The first 50th anniversary Billy Joel package has been announced, with Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol.1, set for release on November 21st. Focusing on Billy’s 1970's material, the set features all the albums from 1971's Cold Spring Harbor through 1981's Songs In The Attic — with the exception of 1980's Glass Houses.
Released for the first time as part of the box is the double album, Billy Joel – Live at The Great American Music Hall – 1975. According to the press release, “(The show) was recorded at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, June 1975. The live gig from the Streetlife Serenade tour introduces the earliest available recordings of future Turnstiles classics 'James' and 'New York State Of Mind' into Billy’s catalog, and includes examples of Billy’s loving imitations of Joe Cocker, Elton John and Leon Russell — a staple of his early concerts.”
Wings drummer Denny Seiwell produced the early sessions for Billy's 1971 solo debut Cold Spring Harbor. He recalled being amazed at his talent years before the rest of the world discovered “Billy Joel”: “I started producin' Billy out in Long Island. All I remember was Billy was just awesome. He was phenomenal. In fact one night we were having a problem, we couldn't get him to — he really had unbelievable piano chops and we couldn't get him to slow this (sings piano riff). He wouldn't slow down, so we said, 'How 'bout we get you a bottle of booze, man?' So we got him a bottle of gin (laughs), and he sat it on the piano bench and he just started sluggin' away at this thing. We said, 'Just let him chill out for a little while. We'll slow him down.' And the more he drank, the faster he got!”