Episodes

EP 108 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Live Through The Years – Japan Edition

What the new compilation Billy Joel Live Through the Years – Japan Edition lacks in new material, it more than makes up for in providing context to 40-plus years of music. The double-disc set, only released in Japan, features 32 live tracks recorded between 1972 and 2008. Starting with the Sigma Sound radio broadcast and

EP 108 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Live Through The Years – Japan Edition Read More »

EP 105 – Billy Joel Love Songs + Turn The Lights Back On & Grammy Performance

It’s easy to write off the lyrical content of love songs. They’re often fairly simple, and are more emotional than thought-provoking. But a good love song, like any song, reveals something about the writer, and, often, the listener.  For our Valentine’s Day episode, we’re discussing our favorite Billy Joel love songs. But, we ended up

EP 105 – Billy Joel Love Songs + Turn The Lights Back On & Grammy Performance Read More »

EP 104 – Album Retrospective: My Lives Disc 2 + New Billy Joel Single Announcement

Although Disc Two of My Lives kicks off with a live version of a classic 70s song, the rest of the track list features Billy Joel B-Sides and early versions of songs from the 80s along with a few album tracks.  While it seems random initially, there’s a light narrative running through the selections. Here,

EP 104 – Album Retrospective: My Lives Disc 2 + New Billy Joel Single Announcement Read More »

EP 103 – Concert Classics: Live At The Spectrum, Philadelphia – 1986

Since his days playing clubs and theaters in the early 70s, Billy Joel was always known for his passionate, high-energy concerts. That reputation only grew, literally and figuratively, as he graduated into arenas and stadiums after 1977’s The Stranger.  That makes his stop at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on The Bridge tour a unique evening.

EP 103 – Concert Classics: Live At The Spectrum, Philadelphia – 1986 Read More »

EP 099 – Playlist #8 – Telling Stories About Telling Stories

Every two weeks, Michael and I release a podcast episode where we tell someone else’s stories. Except that’s not quite true. As we discuss every note on an album, or labor over every second of a concert recording, we also talk about ourselves. It’s one way music becomes more than just art. Billy Joel’s story

EP 099 – Playlist #8 – Telling Stories About Telling Stories Read More »

EP 098 – Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 (with John Jackson & Edward Odowd)

To paraphrase another famous rock band, Billy Joel’s The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 goes to 11. 
 
The box set treats fans to 21 years of classic songs with just shy of a dozen records. That’s including an album never released on vinyl before, and a lo…

EP 098 – Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 (with John Jackson & Edward Odowd) Read More »

EP 098 – Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 (with John Jackson & Edward Odowd)

To paraphrase another famous rock band, Billy Joel’s The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 goes to 11.  The box set treats fans to 21 years of classic songs with just shy of a dozen records. That’s including an album never released on vinyl before, and a long-awaited expanded version of a fan favorite.  Released November 3,

EP 098 – Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol. 2 (with John Jackson & Edward Odowd) Read More »

EP 096 – Concert Classics: Live At Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia – 1972

Unreleased for decades, Billy Joel’s 1972 Sigma Sound Studios concert was arguably the kick-start to his career. With a flop record in Cold Spring Harbor under his belt. Billy and his then-backing band performed live on the air for WMMR in Philadelphia.  The session yielded a version of “Captain Jack” that became the station’s most-requested

EP 096 – Concert Classics: Live At Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia – 1972 Read More »

EP 095 – Concert Classics: Live At The Bottom Line 1976 + Vinyl Box Set Announcement

With a new album out and a New York-based band in place, Billy Joel was starting to heat up in 1976. His show at the Bottom Line in Manhattan on June 10th of that year is the proof. The album, Turnstiles, had just come out a few weeks prior. And the orchestra, as Billy was

EP 095 – Concert Classics: Live At The Bottom Line 1976 + Vinyl Box Set Announcement Read More »

EP 093 – Tour Retrospective: From A Piano Man To An Innocent Man Tour 1984

Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album earned him a new generation of fans upon its release in 1983. But the accompanying tour didn’t kick off until the next calendar year. Dubbed “From A Piano Man to An Innocent Man,” the shows were unlike any other Billy had mounted until this point. The core band was

