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Billy Joel (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, Ungekürzte Ausgabe

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"If you call yourself a Joel fan, you'll be reading this." –Newsday

"[T]he rollicking story of a Hicksville boy made good." –Maura Johnston, Newsday

"Schruers clearly realizes he has gold in his interviews with Joel, his friends, paramours and confidants... [He delivers] insights on individual songs that will surprise even the most studied Joel fan.... [and] has given us the most complete look at Joel’s life and career to date." –Dallas Morning News

[Billy Joel]
not only lives up to its subtitle, but has the strengths of both an autobiography and biography.... [It] will likely end up as the most complete tome on the Bard of Long Island, with the most access to its subject." Houston Press

"[A] funny, revealing, and poignant look at [Joel's] long career." –Boston Globe

"Schruers' account of Joel's 1970s rise is fantastic, rich in anecdotes about the origins of different songs." –Billboard

"[A] funny and revealing account of one of the most popular songwriters of our time.” New York Daily News

"Schruers uses interviews to great effect, allowing to emerge the everyman persona that resonates with Joel's fans...a fair, thorough assessment of Joel's celebrity." Publishers Weekly

From the Hardcover edition.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

FRED SCHRUERS enjoyed a successful high-profile career as a writer at Rolling Stone, chronicling an impressive body of musicians and actors, including Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Jack Nicholson, Sheryl Crow, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Chris Rock. His writing has also appeared in Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, Men’s Journal, GQ, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia Journalism Review.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
flüssig geschrieben, trotzdem gute Englischkenntnisse erforderlich. Gute Übung, um die Sprache zu verbessern.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen 161 Rezensionen
31 von 35 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Billy Joel 28. Oktober 2014
Von S Riaz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Based on interviews with Joel, his friends, family, band mates and many others, this biography takes us from Billy Joel’s family history all the way to the present. Joel has long been one of my favourite singers and I cannot help agreeing with Elton John, that he is a bit of a conundrum, so I was very interested to find out more about him. I have never read a biography of his life before, although I was aware of the major events, but it was good to have a proper, thorough account of his life and career.

The book begins with Billy Joel’s family history, his childhood and difficult relationship with his father. We move on to his early love of music and fledgling bands, such as The Hassles and Attila. We follow his story from a stuttering start to his career (although personally I love those first albums) to the massive success of The Stranger. There are management issues (some of them extremely serious ones), record label worries and personal issues. Billy Joel is totally open in this book; discussing his marriages to first wife Elizabeth, Christie Brinkley and Katie Lee, his problems with alcohol, his perceived ‘fallings out’ with Elton John and former drummer Liberty De Vitto. Along with the difficulties, there are also positive things. His deep love for daughter Alexa, his regard for his loyal fans, the high spots of his career, such as the Last Night at Shea with Paul McCartney and being honoured by his peers.

This is an honest and open account of Billy Joel’s life, but you do still get the sense that he really doesn’t understand – even now – how superb he truly is as a singer and a songwriter. I would love him to write some new material and have the confidence and the passion to make new albums. He has so much to offer, not just as a live act, but as a musician and, although I know there have been the odd new song along the way, he openly admits that he has lost the will to record. Still, every album he has made are familiar, old friends, constantly replayed and his music – like the man – has stood the test of time. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, for review.
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Rick Shaq Goldstein - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Regardless of whether you’re a Billy Joel fan or not… if you simply like music… and really… really… wonder about the true creative process… from the highs… to the lows… to the rewards… and rock bottom… emotions… that actually lead to multiple suicide attempts… this is the book for you. Everything in life is obviously not what it looks like… but multiply that by a hundred… and you will have an idea… of what’s behind the lyrics in the songs by Billy Joel that have sold millions upon millions of albums.

