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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cold Spring Harbour (or `Cold Spring Harbor' with the original US spelling) was Billy Joel's first solo album. Although he had already released three albums with early bands, The Hassles and Attila, this is really the emergence of Billy Joel as songwriter/singer. The accompanying music is quite sparse in places and Joel sings and plays beautifully. However, when the album was originally mastered, the sound was somehow speeded up and Joel complained that he sounded like, "a chipmunk." Although he did later record two of the songs live ("She's Got a Way," and "Everybody Loves you Now") for "Songs in the Attic," it has never been one of his favourite albums and he often disparages it slightly in interviews. It was originally released in 1971 and does have that early Seventies soft rock feel, with introspective lyrics. There are none of the musicians on this that would later form part of Joel's better known band, but as a note of interest, Denny Seiwell (later in one of the incarnations of Wings) does drum on some tracks. The album made it to number 158 in the US charts and fared slightly better in the UK, making it to number 95. Obviously, the speeded up sound did not help and the entire album was re-mastered and released again in 1983.

This was obviously a difficult period for Joel himself. The lyrics to one of the songs, "Tomorrow is Today," relate to a suicide note he wrote before attempting to take his life and many of the songs have a sense of loss or regret. However, it is certainly not all bleak. "Everybody Loves you Now," is not the most cheerful love song, but it certainly raises the pace of the album, as does, "Falling of the Rain," "She's Got a Way," is a beautiful ballad, "Nocturne," displays Joel's talent as a pianist and "Got to Begin Again," is a melancholy and tender song. If you are interested in Billy Joel and have not heard his earliest work, I think you would be pleasantly surprised by this collection.

Track listing:
She's Got a Way
You Can Make Me Free
Everybody Loves you Now
Why Judy Why
Falling of the Rain
Turn Around
You Look So Good to Me
Tomorrow is Today
Nocturne
Got to Begin Again
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2008
I was surprised how much I enjoy this album, but you may not enjoy it so much if you really like Billy's later period material. This is a fairly short album, in fact this currently available version (and all the CD versions on CBS/Columbia/Sony BMG) are a remix from the 80s. It is generally a sparser mix than the original which is a shame as I prefer the original mix. However the original vinyl issues play too fast and the severity of this changes from track to track! If you really like this album try to track down the original - a search on the net should help you find out what %age pitch adjustment to make to match the tempos on the remix.
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According to a few reviewers on Amazon.com, in this album Billy Joel's voice has got slightly higher pitch due to the technical errors engineers made. More detail in following;[...]

But that does not detract a bit from the fresh originality of this great debut album. The most songs show little resemblance to his later style, but they already bear the hallmark of his heart-aching lyricism and stunningly intricate piano acompaniment. In the song like 'You can make me free' or 'You look so good to me' you can detect influences by Paul McCartney or Gilbert O'Sullivan, the artists Joel admired greatly. There's a touch of James Taylor and Carole King in 'Turn around' and 'Got to begin again'. The wistful ballads like 'Why Judy why' or 'Tomorrow is today' could have been written by Jim Croce.

Although Billy Joel was searching for his own style at this stage, there is not a single weak song in this album and it's got a foretaste of the greatness to come. It's a great shame that the initial technical complication has spoiled these masterpieces and that the album went up only to 202 in The Billboard in 1972. I hope someone will one day resurrect the original version with corrected pitch, it's not impossible with today's technology, I think.
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According to a few reviewers on Amazon.com, in this album Billy Joel's voice has got slightly higher pitch due to the technical errors engineers made. More detail in following; [...]
But that does not detract a bit from the fresh originality of this great debut album. The most songs show little resemblance to his later style, but they already bear the hallmark of his heart-aching lyricism and stunningly intricate piano acompaniment. In the song like 'You can make me free' or 'You look so good to me' you can detect influences by Paul McCartney or Gilbert O'Sullivan, the artists Joel admired greatly. There's a touch of James Taylor and Carole King in 'Turn around' and 'Got to begin again'. The wistful ballads like 'Why Judy why' or 'Tomorrow is today' could have been written by Jim Croce.

Although Billy Joel was searching for his own style at this stage, there is not a single weak song in this album and it's got a foretaste of the greatness to come. It's a great shame that the initial technical complication has spoiled these masterpieces and that the album went up only to 202 in The Billboard in 1972. I hope someone will one day resurrect the original version with corrected pitch, it's not impossible with today's technology, I think.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2014
illy Joel's first studio album (released in 1971) and an absolute classic.

Includes such fantastic tracks as the tender She's Got A Way, the upbeat Everybody Loves You Now, the beautiful Why Judy Why, and the bluesy Tomorrow Is Today, as well as a taste of Joel's piano mastery with Nocturne.

Clear why this beautiful album launched Billy Joel's career.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2004
This is the rawest, freshest Joel album there is!
It feels like a classical song cycle and the clarity of his voice allows simplw songs to touch the heart deeply.
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on 16 February 2013
Oh Billy where did it all go wrong. The quality of his early work is incredible, Piano Man, Turnstiles, Streetlife Serenade and the Stranger, which was the album that made him a star. I felt though after the Stranger his work tailed off and it seemed like he was producing just radio friendly material, light years away from songs like Piano man and Captain Jack. I suppose people were buying it, so can't blame him, but i found it all very tepid. I have only just purchased this, which was his debut album and it stands up well amongst his earlier work. Early listenings have impressed me, and i reckon it will be on the player for a while yet.
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on 5 June 2014
The very first of C.D's brought out by Joel one for the collection of any Joel fan....not the greatest of Joel's albums but nevertheless enjoyable
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2007
I found Billy Joel's early albums after I'd been introduced to his 80's offerings by my dad - I've got to say that this is my favourite of all. As other people have written, it's a simple piano-led album, but all of the tracks are great. "Got to begin again" is one of those songs that simply hit the right note at the right time for me - a beautiful lament on a love lost and the realisation of life continuing.
Worth every penny.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A bit of a curiosity this one - it's the album Joel made before he got his major recording contract, before he settled on his main band, and before he had his first hit, Pianoman.

So what do you find?

It's a bare production, led by the piano (there's one straight piano instrumental), a bit like the earliest Elton John albums, and it's got some beautiful, beautiful tunes.

Joel's voice has yet to reach proper maturity, both in terms of the way he sings and the lyrics he writes, but it's often touching as a result.

Everybody Loves You Now is great, though the live version on Songs From The Attic is better, but other highlights are Turn Around, Tomorrow is Today and the closer, Got To Begin Again.

It's basic and naive, but really attractive.

Lovely.
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