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12 Gardens

This is not my husband's album review. If you want to know about the actual music, go ask him.

I was never a cool kid. I was a nerd, a geek, a goody-goody. I never thought I was a vampire or a hippie or a renegade. I never got into music as an expression of how non-conformist and alternative and misunderstood and fabulous I was. In high school, while all my friends were scrambling to profess deep and abiding love for the most obscure band they could find, I loved Billy Joel. I had all of his records - yes, actual records - and spent hours in my room playing them and singing along.

When Chris picked up 12 Gardens Live, I wasn't sure I wanted to listen to it. It has been 13 years since his last album, and I worried he would suck and I wasn't interested in witnessing that. Then today, Mia was in one of her moods where she refused to let me put her down, so I popped in the cd and we danced around the house for hours. The albums are great. He resisted what I think is the downfall of so many iconic performers to revamp and redo his songs to match some new musical "message" or try to bring them up to date. Sure, they sound a bit different than they did on the original albums, but in almost all cases they are close enough that you can sing right along without feeling like an idiot when he breaks into a brand-new melody that is no match for the original.

Most music to me is just music, but some is intimately tied to a time or an event in my life and hearing it has the power to take me back to the moment of the association. Hearing this new album took me right back to being a teenager, back to when everything was simpler and also more complicated. Back to singing in my bedroom, back to the concert I attended in high school, back to listening to his last album with Chris when we had just started dating. Back to before I had any context for most of his songs, back to before I understood some of them, back to before he had a wife 5 years older than his daughter (ew).

It was a fun afternoon. And it is fun to be at a point in my life where I can say that I don't care if it isn't cool, I don't care if it brands me as boring and staid and conformist and all those things I thought were so awful in high school, this is my kind of music. I love Billy Joel.

Comments (25)

Me too! He's been my fave since grade ten. I can sing his songs word for word and they always put me in a good mood!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hates it when they update songs that just don't need it! I'm also glad that the new album doesn't suck.

You rebel, you. ;-) I downloaded some Gordon Lightfoot the other day. My mom used to blast his records all the time. I thought my daughter would think I was nuts, but she's actually planning to use one of his songs in her wedding. I listened to some of his newer stuff and didn't like it.
Glad you weren't disappointed thus!

If liking Billy Joel is geeky, count me in. I have some cd's that are the same way, they take me back to a certain time in life. Sounds like you guys had a fun afternoon... and I'm glad you're able to pass your music on to Mia. :)

I like him too. And James Taylor and the Eagles. I don't think Chris will be my friend now. ;)

I was always a music dork too. Nothing rebellious. Nothing that would make my mother cringe.

And I still like REO Speedwagon. So sue me!

"Vienna" is one of my favorite songs.... EVER!

I saw him in concert a few years after Piano Man, and he put on the best concert.

Yes, I'm a Billy Joel fan too.

Joey was in one of those don't-put-me-down moods, too, today. She has a cold, so it's okay. But, dancing to any kind of music always puts a smile on her face--and on mine :).

My parents and I listened (and sung along) to The Stranger on road trips for years. We owned the album and the cassette. Ohh - and I've sung Uptown Girl in a few too many karaoke rooms. Good times.

I LOVED 12 Gardens - I own every single album he has ever put out (most on multiple media) and the best thing about 12 Gardens is how many of his "more obscure" songs are on it. And, hey, my dad was best friends with his first ex-wife (the one before Christie), so I'm like only 3 steps away from him! I knew I liked you!

You know, I like Joel, too. I have also dated/lived with men who were younger than my daughter. *shrugs* I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

I like younger men who like older women. I like men who like younger women. I like men!

I am a woman redefining herself AGAIN and finally learning how to enjoy herself and live comfortably in her own skin. Shame it took me this long to learn this valuable lesson. lol

I was also a hippie and a pot head at one time. Not now, of course, but back in the day.....

*breaks out into song*

"Those were the days my friend, we'd thought they'd never end..."

I knew there was a reason I liked you so much! Not just the Billy Joel love, but the whole "goody-goody", music for fun thing. That was me, only about 5 years before you.

Oh Billy Joel is one of my all time favorite performers! I had all his albums and had memorized every song! He puts on a hell of a show too!

You can sing along to Billy Joel, you can understand what he's saying, its fun music! I must get this new CD!

His songs are a big part of the soundtrack of my life. I just saw him in March at the Verizon Center-- OMG the tickets were expensive but it was so completely worth it.

I actually cried when he first came out on stage.

I just bought his album on itunes, I loved it too.

My guilty secret? As a 16 year old, I was afraid of driving at night unless I was listening to Lionel Ritchie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" album - sort of an audio-security-blanket.

:-D I love him too..I admit it.

I'm a proud member of the Billy Joel Fan Club. Well, not really. But I do love the music.

Check out:

I like him too although I was certainly not a kid when he started out. And I never (well hardly ever) liked what the other kids did. No American Bandstand stuff for this girl.

Did I hear someone say Gordon Lightfoot?

And someone else say "hippie"?

I have a couple more blogs to check out.

ME TOO!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE BILLY JOEL - have seen him twice in concert, and was never disappointed!

I have all his stuff and look forward to being able to afford his latest venture!

His greatest something or other two-cd compilation is a mainstay around here. And I do and did listen to obscure stuff. He seems to have gotten kinda snooty lately, but his music is, for lack of a better word, awesome.

Oh, I was a big fan too. Still love it. I have all vinyl too, and listened to them over and over. Ah...his hair on the Glass Houses album...the way I would cry a little everytime I listened to 'Goodnight Saigon'...the fact that I was so shocked because he used the f-word in a recorded song (when that was rare, you know?)...

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So the Fish Said...

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