The author… in collaboration with Billy takes you on a detailed trip through Billy’s life… that starts off in a place that I wasn’t expecting to see… nor did I even have an idea that it existed. I am the same age as Billy… born in the same area… and like Joel… am part of the first Jewish post-Holocaust generation. I was caught off guard when the story started with a history of Joel’s family before… during… and after… the despicable Nazi stain on history. Both our families lost members in the death camps… and we both had family that escaped from Europe. Billy’s Dad went from Europe… to Switzerland… to Cuba… to America. His Grandfather had a multi-million dollar business taken from him under the Nazi law of “Jews can’t own a business”.

The reader is literally taken by the hand and shown what shaped Joel… everything from dropping out of high school… piano lessons… and amateur boxing. How’s that for a combo for a teenager… piano lessons and boxing! Throughout this well written biography… you see how Billy’s love of reading… educated him far more than staying in school… with a particular love of history. His many travails with women… are deftly tied to his lyrics… that are interspersed throughout the book… in expert fashion. If you are a Billy Joel fan… you will no longer have to wonder or imagine… what’s truly behind his lyrics. By the one-third mark of the book I had to fight myself to keep from running to my stereo and re-listen to all the songs that I “thought” I knew the complete meaning of. I promised myself that that growing pleasure would be a reward for finishing the book. (Another enjoyable personal epiphany was when Joel moved to Los Angeles… as I also did… the actual bar that Billy worked at … at Wilshire and Western… that was the true birth place of the all-time classic “PIANO MAN” was right down the street from where I worked!)

It is obvious throughout that Billy never wants to distance himself from who he really is… and even more importantly… never lose a firm grasp… on where he came from. I think it’s best summed up by Billy’s comments regarding the “Nylon Curtain” album: “The Nylon Curtain was a concept album,” says Billy. “Even in the love songs, there are troubles, pressure, surprises, and disappointments. Everybody falls, everybody has something bad happen. It’s about how you recover, how you cope with it, how you deal with loss and regret and move on. That’s a major, recurring theme in a lot of my lyrics.”

To me that perfectly crystallizes the man… the person… the performer…

the imperfect-gifted-human-being that Billy Joel is. This is a tremendous book… that reminds all of us… why at one time or another we all get caught up… or affected by lyrics. Some make us feel not so alone… because we realize other people must feel what we feel… or there wouldn’t be a song about it… other lyrics help us dream… about what we either haven’t achieved yet… or realize there are dreams that will never come true… but we can still dream… and there are lyrics that motivate… lyrics that inspire you… to wholeheartedly believe… that if you get up… one more time… than you’re knocked down… you can make it.

Billy Joel is one of the best in putting that lyrical hand out to help you up!
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Listen to what the man says (about music) 30. Oktober 2014
Von Waltbos - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As a professional musician (commercial music composer/film orchestrator) I really appreciated Billy Joel talking the time to talk about the music (which, like him, I live to do). So many of these pop musician biographies focus on the trappings of fame, relationships, mishaps, etc. and though this book doesn't shy away from these topics I nevertheless feel I got a true "insider's view" into the man's "process" as he, being a trained musician (and apparently grateful for this kind of training) quite articulately addresses many of the things I myself would ask were I given a chance to meet the man. Here's a guy whose greatest love affair has not been with any one woman, but with music, and who, like Paul McCartney, has been "testing the waters" by writing classical pieces (though, sensibly, starting small scale, concentrating on works for the instrument he best knows, the piano). I was particularly excited to read that he's recently been approached to write film scores. If Bill can deal with the micro-managing that's part and parcel of every modern film composer's experience (he should talk to Randy Newman about scoring "Seabiscuit"), then I think he would do quite well with this venture. I sincerely hope he gets that chance.