EP 093 – Tour Retrospective: From A Piano Man To An Innocent Man Tour 1984 Read More »

EP 091 – Video Retrospective: A Matter Of Trust (1991 Documentary)

In 1987, Billy Joel and his band embarked on an unprecedented tour of the Soviet Union. And, when the original documentary “A Matter of Trust” came out, fans got a behind-the-scenes look at what turned out to be a controversial career move. At the time, the country was still under Communist rule, shrouded in secrecy,

EP 091 – Video Retrospective: A Matter Of Trust (1991 Documentary) Read More »

EP 089 – Playlist #7 – Songs That Inspired ’An Innocent Man’

Summer is upon us and we are entering the season of celebrating Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man. In celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary, I (Michael) wanted to kick things off with this playlist episode. I’m celebrating the songs that inspired An Innocent Man. Some are obvious and some are more subtle but these next

EP 089 – Playlist #7 – Songs That Inspired ’An Innocent Man’ Read More »

EP 088 – Concert Classics: Frankfurt, Germany – June 18, 1994

Live in Frankfurt is probably the closest BIlly Joel got to being in a Spinal Tap sequel. The show, recorded on June 18, 1994, is just as notable for its mishaps as it is the band’s solid performance.  The show captures the band on the River of Dreams tour, and the full video gives a

EP 088 – Concert Classics: Frankfurt, Germany – June 18, 1994 Read More »

EP 087 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume III

Greatest Hits Volume III had a lot to live up to. Volumes one and two documented Billy on a hot streak, releasing hit after hit and album after album. Those compilation records, released in one double package, became an iconic, best-selling release all its own.  By contrast, Greatest Hits Volume III came out a few

EP 087 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume III Read More »

EP 086 – In Conversation With Billy Joel Archivist John Jackson

For over five decades, Billy Joel’s illustrious career has produced a wealth of media, capturing his journey as one of the 20th century’s most celebrated songwriters.  Enter John Jackson, Billy’s full-time archivist, tasked with collecting and organizing artifacts that range from photos and newspaper clippings to studio outtakes and raw video footage. Some items become

EP 086 – In Conversation With Billy Joel Archivist John Jackson Read More »

EP 084 – Video Retrospective: The Video Album Volume II

Billy Joel: The Video Album Volume II is another back and forth across Billy’s discography. The ten selections here vary from promo reels shot in the 1970s, unvarnished black-and-white live footage and barebones soundstage performances in the early 80s, to full-blown stylized and choreographed productions from the peak of the MTV era.  Once again, we’re

EP 084 – Video Retrospective: The Video Album Volume II Read More »

EP 083 – Live At The Great American Music Hall – 1975 & Record Store Day (with John Jackson)

In late 2021, a hidden gem in Billy Joel’s history was released as part of a nine-record Box Set The Vinyl Collection Volume One. The two-LP Live at The Great American Music Hall was recorded in 1975 over several nights in San Francisco. It captured the band in transition before Billy kicked off recording sessions

EP 083 – Live At The Great American Music Hall – 1975 & Record Store Day (with John Jackson) Read More »

EP 081 – Opening Night Of The Billy Joel & Stevie Nicks Tour

This year, Billy Joel is embarking on his first co-headlining tour since 2009. And, the Glass Houses Podcast was there on opening night.  Billed as “Two Icons, One Night,” the Billy Joel / Stevie Nicks tour kicked off on March 10, 2023 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Prior to the show, fans were curious

EP 081 – Opening Night Of The Billy Joel & Stevie Nicks Tour Read More »

EP 080 – Evolution Of A Song (”Everybody Loves You Now” + ”Say Goodbye To Hollywood”)

Just because a song is pressed to vinyl doesn’t mean it’s set in cement. Any band playing the same song live for years or even decades is bound to stray from the original arrangement.  Billy Joel is no exception. And, given his dissatisfaction with his earliest records, it’s no surprise that some of his oldest

EP 080 – Evolution Of A Song (”Everybody Loves You Now” + ”Say Goodbye To Hollywood”) Read More »

