I don't know the reason I used 'rudimentary' when describing Mr. DeVitto's spectacular drumming on "Cold Spring Harbor". Not only is it not true, it is obvious that it is not true. That might be thrice-cooked error. I apologize.
I don't recall how "The Stranger" got into my house in the '70s and it dominated the air-waves while "She's Got A Way" (and others) provided my only exposure to earlier recordings. A few years ago, I friend gave me "Cold Spring Harbor" and it is the only Billy Joel I own, uh, possess.
(When I first heard "Tomorrow Is Today" I was struck by the sudden vocal change in verse six and thought, among other things, 'Hey, Billy stole that vocal schtik-lock from that SNL guy!!!' Of course, THAT guy was just barely out of diapers in 1971--possibly still in them--and quite, very pre-pubescent; plageristic, one-trick phoney are the syllables that come to mind. It was difficult to squelch this reaction and I will--possibly forever--dislike the aforementioned un-named guy more than previous to this.)
I insist that the parenthetic above is relevant in a review of this type as my prior exposure to the "vocal schtik-lock" affected an obscene diminishment of the brilliant vocal surprise lurking within "Tomorrow Is Today".
At this stage, I fear that I might regret to death (mine) that I never saw Mr. Joel and band in the 1970s. Being familiar with the catalog up to "Glass Houses", I find the drumming on "Cold Spring Harbor" to be rudimentary DeVitto: I suppose it was difficult for him to adjust to the "speeding" vocal tracks. (Good grief--listen to "Tomorrow Is Today" and tell us all how the vocals can be "slightly" too high while the piano is not! Pitch is not the only thing to be "off" if the cause is speed. I'm referring to tempo, obviously. [I can't believe I had to quote Lucy because of that three-sentence review. No offense to three-ness.])
It is a credit to Mr. Joel that he used Liberty DeVitto for so long as he boarders on too good for a band named after another guy. If I had seen him, I believe that he would be at the top of my best seen drummers list. As it turns out, that person is not Stuart Copeland--as I did see The Police for the "...Machine" tour--or any other widely "known" drummer: It was Tim Biery when he joined Mahogany Rush in the mid-'80s. I saw them and him twice at a tiny venue in Poughkeepsie, NY, The Chance. It was then that I discovered what makes a drummer in a class of his own--it's ambidexterity: Biery appeared to have perfect ambidexterity. (It's to Frank Marino's credit, too, that he employed Biery as Tim was a monstrous sonic force and the crowd seemed to focus on him just as much as the band's namesake.)
When I saw videos of Liberty DeVitto, he appeared to have that crucial ambidexterity too! When I saw Mr. Joel kiss DeVitto's ring in something I saw (a video), it meant to me, probably, something that was not intended--or was it? In addition to being an extraordinary drummer in every respect, the sight of his playing makes him a remarkable VISUAL force--something that never struck me about Mr. Biery.
I've never considered myself to be a Billy Joel fan, but "Cold Spring Harbor" is one of my precious possessions and I recommend it to as many people who will listen (to me).
This Album has so many wonderful songs in it. Billy Joel is a Musical Genius. And being that this is his Debut album it just shows you how he is the star he is today. His Lyrics are the of the most inspiring in the world.
One question I have is what did he actually write Everybody Loves You Now about? If anyone knows please let me know. It is driving me a bit. So if anyone can help me out it would be great. Thanks
Bought an original copy (late 70's) in the sale rack for 1.99 at Woolworth's Downtown. Word was it was recorded too fast which explains Billy's slightly higher pitch. First heard him in '73. So amazing!
I bought the original record in the early 70's @ the Glen Cove record store in Long Island. Lots to relate to - we're the same age, raised on LI.- same culture!! When I was a child, my parents often took the family to the fish hatcheries at Cold Spring Harbor - which is why I bought the album! It began a long love of Billy Joel & his music. Everybody Loves you now, she's got a way - I taped the album & listened to it again & again in my many trips from NY to Ca. I have seen him as the lead in @ Carnegie Hall(?) for Jessie Colin Young - 1974 Don't quite remember who the main artist was as I left after Billy Joel. I've been to his shows in NY & Ca. I flew to NY last year to see Double Play @ Shea - best concert I've ever been to!! Have tickets to see him with Elton John in Oakland.....can't wait!!
PS I still have the album - scratched from so much use, but I keep it!!
I once owned this album, and I liked it from the first moment I heard it. Some of my favorite tracks are "Everybody Loves You Now," "Nocturne" and "Tell Me Why." It shows that even at the beginning of his career, Billy Joel was at home with many different styles of music and singing.
I believe that sometime in the 1980s, Sony released a remastered version of "Cold Spring Harbor" with some changes in the instrumentation and arrangements. I still remember some of the differences, even though it has been a very long time since I have heard either album. "You Can Make Me Free" faded out much sooner, "Nocturne" continued slightly beyond the point where it had ended in the earlier version, and the orchestral accompaniment (or what sounded like orchestral accompaniment) was left off in at least part of the later version of "Tomorrow Is Today." Those are the changes that I remember at the moment. There may have been others.
Incidentally, I also had an Attila album that I picked up at a used record store. (I still remember a little of the song "Revenge Is Sweet" even though I have not heard it in more than 20 years.) Unfortunately, I no longer have it, or any of these albums. My entire Billy Joel LP collection, together with nearly all my other possessions, was jettisoned from a freighter during a storm nearly eighteen years ago and is now at the bottom of the sea.
The record makes Billy sound "like one of the chipmunks" While a classic-Billy's first--it is perhaps better off forgotten. Although he looks so funky on the cover-a classic hippy look.
I have heard that this album is really rare on record so anyone who actually has this on record, don't you DARE throw it out, sell it or (heaven forbid) GIVE it away. Trust me you will regret it. This is so rare on record that i typed in 'Billy joel cold spring harbour records' on Ebay and there were No results at all. So please anyone who has it remember DON'T do anything with it. Keep it out of the sun and away from damp or moise areas. Just keep it at home and treasure it. I (and i'm sure lots of other people) would kill to have a real record of that album!
I think a lot of avrage radio "Joel" fans wouldn't get this album. Us true fans know that it has some of his best music on it. Almost everyone says Tomorrow is Today" is their favorite , and I do love it, but I think there is something to be said for Falling of the Rain - It's a story, it's fun, it's like Scenes "FAIR" and it comes full circle. People who don't like this album should take another listen to it.
I love this album!
7 out of 10
The 12 year old Billy Joel fan
"Working to hard can give you a heart attack ak ak ak ak ak"
When i first heard about this album all i heard was, "Wow this one wasn't the Billy I know." "They messed this one up." THese coming from freinds and family. I dissagree. When i first listened to this album i heard great songs and Billy's original songs. I thought this album was great! Tommorow Is Today is my favorite song on the album and is great! If all you hear from people about Cold Spring Harbor is "THis one wasn't a 52nd Street" take it from me, this album is a great example of the musician who is the Piano Man.
This is my favorite CD because it's before he really made it and became a polished performer. The songs just speak to me. They seem much deeper than some of the hits. "Got To Begin Again" & "Tomorrow is Today" are my favorites off of the album. It wasn't until I recently read his first bio that I realized it was inspired by his suicide note. The songs are so powerful!
This is probably my favourite Billy Joel album, I think it has some of his most meaningful and inventive lyrics. I like all his stuff, but this is Billy Joel at his best. My favourite song on this album is probably "you can make me free", but I love them all.
Not as good as any of his albums today!