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Monday, May 19, 2014

Music Review: Billy Joel "A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia" 2 CD/DVD Set


In 1987 following the release of his 10th studio album "The Bridge" Billy Joel decided to actually bridge the gap between the USA and the Soviet Union by playing a run of shows in Russia.

The songs recorded on that leg of the tour were also released in 1987 on Joel's LIVE album entitled "Концерт."   As a document to this historic tour the 16 track single disc release never felt complete.  The sequencing of the songs didn't really flow and I was never a fan of the original 1987 version.  

It's been 27 years since "Концерт" was released and I am pleased to say that any missteps from the initial release have now been fully realized with "A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia."  The new 2 CD/DVD set has been restored to it's original 24 song set list and adds 3 additional tracks from the band's rehearsals.  Finally Billy Joel's triumphant musical assault on the Soviet Union can be enjoyed in it's entirety and sounds better than ever.  

This new set now ranks as the best LIVE album Joel has ever released.  Standout tracks such as "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "You May Be Right" and "Big Shot" sound amazing with Liberty DeVitto's drums sound like a freight train ready to burst through your car speakers. 

Also included in the Deluxe edition is a DVD of the complete concert plus a 90 minute documentary that covers all of Joel's ups and downs leading up to the tour and during it.  Highlights include Joel meeting Russian kids on the street, befriending a circus clown named Viktor and losing it on stage when his own lighting crew won't stop light the audience.  

In the end you will have a new found respect for Billy Joel and how for a brief moment in time a piano player from Long Island bridged the gap between the USA and the Soviet Union simply by playing some good old fashioned rock 'n' roll.

Drumroll please...  10 out of 10 drumsticks!!!

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