EP 077 – Concert Classics: Rome, Italy – July 31, 2006

Billy’s return to touring in 2006 included a stop at one of the oldest arenas in the world. The concert was captured for posterity with a beautifully-shot, full-length video available for free online.  On July 31, 2006, Billy and the band, minus a key member, played outdoors at the Coliseum in Rome. It was many

EP 077 – Concert Classics: Rome, Italy – July 31, 2006 Read More »

EP 076 – Behind The Nylon Curtain (with Brad Leigh & Larry Franke)

The Nylon Curtain turned 40 last September, and we can’t help but take one last look at it as we start the new year.  Back in September, we did our album spotlight where we discussed the history and making of the album along with our track-by-track commentary. This time, we’re speaking with two people who

EP 076 – Behind The Nylon Curtain (with Brad Leigh & Larry Franke) Read More »

EP 075 – 2022 Odds & Ends (with Steve Cohen, Jon Small, & Brad Leigh)

Sometimes the best part of a big meal is the leftovers. There’s nothing like taking a little bit of everything from the night before, heating it up, and settling in for a second round. And, for the second year in a row, just in time for the holidays, that’s what we’re doing here at Glass

EP 075 – 2022 Odds & Ends (with Steve Cohen, Jon Small, & Brad Leigh) Read More »

EP 074 – Remembering Jim Boyer (with Brad Leigh & Larry Franke)

There are more than just musicians behind a great-sounding album. No matter how well they play, or how good the songs are, it doesn’t mean much if the recording doesn’t capture them the right way.  And, when it came to many of Billy Joel’s most iconic albums, the person responsible for shaping much of their

EP 074 – Remembering Jim Boyer (with Brad Leigh & Larry Franke) Read More »

EP 073 – Glass Houses Playlist #6 – Thundercats (Larry & Anthony’s Song)

Did you know there’s a connection between Billy Joel and one of the most popular cartoons of the 1980s?  We didn’t know either until a few weeks ago.  Recently, Michael and I interviewed Larry Franke, who was second engineer on Songs in the Attic and the Nylon Curtain. During the conversation, Larry mentioned that, after

EP 073 – Glass Houses Playlist #6 – Thundercats (Larry & Anthony’s Song) Read More »

EP 072 – Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (Unboxing + Track By Track Overview)

Filmed over two nights in June 1990, Live at Yankee Stadium was a hit on VHS and on cable TV upon its release later that year. But, it’s been overlooked in the decades after, with only a handful of songs available and a production style that quickly felt dated. But, that’s all changed with a

EP 072 – Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (Unboxing + Track By Track Overview) Read More »

EP 070 – Concert Classics: Roxy Theatre – Northampton, PA – November 28, 1973

There are make-or-break moments in every successful musician’s career. Sometimes they’re huge, cataclysmic events. Other times, they’re subtle nods that point a performer in the right direction.  For Billy Joel, a pair of shows in November of 1973 was the latter. And, we have the tapes to prove it. Piano Man had just been released,

EP 070 – Concert Classics: Roxy Theatre – Northampton, PA – November 28, 1973 Read More »

EP 068 – Album Retrospective: The Nylon Curtain

The Nylon Curtain wasn’t nearly as popular as Billy Joel’s albums just before and after this release. But, it still spawned a handful of hits, classics, and perennial fan favorites and concert staples. And today, it’s regarded by fans and critics as Billy’s most accomplished artistic statement. Released in 1982, The Nylon Curtain came just

EP 068 – Album Retrospective: The Nylon Curtain Read More »

EP 066 – Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (with Steve Cohen & Jon Small)

This fall, an often-overlooked live Billy Joel release is getting a second lease on life.  The 1990 video release Live At Yankee Stadium is getting a makeover with remixed and remastered sound, an extra song, and a brand new edit. And, after a limited run in theaters, it’ll be available on Blu-ray along with a

EP 066 – Billy Joel Live At Yankee Stadium (with Steve Cohen & Jon Small) Read More »

