12 Gardens (2006)

Disc One 1. Angry Young Man 2. My Life 3. Everybody Loves You Now 4. The Ballad of Billy the Kid 5. The Entertainer 6. Vienna 7. New York State of Mind 8. The Night is Still Young 9. Zanzibar 10.Miami 2017 (I've Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) 11.The Great Wall of China 12.Allentown 13.She's Right on Time 14.Don't Ask Me Why 15.Laura 16.A Room of Our Own Disc Two 1. Goodnight Saigon 2. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) 3. An Innocent Man 4. The Downeaster "Alexa" 5. She's Always a Woman 6. Keeping the Faith 7. The River of Dreams 8. A Matter of Trust 9. We Didn't Start the Fire 10.Big Shot 11.You May Be Right 12.Only the Good Die Young 13.Scenes From an Italian Restaurant 14.Piano Man 15.And So it Goes 16.It's Still Rock and Roll to Me *Bonus ITunes Tracks* 1.Honesty 2.Stiletto


At last! A Billy Joel live album that makes sense! Unlike his previous attempts at live albums this is basically what a live album should be. It's not a collection of mostly unheard of tracks, nor is it a pseudo documentary of life behind the iron curtain, nor a New Year's Eve party bash. It's simply a collection of great songs from some great performances.

A lot of performances actually, yet they're from the same place at roughly the same time. As you may guess from the title, he played twelve shows at New York's Madison square Garden earlier in the year when he recorded these songs. If anything, the fact that he could justify having twelve shows anywhere thirteen years after he retired from recording says a lot for the man. He changed the set list throughout the performances, so there's a wide variety of material here. Sure, there are some that were actually at the shows that will gripe about what was left off this record, but the only thing that would make those people happy is if he recorded and released a live album of every song he's ever done (hmmmmm.......come to think of it......).

The set list is a pretty good representation of how his shows went. A lot of hits, a lot of fan favorites and lot of gems thrown that rarely ever get played. The in-between songs banter is missing. But when you pack this many songs on two cds, more talk would have meant less music. So I'm glad there's more singing and less yakking. Of course, all of this would be moot if the performances had been lacking. They're not. Joel proves that he can still put on an incredible live show.

P.S. - If you buy the whole album from ITunes, there are 2 additional songs. Not really a good thing, since you can't buy the songs separately. In other words, if you bought this anywhere else and then found out about the itunes deal - you were basically screwed. It still amazes me how the record industry still treats the public after they've essentially destroyed themselves through greed.

Back To Main Page
Go To Next Review