My #2 album of 1980 would elicit gasps among the critical elite, who have long dismissed Billy Joel as a hack. Fuck ’em. Glass Houses is a blast — not The Stranger or 52nd Street great, but a whole lot of fun.
Rolling Stone wrote a vicious review of this album that ends with the admittedly catchy line “his material’s catchy… but then, so’s the flu.” And that’s about the kindest thing they had to say.
I don’t get it. But I’ve never gotten the hostility so many music snobs have for Billy Joel.
It’s nice to see the title track of Billy Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street pop up on a Random Weekend so soon after my trip to New York City to see Hamilton.
I’ve always considered this jazzy rock classic one of the quintessential New York City albums, from its cover photo of Joel leaning against a wall on 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue to city settings like Zanzibar and the Herald Square of ‘Rosalinda’s Eyes.’
My third favorite album of 1992 is The Nylon Curtain, Billy Joel’s eighth studio album and the one he has called his personal favorite.
I’d likely give that title to The Stranger or 52nd Street, but this one would round out the top three.
The album, running just nine songs long, featured Joel’s most ambitious studio work. It’s his Beatles album.
You never know what your kids will latch on to.
A few weeks back, we had a family movie night and watched 13 Going On 30, an under seen and underrated 2004 film. It’s a “young kid in a grown-up body” movie starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, and in my opinion the best of its genre, topping even Tom Hanks’ Big.
Billy Joel’s ‘Vienna’ is a song that I tend to forget when compiling lists like this one.
But when I listen to it again, it feels like the only song in the world I’ll ever need.
It’s so beautifully written and performed, so expertly produced by Phil Ramone, and its message is so simple and profound. It’s truly perfect.
I have a feeling Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show will provide fodder for this blog for years to come.
The man is an unapologetic fan of so many musicians, not to mention a damn fine musician himself, and he never passes up an opportunity to turn a standard guest spot into a YouTube moment.
The third song Jack Antonoff mentions in his Rolling Stone list is Billy Joel’s epic ‘Scenes From an Italian Restautant.’
Now I know what a great song this is, and how great Billy Joel is, and I suspect most of my regular readers share that opinion… but the man does not get much respect in the “cool” circles. So I’m heartened to see Antonoff unabashedly express his appreciation for a great songwriter.