EP 065 – Concert Classics: Live in London, 1984

By 1984, Billy Joel was known for changing styles from album to album. What’s less recognized was how often he changed voices. And, one night that year in England, those voices were all on display.  Close listening to any Billy Joel record reveals a variety of tones, accents, and affectations in the singing. Add to

EP 065 – Concert Classics: Live in London, 1984 Read More »

EP 064 – Billy Joel 1980-1984 TV Appearances (Part 2)

This is the second installment of our two-part series covering Billy Joel’s television appearances from 1980 through 1984. While the bulk of the spots we’ve covered so far found him promoting The Nylon Curtain, the latter batch has him on the promotional trail for the An Innocent Man album and addressing his tabloid notoriety with

EP 064 – Billy Joel 1980-1984 TV Appearances (Part 2) Read More »

EP 061 – Glass Houses Playlist #5 – The Nylon Curtain Live Through The Years

When Billy Joel’s The Nylon Curtain was released into the world in the fall of 1982, it was considered one of his most ambitious albums to date. Despite the rich layer and textures of the album’s sonic landscape, many of the songs translated to a live setting with apparent ease. The Nylon Curtain saw our

EP 061 – Glass Houses Playlist #5 – The Nylon Curtain Live Through The Years Read More »

EP 057 – Concert Classics: Kirin Dry Gigs ’88 – Tokyo, Japan

With the appearance of the Kirin Dry Gigs from 1988 appearing on YouTube earlier this year, a long-lost footnote in Billy Joel history has finally resurfaced.  This one-off gig in Japan finds Billy performing with just one member of his longtime touring band. They’re joined by players who performed on other tours in the 80s,

EP 057 – Concert Classics: Kirin Dry Gigs ’88 – Tokyo, Japan Read More »

EP 056 – Reimagining The Nylon Curtain with Johnny Lied

The Covid-19 pandemic and quarantines of 2020 caused disruptions in the music industry that we’re still feeling a few years later. But while we’re fortunate that the lack of live music will fade into memory, the releases of quarantine albums may very well add up to an interesting reflection of these unprecedented times.  With no

EP 056 – Reimagining The Nylon Curtain with Johnny Lied Read More »

EP 055 – 2008 Tour, Walmart Vinyl, Billy Joel & Metallica Vegas Weekend

2022 is turning out to be a big year for Billy Joel. Just by the end of February, fans enjoyed a unique weekend of music in a city where Billy doesn’t often play. And, new vinyl releases expanding on last year’s box set, include an album few fans have ever owned on vinyl before.  We’re

EP 055 – 2008 Tour, Walmart Vinyl, Billy Joel & Metallica Vegas Weekend Read More »

EP 054 – Album Retrospective: Piano Man

Billy Joel’s second solo album included his most iconic song. And the one that provided his breakthrough success and pointed the way for his post-West Coast work. But surrounding the title track and “Captain Jack” are the sounds of a songwriter still finding his way. Fortunately for us, that path is still pretty exciting.  Released

EP 054 – Album Retrospective: Piano Man Read More »

EP 052 – In Conversation with Billy Joel Art Director Edward O’Dowd

If you’ve gone to one of Billy Joel’s Madison Square Garden residency shows, saw one of his concerts near your hometown, or picked up any of his reissues or box sets over the past decade plus, then you’re familiar with the work of Edward O’Dowd.  Since 2008, the graphic designer and art director has created

EP 052 – In Conversation with Billy Joel Art Director Edward O’Dowd Read More »

EP 050 – Havana Jam ’79 (with documentarian Ernesto Juan)

Spread over three days in Cuba, the Havana Jam ‘79 featured Columbia recording artists alongside native musicians and bands. It was a monumental, historic event that hardly anyone knows about anymore.  But Ernesto Juan knows the story. And, he’s been trying to tell it for the past decade.  The Cuban-born journalist, documentarian and translator became

EP 050 – Havana Jam ’79 (with documentarian Ernesto Juan) Read More »

EP 049 – 2021 Odds & Ends (with Liberty DeVitto & Jesse Javors)

Sometimes the best part about the holidays are the leftovers. Picking at the feast you just enjoyed the day before can taste better than when it was just cooked. And, as the 2021 holiday season wraps up, we’re bringing you a second helping of Glass Houses – A Billy Joel Podcast. It’s been an amazing

