The Legacy Edition includes two CDs with rich, clean, and crisp remastered sound. The album proper was remastered from the original recordings. And the Sigma Sound performance was re-mixed from the original studio recording and features three songs which don't appear on any of his albums — "Long, Long Time," "Josephine," and "Rosalinda" — as well as that door-opening performance of "Captain Jack."
Of all the songs on Piano Man, the album's title track is still my favorite and it sounds great even after 30 years. Billy manages to capture his passionate performance and storytelling style in this classic about a regular crowd shuffling into a bar, from the old man to the real estate novelist. It's believable without being over the top. Besides, who wouldn't love to have Billy Joel playing piano at whatever bar they might happen into?
"Captain Jack," his anthem to self-destruction, is timeless. Joel himself has had several bouts with depression and alcohol abuse over the years, so the song's message of using booze "to get you by tonight / just a little push, you'll be smiling" seems just a bit autobiographical. The rock guitar behind Joel's piano melodies really makes this song take on a life of its own, vacillating between slower, reflective moments and ones of full anthemic sound.
Between the songs like "The Ballad of Billy The Kid" and "Stop In Nevada" and the live performance CD, I consider this an important addition to my music collection. Plus after seeing Billy live on the Storm Front tour — at a time when he'd already amassed 20 years of recording and touring experience — it's a treat to behold the purity of this early live performance from 1972.
If you are a fan, young or old, of Billy Joel's music, Piano Man (Legacy Edition) is a must-have for your collection.