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Brian W.
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Posted: 17 March 2005 at 2:56am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

A new Billy Joel import from Sony Music Asia includes what I believe is the first CD appearance of the 45 version of "Piano Man," running 4:33.

It's called "Piano Man - The Very Best of Billy Joel," Columbia 519018 2, UPC 4893391121425. It's a single disc comp with a recent and somewhat scary sepia-toned photo of half of Billy Joel's face on the cover.

The disc also contains the radio edit of "Tell Her About It" and the 45 versions of "My Life" and and "Just the Way You Are," all of which were on the original issue of his "Greatest Hits Vol. I & II," plus the 45 edit of "We Didn't Start the Fire" and the 4:16 radio edit of "All About Soul."
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 17 March 2005 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

I appreciate this valuable info, Brian. I didn't realize "Tell Her About It" had been made into a radio edit. Do you know how long it runs?    

Now if Sony would only reissue the superior 45 version of "Keeping the Faith"!
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Brian W.
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Posted: 17 March 2005 at 1:52pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Hold on, I'm wrong about "Tell Her About It." It's the LP version, which was also the 45 version. I was thinking the LP version ran over 4:00. Sorry about that. There is a shorter 3:35 version on the original issue of "Greatest Hits Vol I & II," which I assume that's a radio edit.

And, though the edit within the song is the same, "Just the Way You Are" appears to be faded about ten seconds earlier than the 45. The edit on the original "Gr. Hits" actually fades a few seconds LATER than the 45. So it looks like Sony Music's "Pop Music: The Modern Era 1976-1999" is the only place to get the true 45 version.

But the original issue of "Gr. Hits I & II" contains several single edits that are hard to find and were not used on the remastered edition: Big Shot, My Life, Say Goodbye to Hollywood, Pressure.

Yeah, Todd, I was really annoyed that none of his remastered CDs contained any bonus tracks. The remix of "Keeping the Faith" is one, also the longer 45 version of "Sometimes a Fantasy," and some rare B-sides.
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Bob Lovely
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 6:40am | IP Logged Quote Bob Lovely

To the best of my knowledge, the 12" re-mix version of "Tell Her All About It" has never been released on CD, anywhere. If I am incorrect, I would love to know...

Bob

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EdisonLite
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 7:37am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Brian W writes: "A new Billy Joel import from Sony Music Asia includes what I believe is the first CD appearance of the 45 version of "Piano Man," running 4:33"

To Brian: Since I'm assuming you don't have the 45 to A-B, can you compare the panning on this version with the panning on any other CD version? I have the 45 and it's not just an edit -- I remember the left-right panning was different on the 45 (i.e. some instruments that were more over on the left on the LP, were on the right on the 45 -- that sort of thing). So if you can compare two CDs and find this to be the case, then I'd be pretty sure this is indeed the 45 version. Otherwise, it's possible they just took the LP version and edited it down to have the same edits as the 45.
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 7:43am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Brian, it appears this CD may have been released in England, and possibly Canada, too. Do you know if the Asian version is the only one with the 45 version of "Piano Man?"
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Brian W.
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 7:49am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Bob Lovely wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, the 12" re-mix version of "Tell Her All About It" has never been released on CD, anywhere. If I am incorrect, I would love to know...

Bob


Actually, you are incorrect, Bob. It's on one of the UK CD singles (there were two) for "I Go to Extremes." It's a four-track CD single in a slim line jewel case.
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Brian W.
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 8:05am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

EdisonLite wrote:
So if you can compare two CDs and find this to be the case, then I'd be pretty sure this is indeed the 45 version.


Will do, but give me a couple days, as I'll have to borrow the LP version from a friend. My Billy Joel Greatest Hits seems to have disappeared over the years -- first disc two, which was in my CD wallet when it was stolen, and now the whole damn thing seems to have vanished.

EdisonLite wrote:
Brian, it appears this CD may have been released in England, and possibly Canada, too. Do you know if the Asian version is the only one with the 45 version of "Piano Man?"


You know, I was surprised when I found out it was an import, because when I first saw it a few days ago, I thought it was domestic. But the only copy Tower on Sunset Blvd. had was this import, and it's listed on Amazon as an import. So I'm not sure if they're all the same. Mine has 19 tracks, starting off with tell her about it and ending with Just the Way You Are. Scandanavian Skies is track 13. Piano Man is track 4.
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 8:35am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

When we are lucky enough to get a single version that has never been on CD before, like now with "Piano Man", I wonder if it's because the comp producer was actually conscious of its lack of CD availability and did it for the fans, knowing it would increase sales -- or if it's just a case of it getting on by accident, or if it's more an issue of the label wanting to stick on as many songs as they can fit in 80 minutes, so they go with the edits. I have a feeling it's usually the latter 2 reasons!
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Brian W.
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Posted: 18 March 2005 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

EdisonLite wrote:
or if it's more an issue of the label wanting to stick on as many songs as they can fit in 80 minutes, so they go with the edits.


I figured that was the reason in this case, too. Too bad they didn't use the single edit of "Goodnight Saigon"!
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Bob Lovely
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Posted: 20 March 2005 at 5:30am | IP Logged Quote Bob Lovely

Brian W. wrote:
Bob Lovely wrote:
To the best of my knowledge, the 12" re-mix version of "Tell Her All About It" has never been released on CD, anywhere. If I am incorrect, I would love to know...

Bob


Actually, you are incorrect, Bob. It's on one of the UK CD singles (there were two) for "I Go to Extremes." It's a four-track CD single in a slim line jewel case.


Thanks Brian! I must have missed that one over the years...

Bob

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Brian W.
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Posted: 21 March 2005 at 2:49am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

I'll be damned, Edison -- it IS a different mix!

