EP 034 – Album Retrospective: 12 Gardens Live

Usually, a late-career live album is a victory lap, an excuse to tour, or at worst, an excuse to make some extra cash. For Billy Joel, however, it was a sign that he was back on the scene. 

Released on June 13, 2006, 12 Gardens Live is a two-disc set. It features performances from Billy’s groundbreaking run of a dozen shows at Madison Square Garden between January 23 and April 24 of that year.

In many ways, it feels like a retrospective: You have all the big hits, fan favorites, plus a handful of rarities that even hardcore fans never though they’d hear live. 

But, 12 Gardens Live also serves as proof of concept for Billy’s return to touring after a two-year sabbatical. And, it sets the tone for his monthly Garden residency that began in 2014. 

With the exception of Mike DelGuidice, who joined the fold in late 2013, the album features the new solidified lineup he’s used ever since. The exception to that is the return of saxophonist Richie Cannata, who played alongside Mark Rivera on this tour. 

Other than that, this document laid the groundwork for the next 14 years and, hopefully many more to come. 

Join us as we dig deep into 12 Gardens Live.


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