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.

Released: Oct 2, 2001
℗ This compilation (P) 2001 Sony Music Entertainment

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