The Complete Hits Collection 1973 - 1997 (1997)

Disc One 1. Piano Man 2. Captain Jack 3. The Entertainer 4. Say Goodbye to Hollywood 5. New York State of Mind 6. The Stranger 7. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant 8. Just the Way You Are 9. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) 10.Only the Good Die Young 11.She's Always a Woman Disc Two 1. My Life 2. Big Shot 3. You May Be Right 4. It's Still Rock and Roll To Me 5. Don't Ask Me Why 6. She's Got a Way 7. Pressure 8. Allentown 9. Goodnight Saigon 10.Tell Her About It 11.Uptown Girl 12.The Longest Time 13.You're Only Human (Second Wind) 14.While the Night is Still Young Disc Three 1. Keeping the Faith 2. An Innocent Man 3. A Matter of Trust 4. Baby Grand 5. This is the Time 6. Leningrad 7. We Didn't Start the Fire 8. I Go to Extremes 9. And So it Goes 10.The Downeaster "Alexa" 11.Shameless 12.All About Soul (Remix) 13.Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) 14.The River of Dreams 15.To Make You Feel My Love 16.Hey Girl 17.Light as the Breeze Disc Four 1. Billy Joel Spoken Intro/Music Concepts (Dialogue) 2. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (Live) 3. Beatles Influence (Dialogue) 4. A Hard Day's Night (Live) 5. Why Vienna? (Dialogue) 6. Vienna (Live) 7. History Through Music (Dialogue) 8. We Didn't Start the Fire (Live) 9. Music Source (Dialogue) 10.River of Dreams (Unreleased) 11.Piano Bar (Dialogue) 12.Piano Man (Live)


This is one of those box sets that, if you're a fan, you simply must get. The first 3 discs of the 4 disc set are essentially the same as his two "greatest hits" packages (note: to avoid confusion, even though there were two "packages", the first was a volume one and a volume two and then the second package was a volume three. Make sense?). The only differences are that the songs that were butchered on that first release, for whatever reason in terms of song length, have now been restored to their full time allotment. Oh, sure, there are a few songs that should be here that aren't, but what Greatest Hits album is 100% perfect? Perfect for every fan's tastes.

The real treat on this package is the bonus fourth disc. Throughout his career, Billy gave songwriting workshops to groups of lucky, aspiring musicians and he would share insights and do Q&A on his song ideas, musical inspirations and the business itself. It's a pleasure to listen to, because Joel is really comfortable in this environment. He's not an artist that mumbles behind a dark pair of glasses causing embarrassment for all. He genuinely enjoys the experience of chatting with his admirers and he is very funny and engaging. This disc is comprised of such a workshop. In addition, the songs referenced in the workshop are also included here in never heard before live versions. It's one of those bonus discs that you can hear "more than once", which is not really something you can say about most supplemental material designed to get you to buy an expensive package.

He would go on to release other "best of" compilations, but they were all essentially rehashes of the material that's here. Again, this one is worth whatever the price tag may be.

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