A host of unreleased tracks and rarities are found on the Billy Joel boxed set "My Lives," due this week via Columbia/Legacy. Joel personally selected the material for the five-disc collection, which

A host of unreleased tracks and rarities are found on the Billy Joel boxed set "My Lives," due this week via Columbia/Legacy. Joel personally selected the material for the five-disc collection, which features 23 never-before-heard songs as well as a previously unreleased live DVD shot in Frankfurt during the River of Dreams tour.

The set begins with rare cuts from Joel's mid-1960s bands the Lost Souls and the Hassles and moves into material recorded by his hard rock act Attila, which released its only album in 1970. Disc one also features demos of "Only a Man," "Oyster Bay" and "Piano Man," plus early versions of "New Mexico" (which became "Worse Comes to Worst") and "These Rhinestone Days" (which became "I Loved These Days").

The second disc sports early versions of "For the Longest Time" and "Elvis Presley Blvd.," a live take on "Captain Jack" from a July 1981 show at Sparks Saloon in Huntington, Long Island, an alternate version of "Getting Closer" with Steve Winwood and a live cover of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a Changin'" recorded in 1987 on a Russian TV show.

Disc three is dominated by live and studio covers of such tracks as the Isley Brothers' "Shout," Elvis Presley's "All Shook Up" and "Heartbreak Hotel," the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," Leonard Cohen's "Light as the Breeze" and the Carole King/Gerry Goffin oldie "Hey Girl." The final audio disc features a 1994 live duet with Elton John on "You May Be Right," audio clips of recordings first issued on Joel's "Essential Video Collection" and a series of his recent classical compositions.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print