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Video Retrospectives

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 deluxe release in the fall of 2022. Fans got to see a newly-edited version of the film in theaters, complete with footage of an unreleased song. That new cut is now available on Blu-ray with a 2CD set featuring those tracks plus 11 never-before-heard performances from the historic two night stand. The full, 22-song live album is also out as a 3LP vinyl set. 

 

 

Over the summer, we spoke with director Jon Small and producer Steve Cohen about the making of the original film and the story behind its reimagining. Now, we’re getting the full picture with the official, updated release. 

 

 

In this episode, we’ll recount our unboxing of the Blu-ray + 2CD package and vinyl edition. Then, we’ll share our comments and observations on each song in the 22-track set. 

 

 

Join us as we dig deep into the remixed, remastered, and expanded version of Billy Joel: Live At Yankee Stadium.

 

 

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Produced by Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno for Groove Music Marketing

 

 

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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 that the many impressions he’s done over the years in interviews and concerts. 

 

Many of them were on display, and front and center, when BIlly and the band took the stage at Wembley Arena in June of 1984. Deep into the An Innocent Man tour, the concert was simulcast on radio and television in Europe. 

 

As a result of it being broadcast, the mix is often more dry and a little muted with the singing more prominent than usual. At the same time, Billy seemed to be leaning into the many different vocal affectations more often than usual. 

 

The concert itself is a great performance, with the band augmented by a horn section and a guest star and a baby on the way. But in particular, it’s an excellent showcase for Billy’s so-called rubber voice. 

 

Join us, as we dig deep into Billy Joel at Wembley Arena in 1984.

 

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EP 060 – MTV Night School 1982

Years before Billy Joel started doing master classes, and long before MTV stopped showing music videos, there was Night School. 

Broadcast in late 1982, Night School was a half-hour show on MTV where Billy fielded questions from an audience of young fans. Fresh off the success of The Nylon Curtain, he tells stories, gives some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the music industry and, of course, plays      piano. 

The program turned out to be a one-off event. There was never a second episode or another version with a different host or musician. At the time, MTV was a new and untested concept, and Night School is a relic of when the channel was at its most daring and experimental. 

The show is a diamond in the rough for Billy Joel fans. It’s currently only available on YouTube and it doesn’t get much mention in fan forums, biographies, or any official publications. 

But, it features Billy in a great mood, cracking jokes and telling stories he’d refine and rehash for later interviews. It’s a rare, candid insight to the artist, in between the release of his most artistically ambitious album and just before the lighter, more pop-oriented An Innocent Man would launch him into the next level of superstardom with a new generation of fans. 

Join us as we dig deep into Billy Joel’s MTV Night School from 1982. 

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EP 059 – Video Retrospective: The Video Album Volume I

Billy Joel may not be the first artist that comes to mind when you think of MTV. But, he was making music videos before the landmark cable channel got its start in 1981. 

 

A close look at those videos reveals the progression of the medium as it became more popular, more stylized, and more important as the decade went on. 

 

A handful of those videos were released on home video in 1986 as Billy Joel: The Video Album Volume 1 and 2.

 

The first volume features 10 videos covering songs from 1973’s Piano Man through The Bridge album in 1986. 

 

And, they run the gamut from pre-MTV promotional videos and bare-bones performances of hit songs, to surreal and conceptual visual re-imaginings of Billy’s songs. 

 

There’s a lot to unpack as different directors put their stamp on various eras of Billy’s music. We get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the musicians and close readings of their performances. And, different angles on classic songs. 

 

Join us, as we dig deep into Billy Joel: The Video Album Volume I.


Watch the music videos featured on The Video Album Volume I.

Music Videos:

  • Piano Man
  • All For Leyna
  • Tell Her About It
  • Honesty
  • Sometimes a Fantasy
  • The Night Is Still Young
  • Pressure
  • Stiletto / My Life
  • Keeping The Faith
  • A Matter of Trust

 

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EP 039 – Video Retrospective: Eye of The Storm + More

In the mid 80s, Billy Joel penned the lyric “After 1986 what else could be n ew?” If you were to judge that based on his 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” you’d think he meant it.

But a closer look at that video and the others from the Storm Front album suggest otherwise.

For this episode we’re looking at Eye Of The Storm. Released in 1990, it’s a home video collection of the videos from the multi-platinum album Storm Front.

While that album contained many songs about personal relationships and Billy’s life, the videos focus much more on the world at large at the end of the 1980s.

We’ll dig deep into the five music videos. And, we’ll take a look at a soundcheck and radio broadcast recording from early in the Storm Front tour. 

Join us as we dig deep into Eye of The Storm and more.

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EP 013 – Video Retrospective: Shades of Grey

In 1993, Billy Joel began work on what would become his final pop studio album, River of Dreams. What began with he and his live band tracking in a makeshift studio in a boathouse on the east end of Long Island, ended with a new producer, new musicians, and a new direction.

 

Michael & Jack revisit the Shades of Grey documentary that chronicles the journey of arguably Billy Joel’s most personal album to date.

 

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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 the live CD / DVD highlighting special moments and special guests along the way.

Special guest performers during the two concerts that are included in this set are: Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey, John Mellencamp, and of course, Sir Paul McCartney.

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 early 1980s.

Live From Long Island was recorded on December 29, 1982 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY and originally broadcast on HBO in the summer of 1983 before being released on video cassette and laser disc.

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