RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Billy Joel - Streetlife Serenade
Audio Fidelity


Rating: C

Audio Fidelity has released, and remastered Billy Joel's 1974 album Streetlife Serenade.  This was Joel's third release and while it is not one of his best loved and remembered, it is an important release in his growth as a songwriter. 

His inexperience is shown as the songs on the album are all over the map, which, depending what kind of Billy fan one is will either delight or disgust!  There are singer/songwriter tunes like "The Great Suburban Showdown," there are pop gems like the classic "The Entertainer" and there are some indulgent piano moments like "Root Beer Rag."  Joel's biggest fans laude this album as a masterpiece, but most of his fans... the ones who bought many of his 150 million albums sold, don't even remember it! 

What we have here is a very young artist finding his way.  Joel is writing introspective songs that show his inexperience and his age.  While it is, in retrospect a pretty cool look back at this time in the future musical genius’ life, it is far from his best work.  Yet, it does not suck, either... far from it.  We all know what Billy went on to accomplish, and on this album the seeds have sprouted.  "The Entertainer" is the only tune that gets included on 'best of' compilations, making this music more interesting for music fans who want to know about this era of Joel's career.

In typical Audio Fidelity style, it sounds amazing. This is one company that not only cares about the music but also cares that the music is preserved, and presented in the best way possible.  Once again, Audio Fidelity has done an amazing job! 

If seeking out albums from amazing artists like Billy Joel is your thing, and you desire to learn more about the lesser known recordings of their career, then this album--this version, the Audio Fidelity one, is the way to go as you get the best Streetlife Serenade on the market! 

Let's hope this is just the beginning of the Audio Fidelity remastering of Mr. Joel's music... just imagine what 52nd Street would sound like if these guys got their hands, and ears, on it! 

Streetlife Serenader
Los Angelenos
The Great Suburban Showdown
Root Beer Rag
The Entertainer
Last of the Big Time Spenders
Weekend Song
The Mexican Connection

By Jeb Wright