A disc that sits on the fence and goes nowhere
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I find myself really underwhelmed by this disc. The main problem is that it can't really decide whether it wants to be a music video compilation or a music commentary. Videos in this disc are incomplete at best, with commentary by Joel sprinkled between each one. I found the commentary rather distracting, leaving me to press the FF button on the remote quite a lot. Having been to two of his concerts (including the 2000 years New Year's Eve concert), I can safely tell you that his live performances are much, MUCH better than any "official" recordings, like music videos. If it's the music they wanted to present, a DVD of one of his concert performances would have been better. If it's commentary they wanted, I think a DVD of VH-1's Storytellers would have done much better, maybe with some music videos of a few popular tunes included as "extras" on the disc. I honestly think the latter would have been a much better choice considering the type of disc they seem to be going for here. Technically, the sound and video are competently done, though not really spectacular in any way. Actually, considering that some of these videos are 15 years old or so, the digital transfers came out well. All in all, though, a mediocre disc. Joel deserved better."
A decade of great music on DVD.....
Betty June Moore | Douglas, Georgia USA | 11/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Billy Joel as much as I do and enjoy music videos, Columbia Music Video's Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume III: The Video is a DVD you should add to your video library.
Although its running time doesn't quite allow CMV to present all the songs from the 1997 CD with the final volume of Joel's greatest hits, the DVD includes some of the best songs from that album, including "Keeping the Faith," "A Matter of Trust," "We Didn't Start the Fire," "And So It Goes," and "The River of Dreams."
Volume III covers the last 10 years of Joel's pop/adult rock and charts his artistic evolution. Creative and always exploring new musical territory, Joel is a versatile songwriter/vocalist, able to leap from style to style almost effortlessly. On this collection of videos, he goes from guitar-based rock in both "A Matter of Trust" and "We Didn't Start the Fire" to folk (the Celtic-beat-driven "The Downeaster Alexa"), to blues-tinged gospel ("The River of Dreams") and even classical, as in the hauntingly lovely "Lullabye (Good Night, My Angel)," which has a piano solo in the style of composer Edward Grieg.
While I enjoy all the videos and the interesting behind-the-song introductions by Joel, my favorites are "A Matter of Trust," particularly for its depiction of a fed-up neighbor who tells Joel and his rock-n-roll band to "Shut up!" in typical Big Apple fashion. I also take a particular shine to "The Downeaster Alexa," not only for its tale of hard-on-their-luck fishermen on Long Island, but because of its Celtic flavored backbeat and stylings. "A River of Dreams" is very catchy and I like the melody, the harmony of the gospel-styled backup singers, and the lyrics. As a Cold War kid, I loved Joel's "Leningrad," where he tells the parallel lives of Viktor, a Russian circus clown, and himself....and how they became friends when Joel toured the former Soviet Union in 1987. And because I am a sentimental person, I am always moved by both "And So It Goes" and the "Lullabye.""
OK for Billy Joel Fans - Others can probably skip it
Betty June Moore | 07/01/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's unfortunate that the original material lacked the clarity that DVD can transmit. I also really hate the fact that Billy talks over the first 10 seconds or so of each video. The numbering is inconsistent since the commentary is not always odd numbered or even numberer tracks, so it's difficult to programme the DVD to skip the commentary the second time you want to see or listen to the videos without the commentary..."
A Very Entertaining Look at Billy Joel's past and present
Chris | 05/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a word "greatness". That's how I would describe this man and his music. He has entertained generations of listeners with his music and stage presence. This collection is nothing less than inspired. Yes, there is commentary before each video that some people thought messed with the continuity of the videos but they did show each video in its entirety after the commentary so nothing is missed or deleted because of it. Commentary is interesting and insightful. I learned a lot about the background and inspiration for each song. I also developed a new respect for the songs included because of the commentary.Don't let the naysayers discourage you from adding this DVD to your collection. Any true (and I mean TRUE) fan will appreciate Billy Joel's ability to set the tone for the video by presenting the background and origin of the music.Granted, it is hardly a complete look at his work from past to present but other DVDs of his videos handle that nicely."