We continue our return to the music of 50 years agoâ¦ ..
It’s a fascinating storyâ¦ the story of Billy Joel’s debut record. After a stint in a mental hospital and a suicide attempt the year beforeâ¦ Joel wanted to be a songwriter for other people. People in the music business told him to record an albumâ¦ well, I’ll let him say itâ¦
He reportedly had an evening of listening with his friends and got so upset when he heard it that he pulled the Lp off the turntable and threw it in the street like a Frisbee.
Joel had signed a terrible deal with a producer named Artie Ripp who owned Family Productions. The deal was going to torment Joel for years and it was Ripp who mixed up the master tapes badly. How bad it soundedâ¦.
This is what the original version of Everybody Loves You Now looked like …
Here is the corrected version years later … with some additional instruments …
I won’t torture you with the original LP anymore. The mixing issue masked the fact that the songs weren’t bad. “She’s Got A Way” and “Everybody Loves You Now” would later appear on the “Songs From The Attic” live LP, but the rest were rarely, if ever, heard again.
Joel had yet to form his band which would be with him in the 70’s. This Lp has a number of studio veterans including Larry Knechtel (taking a break from “Bread”), Joe Osborn and Jimmie Haskell on the arrangements. of ropes. Sneaky Pete Kleinow releases his pedal steel on “Turn Around” and Wings drummer Denny Siewell also plays on a few tracks. The songs are personalâ¦ especially “Tomorrow Is Today”, a song he wrote about his depression and suicide attempt.
It took two more years before Columbia gave Joel a chance in the studio and the result was the LP “Piano Man”. The rest, as they say, was history.
Here’s Cold Spring Harbor in his 1983 “fixed” remix.