Thank you Fred Schruers for this excellent entertainer biography (probably the best bio I've read since Simon Callow's "Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu"). I truly feel I got to know Billy Joel (his family history is particularly fascinating, would make a good "theme" for a musical or opera).
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Billy Joel in full...a treat for fans and students of his music and life 31. Oktober 2014
Von Ted Lehmann - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Billy Joel by Fred Schruers (Random House, October 2014, 400 Pages, $29.00/11.99) is the right book written at the right time by the right person. Fred Schruers, a deeply experienced writer/editor at Premier Magazine, Rolling Stone, and other entertainment publications and now with Crown Publishing, has been given unfettered access to Billy Joel, his former wives and girl friends, members of his band, and archives as wide ranging as the pages of the tabloid press and the archives of the Holocaust Museum. From this he has fashioned a well-written and thoughtful biography of one of the icons of pop music whose songs are a part of the musical DNA of millions of fans, and whose life has been widely, critically, and often superficially examined in the serious and tabloid press. Using hundreds of hours of interviews with Joel himself, his family and associates, Schruers has produced a piece of celebrity biography that examines the man for his genius and his faults. Billy Joel, now age sixty-five and still performing at a back breaking pace, has wisely provided the insight without especially limiting the analysis for this biography that treats the man and his music in detail and with deep respect while never shying away from the flaws which have made Joel and world renowned singer/songwriter as well as a tabloid personality. For those interested in Joel himself, rock and roll music, or the music business, Billy Joel is highly readable and informative.

I must admit that while I have long loved much of Billy Joel's work, even considered myself a fan, I've had a superficial picture of the man himself. My impressions: Long Island, Christie Brinkley, frequent meltdowns, mammoth tours, and a wealth of songs written over a long period of time, were at best superficial. I almost put the book down after several chapters of feeling mired in Long Island's rock scene during the early and mid-sixties, when Joel dropped out of high school, formed, joined and left several bands, and became a locally popular rock singer while experimenting to discover his voice. The names were unfamiliar to me, and I almost quit. Then, as Joel begins to emerge, so did my interest, and the book took on a life of its own, as I moved through it with joy and enthusiasm. The book is sparsely illustrated and contains, insofar as I can see from the galley I read, no index or list of sources, although credit is freely given within the text. I supplemented my reading by using three resources: Spotify to listen to Joel's recorded work, especially the live concerts, Wikipedia for additional details about individuals mentioned in the book, especially those from the recording industry, and Google Images to allow me better to visualize the people, although I really needed no help when it came to Christie Brinkley. All three of these resources were enormously useful to me, as a casual fan, but would probably prove unnecessary for one more knowledgeable than I.

The biography generally maintains a chronological view of Billy Joel, presenting a detailed account of how the Joel family, prosperous Jews from Germany escaped the holocaust, arriving in Cuba and then immigrating, penniless, to New York City. Billy's father, Howard, was a classical pianist, who soon deserted the family and eventually returned to Vienna. Joel was born in the Bronx in 1949, and his mother Rosalind soon moved to Hicksville, Long Island, in the heart of what emerged under the generic name of Levittown. Billy early studied classical piano, but in the musically overheated environment was attracted to rock and roll, and never left. While never finishing high school, Joel emerges as a voracious reader with a leftward lean, and a student of classical as well as contemporary music. From his early teen years, he asserts he wanted nothing more than to be a musician. Joel performed with several bands to increasing notice, and signed several early contracts in which he gave away most of the rights to his own compositions, an error which took him many years and millions of dollars to extract himself from. The cost of his early misplaced trust in shady characters in the recording industry probably is responsible for keeping Joel on the road much more intensely than he otherwise would have been, however, it's as a performer of his own highly autobiographical and emotive songs in concert and on recordings that his reputation stands. These people and errors are carefully discussed and analyzed in the book....The remainder of this review can be read on my blog (Google: Bluegrass Ted) where you can also find an Amazon portal to order it from. Thanks
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Expected More.... 22. November 2014
Von puchie pie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The author is primarily a magazine writer and the book reads like one. Interesting tidbits that I never knew about various aspects in Billy's life but never in any depth or detail that left me satisfied. I would have liked to know more about the family history, his father and even his siblings, sort of just a passing chapter on them. It's a quick easy read but again it is like reading a magazine article, I expected more.
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