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Songs In the Attic (Live)

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Editors’ Notes

Despite his incredible success, Billy Joel didn't want to celebrate his moment by recording a predictable live album that trotted out all his hits. Instead, he chose his favorite overlooked songs from his first four solo albums. (His one early hit, "Piano Man," was left off this album for being too well-known.) Joel had a live band he believed in, and sure enough he made one of the best albums of his career. "She's Got a Way" (originally from his debut, Cold Spring Harbor) and "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" (from Turnstiles) became hit singles in their live versions, and songs like "Everybody Loves You Now," "Summer, Highland Falls," "Los Angelenos," and "Captain Jack" receive definitive performances and spring to life in ways the studio albums only suggested. By the time he reaches "You're My Home"—a love letter to his girlfriend at the time—he sounds as if he's singing it for fans who welcomed him in ways he never felt in real life. A career highpoint.

Customer Reviews

Great way to go back from The Stranger

I picked "Songs" up after The Stranger and after Glass Houses many, many years ago. I was a casual Billy Joel fan, but the early material sounded so full and strong on this record. I went right back to where it all came from. Turns out I actually like most of these versions better than the originals!

For "Summer, Highland Falls"

The first two songs on this album deserve five stars each. "Miami 2017" is eerie in its relevance today - but not so eerie that it's still not a blast to listen to. Honestly, I'm sure the rest of the album is good but I've rarely been able to get past this live version of "Summer, Highland Falls" without hitting the "replay" button. Of all the recordings he has created - and lord knows he's created some monsters -in my opinion this sweet, elloquent composition is his very best. It is the perfect Billy Joel song.


Ken is right. This album is great on the whole, but the first two tracks are amazing. As good as the studio versions of these two songs are, the raw performances here are impeccable, two of my favorite tracks from Billy Joel. I recommend this (at the very least, the first 2) to every fan of good music.


Born: May 9, 1949 in Bronx, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar in the late '70s and '80s, as he racked an impressive string of multi-platinum albums and hit singles. Born in the Bronx, Joel was raised in the Long Island suburb of Hicksville,...
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