Having scored three multi-platinum hits in a row, Billy Joel took a breather, releasing his first live album, Songs in the Attic, as he worked on his ambitious follow-up to Glass Houses. Joel wisely decided to use the live album as an opportunity to draw attention to songs from his first four albums. Apart from "Piano Man," none of those songs had been heard by the large audience he had won with The Stranger. Furthermore, he now had a seasoned backing band that helped give his music a specific identity -- in short, it was an opportunity to reclaim these songs, now that he had a signature sound. And Joel didn't botch the opportunity -- Songs in the Attic is an excellent album, ranking among his very best work. With the possible exception of the Turnstiles material, every song is given a fuller, better arrangement that makes it all spring to life. "Los Angelenos" and "Everybody Loves You Now" hit harder in the live setting, while ballads like "She's Got a Way," "Summer, Highland Falls," and "I've Loved These Days" are richer and warmer in these versions. A few personal favorites from these albums may be missing, but what is here is impeccable, proving that even if Joel wasn't a celebrity in the early '70s, his best songs of the era rivaled his biggest hits.
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Performance CreditsBilly Joel Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
Richie Cannata Organ,Flute,Keyboards,Saxophone,Wind
Liberty DeVitto Percussion,Drums
Russell Javors Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Doug Stegmeyer Bass,Bass Guitar
Dave Brown Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Technical CreditsBilly Joel Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Artwork
Jim Boyer Engineer,Remixing
Phil Ramone Producer,Liner Notes,Remixing
Brian Ruggles Producer
Elliot Scheiner Engineer,Remixing
Bradshaw Leigh Engineer
Larry Franke Engineer
John Naatjes Tape Research
Michiko Oka Contributor
Tom Roberts Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Songs in the Attic based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
What a fantastic album. Such energy coming from these songs. I love Captain Jack, I Loved These Days and Say Goodbye to Hollywood. Billy was younger in those days, but what a talent! I have a special interest in this album, since one of the songs was recorded live at the St. Paul (MN) Civic Center, and I was there for the performance.
This is a great live CD with a lot of the Billy Joel's best! Also some less known hits are included. The best version of Captain Jack is also on this CD. AND what a bargain!
Over the years I've listened to Songs in the Attic hundreds of times and I still get goosebumps when I hear it. One of my favorite albums ever by anyone.
Some artists are equally good in the studio and live. Billy Joel is not one of them. This album helped me rediscover some of his best songs, which were lost in the shuffle when I heard them on the original albums. The best example is in ''Captain Jack'': the original doesn't even compare. This album is among his best. In my opinion, the energy does so much, and it's even a more worthwhile buy than his ''Greatest Hits.''