Billy Joel turns 70 on Thursday, May 9, and is celebrating with a birthday concert at Madison Square Garden, where he’s currently headlining an unprecedented years-long residency of monthly concerts. While the piano man hasn’t released an album of original songs since 1993’s River of Dreams, he’s hardly been idle these past 26 years and remains a top concert draw. Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings are commemorating Joel the live performer with a new streaming playlist available today.
Live Through the Years is a 20-track survey of Joel onstage, recorded between 1977 and 2006, and features numerous rarities and audio debuts of tracks previously released on videos only. The set kicks off with a pair of tracks from the artist’s June 4, 1977 Carnegie Hall show: “Prelude/Angry Young Man” and “She’s Got a Way,” both of which were previously available on the iTunes-exclusive edition of the 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition of The Stranger. A further five tracks from later that year at Joel’s Long Island hometown venue Nassau Coliseum have been drawn from the Best Buy bonus disc of that same release. Through the Years then journeys four years later to another Nassau show (December 29, 1982) for “Allentown,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” and “Pressure.” These tracks are making their audio debuts here, having been released as part of the Live from Long Island home video.
The set then jumps to the 1990s with performances from the Los Angeles Sports Arena (“The Downeaster ‘Alexa,'” April 6, 1990, from That’s Not Her Style: The Storm Front Tour promo CD); Yankee Stadium (three songs from the June 22-23, 1990 concerts preserved on the video release Live at Yankee Stadium); and another three from Frankfurt Germany on June 18, 1994 from the My Lives DVD. The playlist’s final three songs have been taken from Joel’s then-record breaking Madison Square Garden concerts from January through April 2006. “You’re My Home” was released on the “All My Life” CD single, “Sleeping with the Television On” was a digital bonus track for 12 Gardens Live, and “A Room of Our Own” was a bonus track from the physical edition of that album.
Jam-packed with rare live cuts, Live Through the Years is available now on Spotify and streaming providers! You can check out the track listing below.
- Prelude/Angry Young Man
- She’s Got a Way
- Just The Way You Are
- The Ballad of Billy The Kid
- Get It Right The First Time
- Summer, Highland Falls
- Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
- The Downeaster “Alexa”
- New York State of Mind **
- Piano Man
- We Didn’t Start The Fire
- My Life
- The River of Dreams
- Big Shot
- You’re My Home
- Sleeping With The Television On
- A Room Of Our Own
Tracks 1-2 recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York City – June 4, 1977. Released on iTunes version of The Stranger: 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition – Columbia/Legacy, 2008
Tracks 3-7 recorded at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – December 11, 1977. Released on Best Buy exclusive bonus disc of The Stranger: 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition – Columbia/Legacy 88697 22581-2, 2008
Tracks 8-10 recorded at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – December 29, 1982. Released on Live From Long Island – CBS Fox Home Video 6297, 1983
Track 11 recorded at Los Angeles Sports Arena, California – April 6, 1990. Released on That’s Not Her Style: The Storm Front Tour – Columbia promo CSK 2127, 1990
Tracks 12-14 recorded at Yankee Stadium, New York City – June 22-23, 1990. Released on Live At Yankee Stadium – CMV Enterprises 49061, 1990. (** also released on Columbia promo 001013 3 (Australia), 1991)
Tracks 15-17 recorded at Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany – June 18, 1994. Released on DVD included in My Lives
Tracks 18-20 recorded at Madison Square Garden, New York City – January-April 2006. Track 18 released on “All My Life” CD single – Columbia 88697 07255 2, 2007. Track 19 released on Sony Music Direct digital version of 12 Gardens Live (Columbia, 2006). Track 20 is a bonus track from physical edition of that album.