50)

Disc 2:
1) Goodnight Saigon - Billy Joel (07:04)
2) An Innocent Man - Billy Joel (05:20)
3) Uptown Girl - Billy Joel (03:17)
4) The Longest Time - Billy Joel (03:42)
5) Tell Her About It - Billy Joel (03:52)
6) Leave a Tender Moment Alone - Billy Joel (03:56)
7) A Matter of Trust - Billy Joel (04:11)
8) Baby Grand - Ray Charles / Billy Joel (04:05)
9) I Go to Extremes - Billy Joel (04:23)
10) We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel (04:50)
11) Leningrad - Billy Joel (04:06)
12) The Downeaster "Alexa" - Billy Joel (03:44)
13) And So It Goes - Billy Joel (03:37)
14) The River of Dreams - Billy Joel (04:07)
15) All About Soul - Billy Joel (06:00)
16) Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) - Billy Joel (03:33)
17) Waltz #1 (Nunley's Carousel) - Richard Joo (06:55)
18) Invention in C Minor - Richard Joo (01:00)

The Essential Billy Joel
Sony Music Distribution
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
The Essential Billy Joel | Billy Joel