Billy Fury, born Ronald Wycherley (17 April 1940 - 28 January 1983), was an internationally successful English singer from the late-1950s to the mid-1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll (and film) star, he equalled The Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK charts…
The Greatest Hits Volume III album includes hits from 1983 to 1997. Three previously unreleased studio tracks are included, "To Make You Feel My Love", "Hey Girl", and "Light as the Breeze". All three tracks are covers songs (a rare occurrence in his catalogue), and although "To Make You Feel My Love" and "Hey Girl" were recorded to be singles for this album, Joel originally recorded the song "Light as the Breeze" for a Leonard Cohen tribute album, Tower of Song, released in 1995. Chronologically, Greatest Hits Volume III overlaps slightly with Volume II, as the first two tracks, "Keeping the Faith" and "An Innocent Man", first appeared on his album An Innocent Man.
Although it's missing a few important (not to mention big) hits, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 is an excellent retrospective of the first half of Billy Joel's career. Beginning with "Piano Man," the first disc runs through a number of early songs before arriving at the hit-making days of the late '70s; some of these songs, including "Captain Jack" and "New York State of Mind," weren't strictly hits, but were popular numbers within his stage show and became radio hits. Once the songs from The Stranger arrive halfway through the first disc, there's no stopping the hits (although "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," an album track from The Stranger, manages its way onto the collection). In fact, over the next disc and a half, there's so many hits, it's inevitable that some are left off – to be specific, "Honesty," "Sometimes a Fantasy," "An Innocent Man," "Leave a Tender Moment," and "Keeping the Faith" aren't included.
Otis Redding’s third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding’s versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, “A Change Is Gonna Come” and “Shake,” are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it’s useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with “Wonderful World,” which is seldom compiled elsewhere.