The music of Billy Joel (part 2 or 4)

Album: Turnstiles (1976)

Favorite tracks: New York State of Mind

The inspiration for the song came from his pride in returning home to New York. (He had been in LA for 3 years). Joel was literally "takin' a Greyhound [bus] on the Hudson River Line [route]" when the idea for the song came to him, and the song was written as soon as Joel arrived home.
In fact, most of Turnstiles deals with Joel's cross-country relocation, including "Say Goodbye to Hollywood", "I've Loved These Days", "Summer, Highland Falls", and "Miami 2017 Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway."
Although "New York State of Mind" was never a hit song and was never released as a single, it has become a fan favorite and a song that Joel plays regularly in concert.
Joel famously played the song at the October 2001 benefit concert for the New York City Fire and Police Departments and the loved ones of families of first responders lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Album: The Stranger (1977)

My favorite of the studio albums, it has strong material all the way through. While his four previous albums had been moderately successful, The Stranger became Joel's true critical and commercial breakthrough, spending six weeks at #2 on the U.S. album charts.
Considered his magnum opus, it remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and was ranked number 70 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Much of the album's success is attributed to Joel's collaboration with producer Phil Ramone, and his innovative production methods, this fruitful partnership would continue for a decade.

Favorite tracks: The Stranger, Just the Way You Are, Vienna, She's Always a Woman, Everybody has A DreamScenes from an Italian RestaurantOnly the Good Die Young

Album: 52nd Street (1978)

The studio in which 52nd Street was recorded was on 52nd Street, a block away from the CBS Building. In 2003, the album was ranked number 352 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Favorite tracks: My Life, Stiletto, Honesty, Big ShotUntil The Night(added thanks to Lisa Thatcher)

Have you listened to the music of Billy Joel? Or are you a newcomer to the music as I am? As always, comments are welcome. Next week part 3


  1. "Sir, we strictly only do 80s Billy Joel".

    1. @thevoid99: Step Brothers (2008) quote. I googled it. Haven’t seen that movie

    2. Oh you should. It's the best of the Will Ferrell-Adam McKay collaborations with John C. Reilly as the third wheel. It might not grab you at first but repeated viewings make it a whole worthwhile.

    3. @thevoid99: I don’t usually find Will Ferrell that funny, I’ll check the trailer, and see if it’s for me.

  2. Fantastic albums - how much joy have these albums given me over the years? I developed one of those teen crushes on "Until the Night" for a few months, and I swear I listened to that song on looped tape repeat thousands of times. I've always prefered BJ's more sublimated 80's stuff to the really popular music, but in retrospect that defines my preferences in music all together. But these three albums truly are fantastic and those lyrics are amazingly clever.

    1. @Lisa Thatcher: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the albums! I relistened to "Until the Night", and you're right, a strong track, I like the powerful chorus.
      These are albums I will return to in future, and maybe other tracks will strike me next time around.


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