Although it's missing a few important (not to mention big) hits, Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2 is an excellent retrospective of the first half of Billy Joel's career. Beginning with "Piano Man," the first disc runs through a number of early songs before arriving at the hit-making days of the late '70s; some of these songs, including "Captain Jack" and "New York State of Mind," weren't strictly hits, but were popular numbers within his stage show and became radio hits. Once the songs from The Stranger arrive halfway through the first disc, there's no stopping the hits (although "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," an album track from The Stranger, manages its way onto the collection). In fact, over the next disc and a half, there's so many hits, it's inevitable that some are left off – to be specific, "Honesty," "Sometimes a Fantasy," "An Innocent Man," "Leave a Tender Moment," and "Keeping the Faith" aren't included.
"Hits On Fire" is the first ever Bryan Adams compilation album, released exclusively for Japan in 1988. Disc 1 is actually Bryan Adams' 1987 album Into the Fire, released on March 30, 1987 through A&M Records. Disc 2 features hit singles from the albums Cuts Like a Knife and Reckless, with the addition of three songs from 12" singles issued in 1985. These were not issued on CD outside Japan.
The Greatest Hits Volume III album includes hits from 1983 to 1997. Three previously unreleased studio tracks are included, "To Make You Feel My Love", "Hey Girl", and "Light as the Breeze". All three tracks are covers songs (a rare occurrence in his catalogue), and although "To Make You Feel My Love" and "Hey Girl" were recorded to be singles for this album, Joel originally recorded the song "Light as the Breeze" for a Leonard Cohen tribute album, Tower of Song, released in 1995. Chronologically, Greatest Hits Volume III overlaps slightly with Volume II, as the first two tracks, "Keeping the Faith" and "An Innocent Man", first appeared on his album An Innocent Man.
While heavily influenced by Art Tatum, this performer was hardly considered a heavyweight pianist during his career. Born Louis F. Bush, or Busch depending on the source, the keyboard maestro who would also make heavy use of the stage name of Joe "Fingers" Carr managed to make it into Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz, but with the following disclaimer: "A novelty performer rather than a jazz artist." The novelty itself was a kind of heavily sexed-up ragtime piano style that caught on in the very dawn of the hi-fi era. The invention was in sharp contrast to lounge music and would most likely have the opposite effect than a seduction if played in a bachelor pad. Carr began driving his piano this way while working as an A&R man for Capitol. In a brainstorm based on a sharp analysis of current trends, he decided to sign himself up as the mysterious "Fingers."