Thursday, September 25, 2008

Album of the Day #68: COLD SPRING HARBOR - Billy Joel

Title: Cold Spring Harbor

Artist: Billy Joel
Label: Family Productions/Columbia
Year: 1971 (Columbia re-issue: 1983)
Songs: She's Got A Way/You Can Make Me Free/Everybody Loves You Now/Why Judy Why/Falling Of The Rain/Turn Around/You Look So Good To Me/Tomorrow Is Today/Nocturne/Got To Begin Again
Written by: Billy Joel
Produced by: Artie Ripp
Thoughts: Joel's debut album introduces us to the Joel that we would see on The Stranger, a crafter of simply structured pop tunes, heavy on the piano. The remaining three of Joel's first four would be diversions of this sound. Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade presented a Californian Joel, with rudimentary country tunes while Turnstiles had all that grandiosity of returning to New York. Cold Spring Harbor, though, sounds like an indie album, which it actually was in 1971, until Columbia resurrected it in 1983, with new overdubs and edits. The songs themselves are pretty straightforward. Only a few of them stand-out. Beside the two that he still performs, those being "She's Got A Way" and "Everybody Loves You Now", "Tomorrow Is Today" and probably "Why Judy Why" are the tracks that really stick out. A personal highlight for me is the tranquil "Nocturne", a solo piano exercise. It's truly a wonderful piece, but a classically trained pianist might scoff at its' naivete. (Of course, I can't even play, so what do I know....)
Rating: 7/10

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