* compilation *

Recorded:

1973-1985

Charted:

July 20, 1985


Rating:


Genre:

pop rock


Quotable:

--


Album Tracks, Disc 1:

  1. Piano Man
  2. Captain Jack *
  3. The Entertainer *
  4. Say Goodbye to Hollywood
  5. New York State of Mind
  6. The Stranger
  7. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant *
  8. Just the Way You Are
  9. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
  10. Only the Good Die Young
  11. She’s Always a Woman

Album Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. My Life
  2. Big Shot
  3. You May Be Right
  4. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
  5. Don’t Ask Me Why
  6. She’s Got a Way (live) *
  7. Pressure
  8. Allentown
  9. Goodnight Saigon
  10. Tell Her about It
  11. Uptown Girl
  12. The Longest Time
  13. You’re Only Human (Second Wind)
  14. The Night Is Still Young

* These songs were additions to the CD release. They were not on the original LP and cassette versions.

Click on links above to see videos.


Sales (in millions):

10.5 *
0.3
--
21.4

* Because this is a double album, the RIAA actually certifies it for twice the amount it sold, making its “official” U.S. sales 21 million.


Peak:

6
7


Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Piano Man (2/23/74) #25 US, #4 AC
  • The Entertainer (11/30/74) #34 US, #30 AC
  • Just the Way You Are (11/12/77) #3 US, #19 UK, #1 AC, sales: 0.5 m
  • Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) (3/18/78) #17 US, #35 UK, #40 AC
  • Only the Good Die Young (5/13/78) #24 US
  • She’s Always a Woman (8/12/78) #17 US, #53 UK, #2 AC
  • My Life (11/4/78) #3 US, #12 UK, #2 AC, sales: 1.0 m
  • Big Shot (2/10/79) #14 US
  • You May Be Right (3/15/80) #7 US, #48 AC
  • It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (5/13/80) #1 US, #14 UK, #45 AC, sales: 1.0 m
  • Don’t Ask Me Why (8/2/80) #36 US, #1 AC
  • Say Goodbye to Hollywood (live) (9/12/81) #17 US, #35 AC, #11 AR
  • She’s Got a Way (live) (11/21/81) #23 US, #4 AC
  • Pressure (9/25/82) #20 US, #8 AR
  • Allentown (11/27/82) #17 US, #19 AC, #28 AR
  • Goodnight Saigon (3/19/83) #56 US
  • Tell Her about It (7/17/83) #1 US, #4 UK, #1 AC, #17 AR, sales: 1.0 m
  • Uptown Girl (9/24/83) #3 US, #1 UK, #2 AC, #22 AR, sales: 0.5 m
  • The Longest Time (3/24/84) #14 US, #25 UK, #1 AC
  • You’re Only Human (Second Wind) (7/13/85) #9 US, #2 AC, #26 AR
  • The Night Is Still Young (10/5/85) #34 US, #13 AC

* The live version of this song is what charted, but this collection includes the studio version.


Notes:

The 1998 remastered package added videos for “You’re Only Human” and “The Night Is Still Young” and replaced the live version of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” with the original 1976 studio version.


Awards:


Greatest Hits I & II

Billy Joel

Review:

“Although it’s missing a few important (not to mention big) hits, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 is an excellent retrospective of the first half of Billy Joel’s career. Beginning with Piano Man, the first disc runs through a number of early songs…including Captain Jack and New York State of Mind [that] weren’t strictly hits, but were popular numbers within his stage show and became radio hits.” STE

Other early favorites include “the unbridled biographical boasting of The Entertainer and the ambitious storytelling of Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” DD an album cut from The Stranger.

Throughout the album are plenty of hits from the “soft-rock staples such as Just the Way You Are [and] Piano ManDD to “the careening abandon of Only the Good Die Young and the thoughtful social commentary of Allentown.” DD

Of course, this collection also includes the #1 hits It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me and Tell Her About It as well as top ten hits like My Life, You May Be Right, and Uptown Girl. “There’s so many hits, it’s inevitable that some are left off – to be specific, ‘Honesty,’ ‘Sometimes a Fantasy,’ ‘An Innocent Man,’ ‘Leave a Tender Moment,’ and ‘Keeping the Faith’ aren't included.” STE

There are also “two new songs (You’re Only Human (Second Wind), The Night Is Still Young) that became hits as well.” STE

“In short, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 does its job perfectly, encapsulating exactly why Billy Joel was one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s” STE and is “as complete an artist as the last three decades have produced.” DD


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Last updated May 9, 2011.