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Billy Joel announces box set, expanded 'Piano Man'

Billy Joel shows off his new motorcycle shop,

Billy Joel shows off his new motorcycle shop, 20th Century Cycles, in Oyster Bay on Nov. 6, 2010. Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Billy Joel plans to celebrate his 40th anniversary as a solo artist with two special releases on Nov. 8.

The “Billy Joel – The Complete Albums Collection” (Columbia/Legacy) boxed set will include remastered versions of all 14 of Joel's albums, including his 2001 album of classical compositions “Fantasies and Delusions,” and a 15th CD of rarities that include B-sides and his covers of Elvis Presley's “Heartbreak Hotel” and “All Shook Up.”

“This has been a long time coming, putting all my albums into one package,” Joel said in a statement. “I'd never seen them all together in one place until I got the box set. It represents a lot of work! It's a little overwhelming, actually, looking at each individual album and remembering how much writing and recording, the time spent arranging and producing everything that went into each album.”

On Nov. 8, Joel will also release The “Piano Man – Legacy Edition” which includes a remastered version of his breakthrough album and a previously unreleased 1972 radio concert at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studio.

“I never sat down and said I'm gonna write a hit record,” Joel said. “I wouldn't know a hit record if it bit me. I just wrote songs. I wrote them for me, I wrote them for the band, or I wrote a song for the women in my life. I was just writing songs for me. It's music that I wanted to hear.

"If I didn't hear certain kind of music on the radio, I realized, 'Well, if I write and record this it'll probably be on the radio and that's what I'll hear,'" Joel continued. "That's what I was thinking. Not so much about having hits, but about making music that I liked. I only really ever did it for me. That may sound selfish, but I'm the only person that I really know all that well.”

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