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Billy Joel, ‘Josephine’ – Song Review

Piano Man
Columbia Legacy

Billy Joel includes three never-before-released songs on his new double-disc, legacy edition of the ‘Piano Man’ album. In addition to ‘Long, Long Time’ and ‘Rosalinda,’ fans are treated to a live version of ‘Josephine,’ a simple 12-bar blues riff that gets better with each listen.

Early in the song Joel’s piano and singing sound very Jim Croce, but the then-23-year-old separates himself from comparison and gives fans a taste of the unique vocal enunciations to come after the electrifying piano and guitar solos.

Well sit right back / Suppose I went away, Awww honey, “he sings with a Bronx growl. The lyrics aren’t the most poetic thing to come from the legend’s lips. It’s the live energy captured in this 1972 recording that make it worth repeating.

“Nothing I say does justice to you / Or lights up your day the way that you do / Josephine,” he sings to close the chorus. It’s rare an unreleased track adds anything to a singer’s legacy, more often than not it’s a trick to get fans to put down $20 on the same 15 songs they’d been hearing for years. ‘Josephine,’ and presumably the entire 23-cut second disc of the ‘Piano Man’ reissue (available Nov. 8), show what a natural entertainer Joel is and was since before he signed with Columbia records.

4 Stars

Listen to Billy Joel’s ‘Josephine’

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