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Tag: Billy Joel

Billy Joel – Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel (2004/2006) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Billy Joel – Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel (2004/2006)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:19:52 minutes | 1,68 GB | Genre: Rock, Pop Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download  | Front Cover | © Columbia

Having sold more than 100 million records over the past quarter of a century, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. In the US he has had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. In the UK he has had 14 top 40 hits including the number one hit “Uptown Girl” as well as the original version of “She’s Always a Woman”. In addition to his multiple awards, including Grammys and American Music Awards, his contribution to the industry saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2005 he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Piano Man brings all of Billy Joel’s best loved hits together on one disc.

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Billy Joel – Storm Front (1989/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Billy Joel – Storm Front (1989/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 45:00 minutes | 1,03 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Columbia Records
Recorded: 1988-1989 at The Hit Factory Times Square Studio, The Power Studio, and Right Track Recording in New York, NY; and The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada.

Storm Front is the product of a collaboration between singer-songwriter Billy Joel and producer Mick Jones. The first single “We Didn’t Start The Fire” reached number one on Billboard charts in 1989 after its release. The album itself received numerous Grammy nominations including: Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Producer of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year for “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

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Billy Joel – She’s Got A Way: Love Songs (2010/2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Billy Joel – She’s Got A Way: Love Songs (2010/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:19:20 minutes | 1,67 GB | Genre: Pop Rock, Soft Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | © Columbia Records
Recorded: 1973-1993

Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings announce the release of She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a new collection of 18 essential love songs drawn from three decades of recordings by music legend and composer/singer songwriter, Billy Joel.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs is a perfect distillation of the artist’s expressions of love and romance over the course of his life and career.  The album brings together some of Billy’s finest and most heartfelt performances, iconic hits playing alongside under-appreciated deep catalog selections.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs are the love songs, ballads and sentimental favorites comprising a dream Billy Joel playlist for old and new romantics alike, bringing new context to classics like “Just the Way You Are,” “Honesty” and “She’s Always a Woman” while rediscovering forgotten masterpieces like “Travelin’ Prayer” (the b-side of the “Piano Man” single), Billy’s version of “Shameless” (a #1 country smash for Garth Brooks), and the haunting instrumental “Nocturne” (from 1971’sCold Spring Harbor).

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Richard Joo – Billy Joel’s Fantasies & Delusions (2001) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Richard Joo – Billy Joel’s Fantasies & Delusions: Music For Solo Piano (2001)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 76:17 minutes | Scans included | 3,06 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,18 GB

Fantasies & Delusions: Music For Solo Piano is Billy Joel’s first collection of classical compositions as performed by pianist Richard Joo…

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Billy Joel – 52nd Street (1978) [Remastered Reissue 1998 (2001)] {2.0 & 5.1} PS3 ISO + FLAC

Billy Joel – 52nd Street (1978) [Reissue 1998 (2001)] {2.0 & 5.1}
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:10 minutes | Scans included | 3,03 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | 40:32 mins | Scans included | 771 MB
Featuring 1998’s remastering & 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound

Following up his 1977 breakthrough smash The Stranger was no easy task for Billy Joel; 52nd Street shows he wasn’t quite up to the challenge, though it sold similarly well and kept the momentum for his fast- track career until the more impressive Glass Houses appeared in 1980.

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Billy Joel – Turnstiles (1976) [MFSL 2010] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Billy Joel – Turnstiles (1976) [MFSL 2010]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 46:46 minutes | Scans included | 1,48 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 689 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2063

There’s a reason Turnstiles begins with the Spector-esque epic “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” Shortly after Streetlife Serenade, Joel ditched California — and, by implication, sensitive Californian soft rock from sensitive singer/songwriters — for his hometown of New York. “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” was a celebration of his move, a repudiation of his past, a fanfare for a new beginning, which is exactly what Turnstiles was. He still was a singer/songwriter — indeed, “Summer, Highland Falls” was his best ballad to date, possibly his best ever — but he decided to run with his musical talents, turning the record into a whirlwind tour of pop styles, from Sinatra to Springsteen. There’s little question that the cinematic sprawl of Born to Run had an effect on Turnstiles, since it has a similar widescreen feel, even if it clocks in at only eight songs. The key to the record’s success is variety, the way the album whips from the bouncy, McCartney-esque “All You Wanna Do Is Dance” to the saloon song “New York State of Mind”; the way the bitterly cynical “Angry Young Man” gives way to the beautiful “I’ve Loved These Days” and the surrealistic apocalyptic fantasy “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway).” No matter how much stylistic ground Joel covers, he’s kept on track by his backing group. He fought to have his touring band support him on Turnstiles, going to the lengths of firing his original producer, and it was clearly the right move, since they lend the album a cohesive feel. Turnstiles may not have been a hit, but it remains one of his most accomplished and satisfying records, clearly paving the way to his twin peaks of the late ’70s, The Stranger and 52nd Street.

