Vintage Billy Joel Concert Spotlights Early Classics


Out now is Billy Joel – Live At The Great American Music Hall – 1975. The album was originally issued back in 2021 as part of the multi-disc Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol.1, with the new issue marking its first standalone release.

The concert was captured back on June 8th, 1975 at San Francisco's The Great American Music Hall during Billy's tour behind his third album — 1974's Streetlife Serenade. The show features the earliest available recordings of future Turnstiles classics "James" and "New York State Of Mind" — along with Billy’s between-song, loving imitations of Joe Cocker, Elton John, and Leon Russell.

Billy Joel became a master imitator early on — mainly because he hated his own singing: ["I don’t think of myself as a singer. People have said, ‘Oh, I like your voice.’ Just my personal. . .  It's all subjective — I don't like my own voice. I’m always trying to sound like somebody else. I’m trying to sound like Little Richard, I’m trying to sound like Ray Charles, I’m trying to sound like the Beatles, I’m trying to sound like anybody but that little ‘schnook’ from Levittown. I don’t like his voice."] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC: . . . like his voice)

Billy Joel next performs on May 5th at New York's Madison Square Garden.