Billy Joel: My Lives – 4 CDs plus bonus DVD box set, Over five hours! – Columbia AC5K 93520

by | Dec 28, 2005 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Billy Joel: My Lives – Columbia AC5K 93520 – 4 CDs plus bonus DVD box set,  Length: over 5 hours!  *****:
 
Four CDs, over five hours of previously unreleased tracks including demos, live versions, alternate takes, covers and many more.  Also included is a  DVD, “A Voyage On The River of Dreams – Live From The River of Dreams Tour” with Joel performing his biggest hits of all time! The deluxe 64 page color booklet features in-depth liner notes from Rolling Stone Magazine’s famed Anthony DeCurtis, track-by-track notes of the unreleased material and photos and memorabilia from Billy’s own collection. Each song was hand- picked by Billy himself, going back to his roots all the way to 2001’s Fantasies and Delusions.
For an absolute lover of live music, I have got to say that in My Lives, a Billy Joel extravaganza hits all the right notes.  Joel’s life – full of musical escapades – is revealed in one chart-topping hit after another. Duets with Elton John and Ray Charles; covers of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Leonard Cohen to name a few; are some of the rare never-before-released songs that continue to make me smile when listening to them.
For a live recording to capture the audience’s reactions, as the listener can still hear the music, is a great compliment to the audio techs that worked on this masterpiece.  Likely so goes the DVD’s quality.  Capturing Joel in his comfort zone and where he feels the best.  It’s a wonderful addition to the CDs, especially if you have seen him perform live, and want to cherish the memories by hearing him perform, and then re-watching the DVD.  You may even want to practice your yoga to it!
DeCurtis says of Joel’s music in the liner notes, “When the hits do turn up, they’re often live or in alternate versions – reminders that they’re not just commercial museum pieces, but songs that took on a shape through a creative process and that continue to live and breathe.”  The hammer just hits the nail on the head!
Songs on My Lives include:
DISC 1:
My Journey’s End – (with The Lost Souls), Time And Time Again – (with The Lost Souls),  Every Step I Take (Every Move I Make) – (with The Hassles), You’ve Got Me Hummin’ – (with The Hassles),  Amplifier Fire – (with Atilla), Only A Man – (demo), She`s Got A Way, Oyster Bay – (demo), Piano Man – (demo),  Siegfried Line, The, New Mexico (demo – became “Worse Comes To Worse”),  Cross To Bear – (demo), Miami 2017 – (demo),  These Rhinestone Days (demo – became “I Love These Days”),  Everybody Has A Dream,  Only The Good Die Young – (alternate version),  Until The Night,  Zanzibar – (demo),  It`s Still Rock And Roll To Me.

DISC 2:
Captain Jack – (live),  End Of The World, The (demo – became “Elvis Presley Blvd”), Prime Of Your Life, The (demo – became “For The Longest Time”),  She`s Right On, Elvis Presley Boulevard,  Nobody Knows But Me,  Innocent Man,  An – (demo),  Christie Lee – (demo),  Easy Money,  sAnd So It Goes – (demo),  I`ll Cry Instead – (live),  Keeping The Faith – (12″ dance remix),  Modern Woman, Baby Grand – (featuring Ray Charles),  Getting Closer – (alternate version, featuring Steve Winwood),  House Of Blue Light,  Money Or Love – (demo),  Times They Are A Changin’, The – (live).

DISC 3:
Downeaster “Alexa”,  The,  I Go To Extremes – (live), Shout,  All Shook Up, Heartbreak Hotel, When You Wish Upon A Star, In A Sentimental Mood, Motorcycle Song (demo – became “All About Soul”),  You Picked A Real Bad Time,  River Of Dreams, The – (alternate version),  Hard Day`s Night,  A – (live), Light As The Breeze,  To Make You Feel My Love – (alternate version),  Hey Girl, Why Should I Worry, Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day?),  Highway 61Revisited – (demo),  Highway 61Revisited – (demo).

DISC 4:
Movin’ Out, You May Be Right – (live, featuring Elton John),  Big Shot,  Don`t Worry Baby,  Goodnight Saigon – (live, Vets version),  Los Angelenos,  New York State Of Mind, Opus 1. Soliloquy (On A Separation), Opus 8. Suite For A Piano (Star Crossed): I. Innamorato / II. Sorbetto / III. Delusion, Elegy: The Great Peconic – (with London Symphony Orchestra).

DISC 5, DVD:
Live from the River of Dreams, No Man’s Land,  Pressure, Ballad Of Billy The Kid,  Leningrad,  Allentown,  My Life,  I Go To Extremes, Shades Of Grey,  The River Of Dreams,  Goodnight Saigon, We Didn’t Start The Fire,  A Hard Day’s Night, Big Shot,  Piano Man.

– Paul Pelon IV

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