I didn’t know back in 1993 when I bought Billy Joel’s River of Dreams that it would be the last album of pop songs he’d ever release. Maybe Joel has a surprise in store 27 years later, but it sure seems like this was his swan song.
This is far from my favorite Billy Joel album — a quick glance at his discography suggests I’d rank it at #11 of 12 — but it’s plenty good enough to be my #8 album of 1993.
Looking at the numbers makes Billy Joel’s “retirement” all the more impressive. He truly went out at the top of his game, with River of Dreams selling more than 5 million copies and vying for an Album of the Year Grammy. To just hang it up after a success like that takes some guts.
When this album came out (in 1993), Alex and I went to the store and each bought a copy of the CD. This was in the days before iPods and easy CD burning, and several years before we’d get married and merge our CD collections. It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since I last purchased a Billy Joel album.