Cold Spring Harbor
Billy Joel had been looking for his way into the music business. He'd released several obscure albums with The Hassles and Attila before settling down as a singer/songwriter for a small label, which—due to a mastering error—released his debut album at the wrong speed. In 1983, Columbia Records issued a "corrected" version that played at the correct speed, but it had been remixed and edited without Joel's participation. Despite this unusual beginning, Cold Spring Harbor captures a talented songwriter making a singer/songwriter album at a time—1971—when many other young men and women were doing the same. "She's Got a Way" eventually became a hit in a live version from Songs in the Attic, while songs like "Falling of the Rain," "Turn Around," and "You Can Make Me Free" (cut down from 5:40 to 2:56 in the remaster) sit beautifully alongside the works of Elton John, James Taylor, and other contemporaries. "Everybody Loves You Now" has that cynical Joel eye. The lyrics to "Tomorrow Is Today" were partly taken from a suicide note Joel had written during those days.