Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
12 Gardens: Live (2CD)
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
This extraordinary double CD from superstar Billy Joel was recorded live at Madison Square Garden during his recent record-breaking 12 sold-out shows in New York City. This two-hour collection features amazing live versio... more »
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This extraordinary double CD from superstar Billy Joel was recorded live at Madison Square Garden during his recent record-breaking 12 sold-out shows in New York City. This two-hour collection features amazing live versions of thirty of Billy's greatest hits and fan favorites. More from Billy Joel
An Innocent Man
Billy Joel: Greatest Hits Vol. 1-2
My Lives (Box Set)
Movin' Out (2002 Original Broadway Cast)
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Finally, a great live Billy Joel album!
New World Smurf | Richmond, Virginia | 06/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Billy Joel is one of those performers who must be seen live no matter what kind of music you listen to. Having been a fan for many years but unfortunately living in the New York metro area where one must barter kidneys and firstborn children to have even a chance at a ticket to one of his shows, I was finally able to see Billy on this tour in Philadelphia. It was well worth the twenty-odd-year wait, and "12 Gardens" is a fine representation of the show. Billy plays to both the casual fans and the diehards, including plenty of his hits ("You May Be Right," "We Didn't Start The Fire" and, of course, "Piano Man") and some obscure stuff ("Laura," "Zanzibar," "Miami 2017"). Billy's voice is still remarkable and hasn't lost much of its range, and his piano work is as always tremendous. What comes across most in "12 Gardens," though, is his obvious love of performing. He's having an absolute blast and you can hear it in every note; there is nothing better than listening to a performer who truly loves what he does.
So why only 4 stars? Personal nitpicking on my part--"Pressure" isn't included, which is a shame since he did a spectacular job of it (and it also happens to be my favorite song of his). What I was really hoping for, though, was the inclusion of his cover of AC/DC's "Highway To Hell," on which he played guitar and one of his roadies sang (very well, I might add!). As the friend who accompanied me to the show said, "I never thought I'd be throwing metal at a Billy Joel concert!" But don't mind my personal prejudices--if you're even a casual Billy Joel fan you'll enjoy "12 Gardens." In an age where "performers" lip-sync to pre-recorded tracks and charge hundreds of dollars for people to witness it, it's refreshing to listen to someone with immense musical talent do what he does best."
One of the best live albums I've heard
DanD | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pop music has always been about the moment--hence its name. Every once in a while, a pop artist rises above the moment, and becomes timeless. Call him pop, call him rock (hell, you can call him classical, country, blues, and jazz too, and probably several other genres), Billy Joel is a timeless musical artist. Want proof? Pick up this two disc set and listen to the musical magic.
What makes 12 GARDENS LIVES so wonderful isn't just the tunes; after all, we've heard 'em before, haven't we? Many of these have become pop/rock standards. No, what sets GARDENS apart from the rest of its ilk is that Joel is still as wonderful as he was when he came out--the man, like his music, has aged gracefully. His piano playing skills are still to be reckoned with; his voice still carries the range and tenacity that made it so delictable way back when. His energy is infectious; the live audience feels it, and you do too, with these classic songs of love, life, hope, and rejuvenation blaring in your ears. From the poetic "New York State of Mind," to the memorial "Goodnight Saigon," to the raunchy "Only the Good Die Young," to the rowdy "You May Be Right," to the satiric "The Entertainer"...you get the idea. These songs are golden. And probably the most telling songs on the album come at the end of the second disc: Joel's musical anthem "And So It Goes" (and so he does), and the unlisted track just following, "It's Still Rock 'n Roll To Me." Both songs are about timelessness and continuity, about keeping face and moving on. That's what Billy Joel has done for decades; 12 GARDENS LIVE is simply another great pop/rock/whatever album by one of the most talented musical artists in the world."
Give it up for the Piano Man!
Andrew Geisel | Mammoth Lakes, CA | 07/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Billy Joel, like his 88-key counterpart Elton John, started as a troubador and turned those early years pounding a piano in various dives and small venues into quite an illustrious career as one of pop music's most enduring and best loved singer-songwriters, who also happened to be able to bring down the house when on stage. "12 Gardens Live" is an audio illustration of why Joel has always been exceptional live - the ability to take his pop confections, album standards and deep cuts and give them new life in front of an audience. That he sold out 12 nights at Madison Square Garden is no surprise-Joel's still got the chops, both vocally and on the piano, and easily punctuates why the piano is an integral part of rock and roll, while not neglecting the guitar and sax. And New York is a "hometown" audience, so of course he's right at home there. His energy for performing is evident and some of the rearrangements let the songs take off on their own now and then with interesting results. Playing songs rarely heard live, like "Laura" and "She's Right on Time" (from "The Nylon Curtain"), the single "The Night is Still Young," and "Don't Ask Me Why" (from "Glass Houses") side by side with Joel's list of tried and true concert favorites make for a nice collection of some of his best material. However, unlike Elton John, who's proven that one can grow old gracefully on record and still make good on stage, Joel's been sadly absent from the studio these last years and if anything what's only missing from this great set is some recent material, as there's nothing here written after "River of Dreams." If anything "12 Gardens Live" serves to prove that Joel's got what it takes-the Piano Man can play and certainly he can also write; Joel just needs to get in the studio and get back to doing what he's quite obviously so good at."