Okay, first, the piano-and-harmonica opening are basically mono.. but on the LP version, when the harmonica is on its last note and the drums start in softly, those drums are dead center, and they're ever-so-slightly left-panned on the 45 version. On the first verse, guitar is in the left channel on both, but the drums are slightly further to the right on the LP version -- the edit has the drums almost center.

Then the second verse, when I really knew I was listening to a different mix. "He said son can you play me a memory." The accordian and mandolin are REVERSED from what they are on the LP version, and are both mixed louder.

After the first chorus the guitar in the left channel (which remains in the left channel through both for the whole song) fades down to practically inaudible level on the LP version by the time the next verse starts, but it's still clearly audible at that point in the edit version -- mixed much stronger.

And of course it cuts out the "Bill I believe this is killing me" and "Paul is a real estate novelist" verses. Another difference I noticed is in the ending notes: the accordion is slightly left on the LP version, and VERY far right on the 45 mix.

I prefer the 45 mix. I wonder who remixed it. (Though from the biographical write-up in the booklet, the single came before the "eventual album of the same title," so maybe the single IS the original mix.

I haven't listened to "Piano Man" closely in many years... it sure is depressing song, isn't it?
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 21 March 2005 at 7:46am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Thanks for checking, Brian. The fact that the "Piano Man" mix on the new "Very Best Of" CD is different than all other CD versions of "Piano Man" would certainly suggest this is the single mix. There's also the possibility that this is an alternate version (not the single or album mix). And since I don't think you have the actual 45, what I'll do is dig out mine and play it and see if your description above matches what's on the 45.
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 21 March 2005 at 9:19am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Let us know what you find out, EdisonLite!



Brian W. wrote:
Yeah, Todd, I was really annoyed that none of his remastered CDs contained any bonus tracks. The remix of "Keeping the Faith" is one, also the longer 45 version of "Sometimes a Fantasy," and some rare B-sides.


Yes, the 45 length of "Sometimes a Fantasy" is big on my CD "wish list" as well. But seeing how 1) Billy Joel's songs rarely get licensed on various artist compilations; 2) his catalog has already been remastered; and 3) we've already a healthy helping of best-of collections from him, I'm beginning to think the chances of getting the extended single version of "Sometimes a Fantasy" on a commercial CD release are becoming slim. :-(
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Posted: 31 March 2005 at 6:24pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Can anyone who has the Billy Joel Piano Man - The Very Best of import CD verify if the version of "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" on it is the 45 or LP version?
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 01 April 2005 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Todd writes: <Can anyone who has the Billy Joel Piano Man - The Very Best of import CD verify if the version of "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" on it is the 45 or LP version?>

Well, I don't have the new "Very Best" CD to confirm (though I plan to buy it), but I did compare the 45 version with Brian's description of the "Very Best" mix and they do SEEM to be the same. I also compared the 45 version with the Long Version on CD, which supported the same differences as Brian describes. However, I don't have the "Very Best" CD to see if it is really the same mix. If someone wouldn't mind emailing me a high-quality mp3 of the "Very Best Of" version, I can compare that with the 45, and we can know for 100% certainty if it contains the single mix.
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Posted: 01 April 2005 at 8:55am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Wait, EdisonLite, are you talking about "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" or "Piano Man"?
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 01 April 2005 at 10:07am | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

Todd writes: <Wait, EdisonLite, are you talking about "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" or "Piano Man"?>

Oops -- I was talking about "Piano Man". (But I'd still like to confirm its single mix inclusion on "VBO" if someone wouldn't mind sending an mp3. Otherwise, I will do it once I find the CD myself.)

BTW, I don't believe the single mix of "Movin' Out" has been on any CD, US or import. And as far as I can remember, the only difference is that the car engine noise near the end of the song (as if to indicate Billy is driving away) was taken off the 45 version. Can anyone say if there were other differences?
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Brian W.
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Posted: 01 April 2005 at 2:23pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Wow, I didn't know the single for "Movin' Out" was a different mix. But the car engine noise is present on "Very Best of," Todd, so I guess it's the album version.

Edision, I would email you a high-qual MP3 of Piano Man, but I only have dial-up, so a low-qual is the best I could do, I'm afraid. Whenever I try to email high-qual MP3s, it usually hangs up my browser.
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EdisonLite
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Posted: 08 April 2005 at 6:42pm | IP Logged Quote EdisonLite

OK -- I got the imported "Very Best of BJ" CD for the "Piano Man" mix/edit/version.

I have to back up a second and say that my friend Mark had used some software to clean up his "Piano Man" 45 and had sent me the clean-vinyl version on a CDR a few years ago -- and it was THIS version I was using as a reference when I looked at Brian W's notes. So when I got the CD today, I noticed that this version of "Piano Man" (on "VBO") was longer than Mark's vinyl-cleaning of his "Piano Man" 45 but shorter than the LP version. After some researching and comparing, I've now got the scoop. Luckily, I still had my original 45 so I could compare it to the new CD. And I'm happy to report that the "Very Best Of" import DOES have the single version, which clocks in at 4:31. My friend's clean-vinyl version clocked in at 3:16, but it turns out that's a doubly-edited version which can only be found on promo 45s. The real 45's were all the 4:31 edit and it's definitely on this CD. The 3:16 edit is still the same mix as the 4:31 edit, but in addition to missing the "Bill I believe this is killing me" and "Paul is a real estate novelist" verses, the 3:16 edit also eliminates: the harmonica solo after Chorus 2, the "it's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday" verse, the "the piano sounds like a carnival" verse, the "la, la-la-la" part that follows it AND Chorus 3! I know my friend did the cleaning on this because he liked the single MIX more than the mixing on the album version -- but my guess is he didn't realize this was even shorter than the actual single.

I hope that clears up everything.
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