Billy Joel & His Record Label
From a great Times Online article, "Billy's 88 Ways to Woo a Goddess:"
Once in a while he takes to the road and bashes out a set of his most well-loved songs. But, save for a live CD, entitled 12 Gardens, and another compilation (this time entitled Piano Man) there’s nothing new to promote.
Joel is visibly amused by the quandary in which this leaves his record company. When he first served notice of his withdrawal from the recording process, Columbia’s response was disbelief. “Actually, they thought I was just negotiating — and this was the start-off point.”
Since then, Joel’s profile has been kept high by a procession of compilations. “It’s ridiculous,” he says, “If it’s not The Ultimate Billy Joel, it’s The Essential Billy Joel or Really and Truly the Very Best of Billy Joel." The lion’s share of his disdain though, is reserved for My Lives, the 2005 box set that gathered together four CDs of outtakes spanning his entire career. “The idea as it was presented to me was: ‘OK, we’re going to take everything you left on the cutting room floor, we’re going to put it in a box and charge people 50 bucks.’
“It’s not like I had a choice — they own it all. I read in the liner notes that I personally ‘curated’ all this stuff, which is a crock of s***. I didn’t curate a single thing.”