EP 049 – 2021 Odds & Ends (with Liberty DeVitto & Jesse Javors) Read More »

EP 048 – Glass Houses Playlist #4

Once again, we’re taking a break from Billy — mostly, anyway — during those weird weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays to bring you some different music. Jack’s at the board with a playlist that’s split into three categories. First up is “I’ve Loved These Days.” It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way of looking at

EP 048 – Glass Houses Playlist #4 Read More »

EP 047 – Russell Javors Part 2 (in conversation with Russell Javors)

Welcome back to our two-part series on Russell Javors. As the rhythm guitarist for Billy Joel, Russell was a fixture in Billy’s band on record and on stage for much of their storied run from 1976’s Turnstiles through 1986’s The Bridge.  His playing was always understated and in service to the song, but at the

EP 047 – Russell Javors Part 2 (in conversation with Russell Javors) Read More »

EP 046 – Vinyl Box Set, Return to The Garden, Billy & Metallica in Vegas …and more!

Billy Joel released his first solo album, Cold Spring Harbor, in November 1971. Almost 50 years to the day, his fans are celebrating a string of exciting new announcements.  In our most timely episode yet, we’ll cover the latest developments in the Billy Joel world.  On Friday, November 5, Billy brought his record-breaking residency back

EP 046 – Vinyl Box Set, Return to The Garden, Billy & Metallica in Vegas …and more! Read More »

EP 044 – Russell Javors Part 1 (with special guests)

Probably the last thing you think of when it comes to Billy Joel’s music is reggae but that influence is there. And if it’s subtle, it’s because it comes from arguably the most understated member of the classic Lords of 52nd Street, Russell Javors. In a band where the spotlight is squarely on the piano,

EP 044 – Russell Javors Part 1 (with special guests) Read More »

EP 043 – Concert Classics: Thunder Road – Live in Miami, 1977

The fact that a Billy Joel bootleg is named after a Bruce Springsteen song should clue in the listener that this show’s a little different from what you may expect.  Recorded at Maurice Gusman Concert Hall in Miami, FL on October 31, 1977,  Thunder Road isn’t a radical change from the Billy we know. But,

EP 043 – Concert Classics: Thunder Road – Live in Miami, 1977 Read More »

EP 041 – In Conversation with Richie Cannata

Here’s an interview with Richie Cannata. That’s it. No great fanfare, no big intro. We just had a blast talking with Billy Joel’s longtime sax, organ, flute, accordion, and piano player, and we’re sharing that conversation with you.  There’s a lot of great stuff here: Deep trivia about Billy Joel tracks and live performances, stories

EP 041 – In Conversation with Richie Cannata Read More »

EP 033 – Year In Review: 1988 + Awards Show Appearances Part 2

Pardon the pun, but for Billy Joel, 1988 was the calm before the storm.  Billy and the band had just come off an exhausting, groundbreaking two-year tour that saw them on four continents. And, they capped it all off with a historic run of six shows in the now-former USSR. Billy was the first pop

EP 033 – Year In Review: 1988 + Awards Show Appearances Part 2 Read More »

EP 032 – Interpreting Billy Part 2 (with Hyung-ki Joo)

What changes when other piano players perform Billy Joel’s music? What elements shine through? What’s it like to be tasked with performing music written by one of the most popular recording artists of the 20th century?  This is the second installment of our two-part series where we talk with piano players who have been tasked

EP 032 – Interpreting Billy Part 2 (with Hyung-ki Joo) Read More »

EP 031 – Awards Show Appearances Part 1 + Conversation with Evan Toth

Billy Joel is no stranger to awards shows and other accolades. Following 1977’s The Stranger, he’s won a handful of industry awards, was nominated for plenty more, and gave a few memorable — and in, one case, literally show stopping — performances. And, when you’re tracking award show appearances over three decades, you also start

EP 031 – Awards Show Appearances Part 1 + Conversation with Evan Toth Read More »

EP 030 – Interpreting Billy Part 1 (with Michael Cavanaugh)

