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Billy Joel|Songs In the Attic

Songs In the Attic

Billy Joel

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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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Songs In the Attic

Billy Joel

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1
Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) (Live)
00:05:06

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Summer, Highland Falls (Live)
00:03:05

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Streetlife Serenader (Live)
00:05:19

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Los Angelenos (Live)
00:03:49

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
She's Got a Way (Live)
00:03:00

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Everybody Loves You Now (Live)
00:03:12

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Live)
00:04:24

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Captain Jack (Live)
00:07:16

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
You're My Home (Live)
00:03:08

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
The Ballad of Billy Kid (Live)
00:05:27

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
I've Loved These Days (Live)
00:04:35

Billy Joel, Composer - Billy Joel, Harmonica - Billy Joel, Lyricist - Billy Joel, Performer - Billy Joel, Piano - Billy Joel, Vocal - Phil Ramone, Producer - Phil Ramone, Re-Mixer - Elliot Scheiner, Engineer - Elliot Scheiner, Re-Mixer - Russel Javors, Acoustic Guitar - Jim Boyer, Engineer - Jim Boyer, Re-Mixer - David Brown, Acoustic Guitar - David Brown, Electric Guitar - Chaz Clifton, Assistant Engineer - Russel Javors, Electric Guitar - Paul Hulse, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Doug Stegmeyer, Bass Guitar - Liberty De Vito, Drums - Liberty De Vito, Percussion - Richie Cannata, Flute - Richie Cannata, Organ - Richie Cannata, Saxophone

(P) 1981 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

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.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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