The Essential Billy Joel

( 22 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Piano man Billy Joel has emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters in modern rock and pop music. With his equal affection for Beatlesque hooks, Tin Pan Alley flair, and Broadway melodies, he's delivered some of the past three decades' biggest and most memorable hits, launching him into multiplatinum superstardom. This two-disc greatest-hits package celebrates the highlights of Joel's career with gems such as "Just the Way You Are," "Piano Man," "Uptown Girl," and the sentimental favorite "New York State of Mind."
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Released in conjunction with Billy Joel's grand experiment with classical music, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Piano man Billy Joel has emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters in modern rock and pop music. With his equal affection for Beatlesque hooks, Tin Pan Alley flair, and Broadway melodies, he's delivered some of the past three decades' biggest and most memorable hits, launching him into multiplatinum superstardom. This two-disc greatest-hits package celebrates the highlights of Joel's career with gems such as "Just the Way You Are," "Piano Man," "Uptown Girl," and the sentimental favorite "New York State of Mind."
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Released in conjunction with Billy Joel's grand experiment with classical music, The Essential Billy Joel was a welcome reminder of Billy Joel's way with a pop song, improving on the previous Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2 by extending into the '90s and delving deeper into his catalog. There were some casualties along the way -- it's easy for a fan to carp about the absence of personal favorites like "She's Right on Time" or "Travelin' Prayer," and it may even make some sense that "You're Only Human Second Wind" or "Shameless" didn't make the cut, but it's mind-boggling that "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" isn't here we won't mention that the classical pieces that end the record, no matter how surprisingly good they are, are as out of place as Attila would have been -- but for the most part, this has every one of Joel's heavy-hitters, and his craftsmanship, both as a songsmith and record maker, has never shone brighter. The biggest fault is that there is a notable drop-off in quality after 1986's The Bridge which ends midway through disc two, but even so, this is as good a distillation of Joel's talents imaginable. In fact, as the first disc unfurls, even cynics may wonder why he's been dogged by the critics, since singer/songwriter pop doesn't come better than "Say Goodbye to Hollywood," "New York State of Mind," "Only the Good Die Young," "My Life," "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," "Don't Ask Me Why," "Allentown," and their seven companions.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/2/2001
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998600522
  • Catalog Number: 86005
  • Sales rank: 248

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Billy Joel Primary Artist, Harmonica, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Richard Huyghe Piano
Richard Joo Track Performer
Technical Credits
Billy Joel Producer
Mark Feldman Marketing
Christopher Austopchuk Art Direction
Andreas Meyer Mastering
Gary Montalvo Art Direction
Greg Linn Production Director, Marketing
Sharon Czechowski Administration
Jane Arginteanu Administration
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Essential Billy Joel

    This guy can really write music that makes compositional sense. I really enjoyed listening to all his songs on this two disc cd and never get tired of it. Upcoming artists should buy this cd in order to get an idea on how to write quality music. I give "The Essential Billy Joel" a five star rating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a very good cd

    i like the billy joel cd my favorite songs are still rocking roll to me we didn't start the fire always a woman to me the river of dreams and alot more a very good cd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not bad, but missing a few "essentials"

    I'd actually give this three and a half stars. I picked it up a while back and if I'd really been paying attention, I'd have gone for the Complete Hits Collection instead. "Essential" isn't a bad buy, but it does have its flaws. These CDs do a fairly good job of gathering Billy Joel's most well-known and popular songs. Casual listeners will recognize many of the songs on here (anybody who has ever been to a bar should at least be familiar with 'Piano Man'). Billy Joel followers will find most of their favorites, with a few notable (and significant) exceptions. The most glaring omission: 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant.' While not my personal favorite, that song is undoubtedly one of Billy's finest. Hits like 'Big Shot' and 'This Is The Time' are also conspicuously absent. Some of Billy Joel's more obscure works are added to fill the gap, but, really, what's the point? The people who will be interested in those songs are die-hard fans who probably own most of his albums already, anyway. Joel-newbies and casual listeners will find value here: they'll get most of the songs they're familiar with at a very reasonable price. Those who are more enthusiastic would be better off looking at the 'Greatest Hits' collection, which is far more encompassing and complete.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's just not enough!

