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The Essential Billy Joel

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Editors’ Notes

The Essential Billy Joel is the most inclusive Billy Joel compilation, following him from his early years through to his foray into classical music. It has a flow that helps an album recorded over many years sound natural, telling the story of Joel's career as one of the 20th century's most popular and accomplished songwriters. "Piano Man" sounds as if it had always existed. "Captain Jack" details a time and place now long past. "New York State of Mind" has become an anthem. "Just the Way You Are" shows a touch of gentleness from a rough character. "My Life" and "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" prove that Joel can rock. "An Innocent Man," "Uptown Girl," "The Longest Time," and "Tell Her About It" gave Joel a second wind in the '80s, with a sound that recalled old-time rock 'n' roll at a time when many rockers were looking out of place. 

Customer Reviews

I Heart Billy!

OK, So maybe Billy does have alot of similar CD's but they're all GREAT! So don't give him a bad review because he has four CD's with basically the same songs on them. You're supposed to review the MUSIC! His is great.

Great Album

Amazing complation of all of Billy's hits. Every song on this album is great and it never gets old, you can listen to it time and time again. It's all perfect.


He has the most talent in the world. His voice is great and his piano playing. His lyrics mean so much and he thought of them. I have EVERY song. DEFINATE buy!


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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