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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 September 2001
Taken literally, the title presumably means that this is the last and best compilation of Billy Joel's work that will ever be issued. If that is really the case, it should be purchased without delay, since it is an excellent and comprehensive collection of 36 songs covering his recording career from the early 70s to the mid 90s, with the additional benefit of crystal clear remastered sound. Having been familiar only with his hits and some album tracks, much of this collection was new to me, and I have thus discovered many excellent songs for the first time. There are a couple of notable omissions, namely 'Scenes from an Italian restaurant' and 'Until the night' which are among Joel's most memorable 'epic' performances, and one or two fairly uninteresting songs could perhaps have been left out. But all in all this is a very thorough collection covering all the major hits and many memorable album tracks, and represents the breadth of Billy's songwriting style very well. Unusually for a collection of this scope, all the lyrics are included, which is very welcome, although the absence of any musician credits, information about the original source albums, or historical photos is unfortunate. Nevertheless it is the music that counts and this is certainly deserving of full marks.
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on 1 April 2001
It is an encouraging sign that this release is available as it will give many younger fans (like myself) who have only just heard the name Billy Joel through the recording of Uptown Girl the chance to see the genius that Billy undoubtedly is! The album is a good mix of Billy's catalogue with lesser known powerful numbers like Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway), Goodnight Saigon, An Innocent Man and The Downeaster "Alexa" alongside the claasics like Uptown Girl, The Longest Time, We Didn't Start The Fire, River Of Dreams, You're Only Human (Second Wind), Piano Man, Just The Way You Are, New York State Of Mind, Moving Out (Anthony's Song), Don't Ask Me Why and Allentown. It is a shame though that some of Billy's best tracks like Scenes From A Italian Restaurant, Big Shot, The Ballad Of Billy The Kid, Captain Jack and This Night are missed out but never the less the album is a fine example of his class and is worthy of any 5-star rating.
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VINE VOICEon 11 June 2013
Way back when I bought Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Vol1 and 2 (a double album) on Vinyl and recently I heard Piano Man somewhere and decided I'd buy it on CD.

I found this collection (honestly, it was cheaper) and decided to get it instead.

It's got a good selection of Joel's greatest hits, right up until River of Dreams and We Didn't Start A Fire, which my double album lacks, but the ordering's a bit random and, if I'm honest, there are a few filler tracks on this album, which I never felt about the other one.

This isn't a BAD CD, if you're a casual Joel listener, it'll do you, but I'm giving this one to the wife and have ordered Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2 on CD instead (and I found Vol 3 too, which fills the later gaps).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 June 2016
This is the two disc "Ultimate Collection" from Billy Joel. It presents all of the major singles, as well as numerous album tracks, from his solo career - spanning the years from 1971's "Cold Spring Harbor" to 1993's "River of Dreams". Joel has provided us with an impressive songbook - and here the finest moments of his singer-songwriter abilities are demonstrated. We get to listen to such classics as 'An Innocent Man', 'Lennigrad' and 'Piano Man' ... as well as such big hits as 'Uptown Girl' and 'We Didn't Start The Fire'. Joel possesses the ability to write highly diverse songs. Given that he's not released new material in a long time, this particular CD collection - released in 2001 - remains relevant. I highly recommend it.
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on 17 April 2001
I cannot believe some of the comments thus far written about this collection. Let's get some points straight here. 1) This collection has been released after Westlife's murdering of Uptown Girl to show that there are people who can actually write and play the music properly. 2) This is supposed to be an introduction to those people to Billy's work. 3) There is so much of Billy's material that is good there is no way you could cram it onto two discs. If you want the Ultimate Collection you buy all his albums. 4) You have to include tracks from the later albums as there are just as many good songs on them and no-one should pass on them. 5) There is no reason to put them in chronological order. The concept of an album is that it should flow. Does that now allay the criticisms? If you're a fan you've got the albums, and wasn't the Millennium Concert enough for you in the last year? Wouldn't mind seeing the 80's video albums put on a DVD though.
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I love Billy Joel, i bought his music on L.P.'s and now CD's.
This is his best and most well known tracks.
High quality recordings, great artist, terrific selection.
Brilliant value.
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on 1 January 2015
A pretty good overview of a great career! Not everything included but a good jumping off point if you want to get into Billy Joel.
Also a good collection if you are an old fan who needs a quick fix.
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on 22 December 2015
I bought it for the piano man track ..the quality of this CD is poor it will distort at low volume ..I have bought many used CDs and DVDs in the past and they have been like new ..this CD and another CD aja by steely dan have been well used copies and I will need to recopy as some tracks skip in the car cd player ..maybe I will buy new the next time
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on 20 March 2001
Mr Joel is an excellent talent overflowing with subtle love songs hard rockers and excellent comentary on life the universe and indeed the world. To the unitiated this would be an excellent introduction to Billy and his Music, but you would also be missing out on so much by not then at least buying `The Stranger` or `Turnstyles`, `The Nylon Curtain`, `Glasshouses`, `Piano Man` It is a shame that this album -surely aimed at the Fan- has nothing to endear it in terms of bonus tracks or remixed or even live versions of songs written as billy does -from the heart, surely a missed oportunity to `spread the word`
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In his American homeland, Billy became one of the most successful singers of the twentieth century - he was third in the list of best selling solo artists behind Garth Brooks (whose American country hits included a cover of Shameless, written by Billy although Billy's version is omitted from this collection) and Elton John. Billy has never achieved that level of success elsewhere although he has built up a significant international following.
Success came slowly for Billy but he finally made the big time with his fifth album, The stranger, originally released in 1977. Its most famous song, Just the way you are, became a major American hit and also gave Billy his first UK hit, making the top twenty. Less than a year later, Barry White covered it and also made the UK top twenty. Other notable tracks from the album to be found on this compilation are Moving out and She's always a woman.
Great as that album was, Billy released an even greater album in 1983 - An innocent man. This set included Uptown girl (a UK number one hit), Tell her about it, The longest time, Leave a tender moment alone and the brilliant title track. With this album, Billy confirmed his status as a truly international performer.
Billy recorded many other fine albums from which he had plenty of American hits, some of which also charted in the UK. His most successful hits from these albums include It's still rock and roll to me, My life and We didn't start the fire. He occasionally sang about controversial topics, as in Goodnight Saigon and Allentown.
This is the best retrospective of Billy's career, including all his classic hits and much else besides. Plenty of great songs have been omitted but if you want those, you'll just have to buy the original albums. Even if you plan to do just that, this set provides a good start to your collection. On the other hand, you might just want one collection of Billy's music and in that case, this should satisfy your needs.
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