    Billy Joel had made so many huge hits. One would assume that they would all be on here, but they're not. There are some unnecessary songs on here as well. Most of Joel's hits are on here, but some of my favorite minor hits are not ("Pressure", "The Stranger"). Some of his important songs are not on here. I can't believe "Big Shot" was excluded from this collection! Same with "Big Man on Mulberry Street", one of his biggest hits ever, yet it's not on any of his compilations! If the songs are supposed to be playing in chronological order, then I also don't understand why "She's Got a Way" is in the wrong place. There are too many songs from "Storm Front" and "River of Dreams" on this collection, and the songs I mentioned that should be on here would have done better in place of those couple (but in chronological order still). I also don't think it was too necessary to put any of Joel's classical pieces on here either. When are they ever going to make a completely decent Billy Joel collection?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Essential Billy Joel

    billy joel is my favorite singer . i bought this cd yesterday & i love all the song on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful Collection

    Fabulous music by a fantastic artist! A Must for any Billy Joel Fan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Enthusiastic Billy Joel Fan

    I was quite disturbed when I heard that Billy Joel was no longer doing pop music. But now that he's slipped into classical I believe that I enjoy his work even more than ever. Billy Joel's musical appeal has seen me through some tough times in my life. I wish others could benefit as much from his music as I have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Billy Joel

    Billy Joel inspired me to become Londons first and last real pianoman. I think anyone with a heart can appreciate his insight into life, he just knows how to make the piano sing and the lyrics hit the heart. What can you say to a great person but to just keep on being great... MATTHEW_RAND2000@YAHOO.COM

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    We Didn't Start The Fire

    Isn't 'The Essential Billy Joel' an oxymoron? Repackaging of long forgotten 80's radio pap is scary in the sense that it may cause these overplayed sappy tunes to be heard again. Probably the most overrated artist of the pop era, this collection will only reinforce the bestowment of that title. Horrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Essential Billy Joel is Essential for Music Lovers

    I've never been an avid Joel fan, but this collection lets me hear his best songs. I am starting to really enjoy his work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Billy Joel- A True Talent

    I agree with reviewer ''Razor (raydeeoh2002@yahoo.com), a fan of all types of music,'' that repackaging of greatest hits that were previously released in another greatest hits-style album has become commonplace nowadays and that does irk me. Other than that, Billy Joel will always be a true talent-one that is so rare. Most artists nowadays have a great voice, but that is all. I do not fault them for that. But Billy Joel's voice(albeit not as it once was) is not his only talent. His ability to create the lyrics that give life to his music and vice versa is a talent that he'll never show a loss in. His classical album(just released) is not only a valent attempt(valent because he had a classical pianist play the piano by admitting he lacks the ability to give creedence to the pieces he so eloquenty created). This ''Essentials'' is an essential collection for anyone who has not already purchased his other greatest hits collections.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Collection

    Billy Joel rules! Moves from moody melody to soul shaking intensity with equal ease. An excellent compilation of memorable songs presented by one of contemporary music's very best craftsman. If you can't appreciate his talent, you don't know music! Billy's music will endure long after his critics have faded away!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GET AWAY YOU SILLY COMMENT

    Billy Joel is certainly not one of the most overrated pop idols... He has made some of the greatest music of the last three decades. Billy has always reinvented himself.. And the critic below is too stupid for words. All of his albums have been top of the bill and have lived up to the fans. Now his classical work will find new audiences and please his old time fans. He is '' THE PIANO MAN ''.... Thanks Billy for what you have done for music and for me... Your music has enlightened my life ! Ron

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Rock On!

    One of the best collection of Billy Joel songs ever released.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The single greatest musician to walk the planet

    In retort to raydeeo... I can't believe he is refering to the single greatest musician to walk the planet, namely Billy Joel. His versatility and creativity make him the best ever. There aren't enough qualified words in the english language to ever over-rate his talent. When you find your taste in music (I suggest you look somewhere up your a$$) listen to his music again and I am sure you will concure. Agreed it is redundant to put out another Greatest Hits album under a different title, but come-on theis Billy we can never get enough of him. ...don't take any shlt from anybody! - BJ

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews