From Cold Spring Harbor
1. "Tomorrow Is Today"
Taken from Joel's solo debut (he was also a member of the '60s pop group The Hassles, among others) before he was a household name, this song was written during the infamous time in his life when he was chronically depressed, poor, and even, at one point, sleeping at his local Laundromatand it shows. A sample lyric: "I've seen a lot of life/and I'm damn sick of livin' it." At the time, Joel himself probably wouldn't have believed the amazing success he would one day find: selling millions of records, marrying supermodel Christie Brinkley, and now being celebrated at The Kennedy Center Honors.
This is a beautiful instrumental reminiscent of the famous piano ballads of Beethoven. (Even its title is similar to "Moonlight Sonata.") Joel was young but still had a supreme talent to tickle the ivories unlike any of his American pianist contemporaries. The melody is sweeping and gorgeous, as it lulls you into a relaxing, near romantic rhythm. It also foreshadows the classical piano album Fantasies & Delusions he would eventually make 30 years later.