Billy Joel

In 1987, during the Cold War era, Billy Joel went to Russia to perform a series of concerts. It has long been cited as one of the reasons for the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, as his introduction of rock concerts to the Russian people helped convince them they wanted more of the Western lifestyle.

As Rolling Stone reported: "Every night, he performed a cover of Bob Dylan's 'The Times They Are-A Changin'' and gave a speech (with the aid of a translator) about the song. 'I have a feeling that what's going on in your country right now is very much like the 1960s," he said one night. "This song has been going around and around my head since I've been here.'"

Billy Joel had been a fan of Bob Dylan as a teen, and signed with Columbia Records in the early 1970s rather than Atlantic Rccords in part because Dylan was on Columbia.  So it was natural that Billy performed Dylan's classic song "The Times They Are A Changin'" while in Russia in 1987. When Dylan released the song back in the 1960s in the United States, it perfectly captured the changing cultural and political climate of the United States including the Civil Rights movement and Free Speech movement.  Billy aptly saw that something similar was happening in Russia at the time.  

Ten years later, in 1997, Billy would cover another Dylan tune, "To Make You Feel My Love" - which Joel decided to perform as if it was a slow, sanitized Blonde on Blonde outtake - on Billy's Greatest Hits, Volume III.  It was released as the first single from the album and reached number 50 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was this version that inspired Garth Brooks and (later) Adèle to record the same.

Back in the U.S.S.R. (single)

Back in the U.S.S.R. (single)

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Kohuept

Kohuept

The Times They Are A-Changin'

To Make You Feel My Love (single)

To Make You Feel My Love (single)

To Make You Feel My Love (album version)
To Make You Feel My Love (bare bones version)

Greatest Hits Volume III

Greatest Hits Volume III

To Make You Feel My Love

My Lives

My Lives

Highway 61 Revisited (prev. unreleased demo - rec.4/28/99)

box set also includes: The Times They Are A-Changin', To Make You Feel My Love (from above)

allmusicUnless otherwise noted the information was gathered from AMG.

  • 105,000+ cover versions
  • 800+ Cover Albums
  • Album Cover Covers
  • Draw Conclusions on the Wall
  • Magazine Covers
  • Mmmm... I love that Country Pie
  • Translations
  • Participate
  • Tribute bands
  • Tattoo Bob
  • All the latest news and additions
  • Subscribe to our Newsletter
  • Watch Video's
  • Milton Glaser Revisited
Auto repair Atlanta