After 1993’s River of Dreams, fans waited and wondered if Billy Joel would ever release another pop album. The answer, as we know now, turned out to be no. But, nearly a decade after that release, we saw a new development for Billy’s music.  The first years of the new century saw three new releases

EP 030 – Interpreting Billy Part 1 (with Michael Cavanaugh) Read More »

EP 024 – Looking Forward & Looking Back (with Love Raptor & Bradshaw Leigh)

We’re kicking off 2021 with a look back and a look forward at Billy Joel’s work, his fans, and the music industry in general. This episode features two sets of interviews. The first is with Mikhail Pivovarov and Billy Ruegger from the online music collective Love Raptor. We’ll go behind the scenes of their funk

EP 024 – Looking Forward & Looking Back (with Love Raptor & Bradshaw Leigh) Read More »

EP 023 – Phil Ramone (with Bradshaw Leigh & Russell Javors)

When it comes to Billy Joel’s most successful run of albums, you can’t talk about the man behind the piano without also talking about the man behind the board: Phil Ramone.  By the time Phil and Billy teamed up, Ramone was already a renowned engineer and innovator in the recording studio. His discography included landmark albums

EP 023 – Phil Ramone (with Bradshaw Leigh & Russell Javors) Read More »

EP 020 – Concert Classics: Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, 1974

Date: May 14, 1974 City/State: Boston, MA Venue: Orpheum Theatre Supporting: Jesse Colin Young & Livingston Taylor The Setlist: Travelin’ Prayer Somewhere Along The Line Technical Difficulty Blues Piano Man The Entertainer The Ballad of Billy The Kid Worse Comes To Worst Everybody Loves You Now Captain Jack Ain’t No Crime —— In less than 50 minutes,

EP 020 – Concert Classics: Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA, 1974 Read More »

EP 018 – Billy Joel Cover Songs By Other Artists

Sometimes, the best way to find out what makes a songwriter special is hearing someone else sing their songs. Listening to how other artists interpret their work brings out aspects of the music that weren’t as obvious before.  That’s what Michael and Jack discovered when they put this episode together. This week, They’re diving into

EP 018 – Billy Joel Cover Songs By Other Artists Read More »

EP 017 – Album Retrospective: Streetlife Serenade

1974 saw Billy Joel back in the studio mere months after 1973’s Piano Man.  Billy wasn’t ready for a new album but pushed his way through to complete Streetlife Serenade which was released October 11, 1974 on Columbia Records. The album peaked at #35 on the album charts and featured the single “The Entertainer,” which

EP 017 – Album Retrospective: Streetlife Serenade Read More »

EP 012 – In Conversation with drummer Liberty DeVitto

Liberty DeVitto is the drummer that Billy Joel chose to record those unforgettable albums and memorable tours between 1975 and 2005.  Michael & Jack discuss his brand new autobiography Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness which is out now from Hudson Music. Join us for a special candid conversation with Liberty DeVitto as

EP 012 – In Conversation with drummer Liberty DeVitto Read More »

EP 008 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & II

1985 brings us Billy Joel’s first Greatest Hits release with Greatest Hits Volume I & II which covered songs from 1973’s Piano Man through the two new songs for 1985, “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” and “The Night Is Still Young.” Greatest Hits Volume I & II has gone on to be one of the

EP 008 – Album Retrospective: Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume I & II Read More »

EP 007 – Live Album & Video Retrospective: Live At Shea Stadium

Michael & Jack revisit the historic 2008 Shea Stadium concerts from Flushing, New York in Queens. The Beatles performed the first concert at Shea and New York’s son, Billy Joel, appropriately closed out the stadium with the final two concerts before the Shea’s ultimate demolition. This viewing / listening companion goes song by song through

EP 007 – Live Album & Video Retrospective: Live At Shea Stadium Read More »

EP 004 – Video Retrospective: Live From Long Island

Michael & Jack present a song by song companion of the 1983 home video concert release Live From Long Island. Having been out of print for some 30+ years now, this concert is a must see and highlights Billy and the band firing on all cylinders as they transition into an arena touring band in the

EP 004 – Video Retrospective: Live From Long Island Read More »