October 12, 2005

Billy Joel boxed set boasts plenty of rarities

By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Billy Joel's upcoming five-disc
boxed set, "My Lives," features 23 never-before-heard songs as
well as a previously unreleased live DVD shot in Frankfurt
during the River of Dreams tour.

The set, due December 6 via Columbia/Legacy, begins with
rare cuts from Joel's mid-1960s bands the Lost Souls and the
Hassles and moves into material recorded by his hard rock act
Attila, which released its only album in 1970. Disc one also
features demos of "Only a Man," "Oyster Bay" and "Piano Man,"
plus early versions of "New Mexico" (which became "Worse Comes
to Worst") and "These Rhinestone Days" (which became "I Loved
These Days").

The second disc sports early versions of "For the Longest
Time" and "Elvis Presley Blvd.," a live take on "Captain Jack"
from a July 1981 show at Sparks Saloon in Huntington, Long
Island, an alternate version of "Getting Closer" with Steve
Winwood and a live cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a
Changin"' recorded in 1987 on a Russian TV show.

Disc three is dominated by live and studio covers of such
tracks as the Isley Brothers' "Shout," Elvis Presley's "All
Shook Up" and "Heartbreak Hotel," the Beatles' "A Hard Day's
Night," Leonard Cohen's "Light as the Breeze" and the Carole
King/Gerry Goffin oldie "Hey Girl."

The final audio disc features a 1994 live duet with Elton
John on "You May Be Right," audio clips of recordings first
issued on Joel's "Essential Video Collection" and a series of
his recent classical compositions.

The live DVD rounds up 14 selections from throughout Joel's
career, including "Pressure," "Allentown," "We Didn't Start the
Fire," "Big Shot" and "Goodnight Saigon."

Fans can also utilize Umixit technology encoded onto the
disc to make their own remixes of Joel's "Zanzibar" and a live
version of "I Go to Extremes."