Rolling Stone's "Alternate Take" column has reviewed Billy Joel's "Piano Man" (Legacy Edition), relishing the second CD that features Billy's live performance on Philadelphia's WMMR in 1972. Read more at Billy Joel's Radio Days: Live on the Air in Philadelphia, 1972. Here is an excerpt:
"The 1972 radio concert caught Joel months away from signing to Columbia, in a giddy, fighting mood at the piano and his microphone. The former teenage boxer was punching his way out of the mess of his career to date, rescuing the country-flavored 'Turn Around' and the ballad 'She's Got a Way' from the ruin of that first album and previewing his future in Piano Man's 'Travelin' Prayer' and the Long Island-outlaw story, 'The Ballad of Billy the Kid.' There is a soft moving song for his mother, 'Rosalinda' – an early glimpse of the gentle touch in 'Just the Way You Are' – and hot flashes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino in 'Josephine.'
You also get an extended taste of a long-gone freedom in FM rock radio, when a turn of the dial felt like tuning in with friends and fellow travellers. Joel coughs loudly, slurps beer, talks to the listeners driving in their cars and makes more fun of himself. ... The release of Joel's WMMR concert is a delightful – and sobering – reminder of a time when someone new, with something special, could literally come to you like this: out of thin air."