Billy Joel - Piano Man (1973). Embittered by legal disputes with his label and an endless tour to support a debut that was dead in the water, Billy Joel hunkered down in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, spending six months as a lounge singer at a club. He didn't abandon his dreams - he continued to write songs, including "Piano Man," a fictionalized account of his weeks as a lounge singer. Through a combination of touring and constant hustling, he landed a contract with Columbia and recorded his second album in 1973. Clearly inspired by Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection, not only musically but lyrically, as well as James Taylor, Joel expands the vision and sound of Cold Spring Harbor, abandoning introspective numbers (apart from "You're My Home," a love letter to his wife) for character sketches and epics…
The Beatles: The Collection was a vinyl box set of every Beatles album remastered at half speed from the original stereo master recordings, except for Magical Mystery Tour which was mastered from Capitol Records' submasters with the last three tracks in rechanneled stereo
The public is starved for music from the Big Three of rock and roll — an album and maybe a single a year isn't enough, and the rest of the musicians on both sides of the Atlantic are not providing enough excitement on their own to let us take what we get from Dylan, the Stones and the Beatles and be satisfied. We want more, and as the slogan goes, "find a hole and fill it," and thus it's being filled up fast.
The album feels even more like a collection of singles (instead of an actual movie soundtrack) than Help! or A Hard Day's Night, but maybe that's because every song sounds like it could have been a hit single–with the natural exception of the goofy/weird instrumental "Flying." Even George's "Blue Jay Way" paints a vivid sound-portrait in fascinating detail. (I consider Joni Mitchell's "Car on the Hill" from Court and Spark to be a companion piece about sitting in the Hollywood Hills, waiting for somebody to show up.) And although the goofy TV movie may have been mostly Paul's baby, this album features the two 45 rpm masterpieces that sum up the quintessential best of Lennon and McCartney at this stage of their development: Paul's "Penny Lane" and John's "I Am the Walrus." –Jim Emerson
Dr. Ebbetts specializes in releasing digital remasterings from long-deleted and hard-to-obtain vinyl records, particularly issues from the audiophile Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs (MFSL) label. Although the Ebbetts catalogue has many artists, it is most known for Beatles CDs transferred from the best quality MFSL releases, US releases and mono vinyl sources. While lables like Millenium, BEAT, Mirror Spock and Fabulous Sound Labs (FSL) also issue 'needle drops' of Beatles vinyl, Dr. Ebbetts is regarded by many audiophiles as being the highest quality. For those interested in the technical, one source close to the Dr says that Ebbetts says that he uses no noise reduction and that there's no magic formula…just a good ear and patience.