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Billy Joel – An Innocent Man (1983) [Remastered Reissue 1998 (2001)] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Billy Joel – An Innocent Man (1983) [Reissue 1998 (2001)]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:13 minutes | Scans included | 1,26 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 843 MB

Recording The Nylon Curtain exhausted Billy Joel, and even though it had a pair of major hits, it didn’t rival its predecessors in terms of sales. Since he labored so hard at the record, he decided it was time for a break — it was time to record an album just for fun. And that’s how his homage to pre-Beatles pop, An Innocent Man, was conceived: it was designed as a breezy romp through the music of his childhood. Joel’s grasp on history isn’t remarkably astute — the opener “Easy Money” is a slice of Stax/Volt pop-soul, via the Blues Brothers (quite possibly the inspiration for the album), and the label didn’t break the pop charts until well after the British Invasion — but he’s in top form as a craftsman throughout the record. Only once does he stumble on his own ambition (“This Night,” which appropriates its chorus from Beethoven). For the rest of the record, he’s effortlessly spinning out infectious, memorable melodies in a variety of styles, from the Four Seasons send-up “Uptown Girl” and the soulful “Tell Her About It” to a pair of doo wop tributes, “The Longest Time” and “Careless Talk.” Joel has rarely sounded so carefree either in performance or writing, possibly due to “Christie Lee” Brinkley, a supermodel who became his new love prior to An Innocent Man. He can’t stop writing about her throughout the album — only three songs, including the haunted title track, aren’t about her in some form or fashion. That giddiness is infectious, helping make An Innocent Man an innocent delight that unwittingly closes Joel’s classic period.

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Billy Joel – An Innocent Man (1983) [MFSL 2013] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Billy Joel – An Innocent Man (1983) [MFSL 2013]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:40 minutes | Scans included | 1,26 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 825 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2094

Recording The Nylon Curtain exhausted Billy Joel, and even though it had a pair of major hits, it didn’t rival its predecessors in terms of sales. Since he labored so hard at the record, he decided it was time for a break — it was time to record an album just for fun. And that’s how his homage to pre-Beatles pop, An Innocent Man, was conceived: it was designed as a breezy romp through the music of his childhood. Joel’s grasp on history isn’t remarkably astute — the opener “Easy Money” is a slice of Stax/Volt pop-soul, via the Blues Brothers (quite possibly the inspiration for the album), and the label didn’t break the pop charts until well after the British Invasion — but he’s in top form as a craftsman throughout the record. Only once does he stumble on his own ambition (“This Night,” which appropriates its chorus from Beethoven). For the rest of the record, he’s effortlessly spinning out infectious, memorable melodies in a variety of styles, from the Four Seasons send-up “Uptown Girl” and the soulful “Tell Her About It” to a pair of doo wop tributes, “The Longest Time” and “Careless Talk.” Joel has rarely sounded so carefree either in performance or writing, possibly due to “Christie Lee” Brinkley, a supermodel who became his new love prior to An Innocent Man. He can’t stop writing about her throughout the album — only three songs, including the haunted title track, aren’t about her in some form or fashion. That giddiness is infectious, helping make An Innocent Man an innocent delight that unwittingly closes Joel’s classic period.

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Billy Joel – Glass Houses (1980) [MFSL 2012] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Billy Joel – Glass Houses (1980) [MFSL 2012]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 35:12 minutes | Scans included | 1,08 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 693 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2091

The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn’t bring him critical respect, and it didn’t dull his anger. If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker — a soft rocker — infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new wave kids were getting the praise that eluded him. He didn’t take this lying down — he recorded Glass Houses. Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, with a distinctly bitter edge, Glass Houses still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman and Phil Ramone the world-class hitmaker. Even its hardest songs — the terrifically paranoid “Sometimes a Fantasy,” “Sleepin’ With the Television On,” “Close to the Borderline,” the hit “You May Be Right” — have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements, ideal for radio play. Instead of turning out to be a fiery rebuttal to his detractors, the album is a remarkable catalog of contemporary pop styles, from McCartney-esque whimsy (“Don’t Ask Me Why”) and arena rock (“All for Leyna”) to soft rock (“C’etait Toi [You Were the One]”) and stylish new wave pop (“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” which ironically is closer to new wave pop than rock). That’s not a detriment; that’s the album’s strength. The Stranger and 52nd Street were fine albums in their own right, but it’s nice to hear Joel scale back his showman tendencies and deliver a solid pop/rock record. It may not be punk — then again, it may be his concept of punk — but Glass Houses is the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.

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Billy Joel – The Bridge (1986/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Billy Joel – The Bridge (1986/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 00:40:13 minutes | 839 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Columbia Records
Recorded: 1985-86, The Power Station, Chelsea Sound (North), RCA Studios, New York City and Evergreen Studios, Burbank, California.

Riding high on the blockbuster An Innocent Man and with a new jet-setting bride at his side, Billy Joel took full advantage of the high life, as is clear from The Bridge, an album that unwittingly celebrates the excesses of the Reagan years. While he hasn’t quite settled into middle age, Joel is ready to take advantage of his wealth and status, recruiting a hero (Ray Charles) and a new wave kid (Cyndi Lauper) for duets, turning to Sting for inspiration (“Running on Ice”), fronting a big band (“Big Man on Mulberry Street”), writing a song for a movie (“Modern Woman”), and picking up the guitar (“A Matter of Trust”), just for the hell of it. You could say that it’s eclectic, but it’s scattershot, because it’s just Joel showing off his musical skills. He’s done this before, to great effect on Turnstiles, but this is all about hubris and, as such, it sounds exactly like its time. From its processed, distorted guitars to its hollow synthesizers, The Bridge sounds dated and it’s his most uneven since Streetlife Serenade. Even on the hits, he sounds as if he’s stretching — “This Is the Time” is labored compared to “Just the Way You Are” (not to mention considerably more vulgar); “A Matter of Trust” never hits upon a solid riff like “Sometimes a Fantasy”; “Modern Woman” is catchy but fluffy; “Baby Grand” is weighed down by Joel’s vocal affectations. In context of the album, they’re fairly enjoyable, but they hint at the dry spell that was just around the corner. Nevertheless, Joel still has enough panache and is riding on so much exuberance that The Bridge remains an entertaining listen, especially if it’s viewed as a Reagan-era artifact. It just doesn’t compare to what came before. –Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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