One might think nothing of MusicTAP's recent listing of The Very Best of Billy Joel as coming from Legacy on November 9. The Long Island native has been compiled a lot - his first, double-sized greatest-hits compilation in 1985, a third volume in 1997, an entry in Legacy's Essential series and so on.
Call it a hunch, but this author thinks there might be something to this set. For one, Amazon's list price for the compilation is $9.99, suggesting a single-disc set...and when you think about it, the Piano Man has never had a domestic compilation devoted to just the greatest hits on one disc. (Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel, which was a neat item for collectors that possessed a few single edits available nowhere else on CD, was an import.)
Add to that the fact that Joel seems to be a bit more present in the media than usual. The Last Play at Shea documentary chronicling his star-studded gigs at the now-demolished Shea Stadium in New York City will open in theatres later this month. Tonight, "Only the Good Die Young" is a featured song in the popular FOX series Glee. And Joel is rumored to be taking his passion for motorcycling to a new degree with the opening of his own motorcycle shop in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Maybe this is rampant speculation, but could there be something more in the works for Joel's catalogue? He was particularly game about doing press for 2008's reissue of The Stranger; perhaps there's more goodies on the way. Maybe that darn single version of "Sometimes a Fantasy" isn't that far away after all...
UPDATE 10/10: This set, now simply titled The Hits, has a track list. It is a really simple compilation, not something a hardcore fan needs to buy, but easily something to ease new fans into the music of Billy Joel. This author still holds hope that this is a small step into something much bigger.
Read the track list after the jump.
Billy Joel, The Hits (Columbia/Legacy 88697 80811-2, 2010)
- Everybody Loves You Now
- Piano Man
- The Entertainer
- New York State of Mind
- Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
- Only the Good Die Young
- My Life
- Big Shot
- You May Be Right
- It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
- Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Live)
- The Longest Time
- Tell Her About It
- A Matter of Trust
- We Didn't Start the Fire
- I Go to Extremes
- The River of Dreams
Track 1 from Cold Spring Harbor (Family, 1971 - remixed/re-released Columbia, 1984)
Track 2 from Piano Man (Columbia, 1973)
Track 3 from Streetlife Serenade (Columbia, 1975)
Track 4 from Turnstiles (Columbia, 1976)
Tracks 5-6 from The Stranger (Columbia, 1977)
Tracks 7-8 from 52nd Street (Columbia, 1978)
Tracks 9-10 from Glass Houses (Columbia, 1980)
Track 11 from Songs in the Attic (Columbia, 1981)
Tracks 12-13 from The Nylon Curtain (Columbia, 1982)
Tracks 14-15 from An Innocent Man (Columbia, 1983)
Track 16 from The Bridge (Columbia, 1986)
Tracks 17-18 from Storm Front (Columbia, 1989)
Track 19 from River of Dreams (Columbia, 1993)