BILLY 8 – Greatest Hits: Vol. III

January-May 1998 (9 shows) Greatest Hits: Vol. III
Photo credit: Newsday / J. Michael Dombroski

January-May 1998 (9 shows)

Greatest Hits: Vol. III

“That was kind of a victory lap,” Joel says of his “Greatest Hits: Vol. III” tour ending at the Coliseum in 1998 with a record-setting nine-show run (Jan. 29; Feb. 2, 9, 11, 14, 16; April 30; and May 1, 4, 1998). It had been five years since he had decided to stop recording popular music, following the “River of Dreams” album in 1993. His popularity, though, was still growing through touring and the release of three greatest-hits collections. Joel’s greatest-hits albums, with 23 million copies sold, are the third-biggest-selling albums in history, behind only Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and The Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.”

“There was all this talk of ‘Where are we going to do this?’ ” says Joel, whose name hung in the rafters of the Coliseum following the record-setting run, alongside banners celebrating the Stanley Cup-winning Islanders teams. “We’re doing it at home. The momentum was there. The demand was there. I thought, ‘Really? They want us to play that many times? We can sell that many tickets? OK.’ It felt good.”

The final show of that tour — on May 4, 1998 — was the last time Joel played the Coliseum by himself.

By the numbers

  • Musicians with a banner in Nassau Coliseum before Joel on this tour 0
  • Height of Joel’s banner, in feet 15
  • Ticket price $37.50
  • Total gross for “Greatest Hits: Vol. III” tour $47 million
  • People who saw the tour 1.1 million
Set list


There was no doubt that he reveled in being on his native Long Island, where he was kicking off a string of homecoming shows as part of a Northeast tour. He cracked enough jokes about his early years here to give the show the air of a high school reunion, bantering about skipping school to hang out at Jones Beach — “under the tunnel at Parking Field Four” — and cruising Hempstead Turnpike in a futile quest for women. At one point, he grabbed the hand of a man in the front row and exclaimed: “I grew up across the street from this [expletive] guy!”

The sold-out crowd, which included many baby boomers with their children in tow, reveled back. By the time Joel reached his third song, the defiant “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” the entire arena was chanting the lyrics along with him. Joel was the man who had moved out; but he’d returned to the fold with tales to share with those who’d never left. — Letta Tayler, Newsday, Jan. 31, 1998

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(Jan. 29, 1998)

Prelude/Angry Young Man


Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)

Just the Way You Are


Big Man on Mulberry Street

The Downeaster Alexa


All About Soul

The Longest Time

My Life

Summer, Highland Falls<

I Go to Extremes

Everybody Has a Dream

New York State of Mind

Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)

River of Dreams

We Didn’t Start the Fire

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Only the Good Die Young

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)

Captain Jack

You May Be Right

Piano Man