Classic Rock Bottom

Disclaimer: All info that does not reside in my brain is gathered from (mostly because Jon can't stand it) unless otherwise noted.

I have another number one album to feature for you this week.  It's Glass Houses by Billy Joel, and it comes to us from the long ago time of 1980.  The Piano Man rocked it out pretty good back in 1980.  Glass Houses was his seventh studio album and it featured his first number one single (It's Still Rock And Roll To Me).  It also contained a Top 10 hit (You May Be Right) as well as the Top 20 hit Don't Ask Me Why (#19).  Sometimes A Fantasy also cracked the Top 40. It brought Joel a Grammy Award in 1981 for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and a nomination for Album Of The Year.  The album won and American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album as well.  It also sold well at a 7 x Platinum rate and was ranked as the 41st best selling album of the 1980's.  Whew!  That's a lot of accolades.  Oh, did I mention that the album spent six weeks in the number one slot?  

I never owned the album back then, but I know a couple of ladies that did (although I had not yet met them when the album came out).  Not sure why I mentioned that, but there ya go.  Anyway, in addition to the multitude of songs on the album that everyone and their brother have heard, the album contains the most excellent deep cuts All For Leyna, I Don't Want To Be Alone, Sleeping With The Television On, C'etait Toi (You Were The One) (that's right, I can't understand half of the lyrics), the rocking Close To The Borderline and the very Beatlesque Through The Long Night.  Funny, that's every song on the album.  I guess now you know what I think of the album.

It's readily available.  A brand new copy will only set you back $7.99 on Amazon.  So what do you think of the album? And if you don't own it, I highly recommend that you consider it.

Side One:

1. You May Be Right

2. Sometimes A Fantasy

3. Don't Ask Me Why

4. It's All Rock And Roll To Me

5. Leyna

Side Two:

6. I Don't Want To Be Alone

7. Sleeping With The Television On

8. C'etait Toi (You Were The One)

9. Close To The Borderline

10. Through The Long Night

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I've been an owner of this album in one form of media or another since its original release date.  At the time it was a very new wavish sounding album.  Funny how time took that totally away!

You May Be Right is great pop-rocker with cool guitars, drums, and lyrics.  One of Joels best!  But it was the new wave feel of Sometimes a Fantasy and Its Still Rock and Roll To Me that hooked everyone in.  There are bits of new wave mixed in throughout, like the quirky keyboard in Sleeping With The Television On and then you get tunes that would fit nicely on his previous work, like Through The Long Night sounds like it came out of the 52nd Street sessions and Don't Ask Me Why from Turnstiles...  etc...

This is simply a cool album. 

PS:  Liberty DeVitto's drumming is always a pleasure to hear, he really hits the skins hard and the feel of his work in Joels music always makes it interesting.

Agreed.  I dig Liberty's drumming.  I saw Joel live twice and both times I was impressed with his drumming.

When this album came out, I could have cared less or couldn't have cared more about Billy Joel. Never had picked up one of his albums before and didn't pick this one up because he was so wimpy. All the songs I heard on the radio were too soft and I thought he was just a joke.

Then came "The Nylon Curtain". It just seemed heavier than his previous stuff, even heavier then the songs from this album that were played (a lot) on the radio back then. For years I stuck with "The Nylon Curtain" as the only Joel album I owned.

I got "Storm Front" when it came out and then "River Of Dreams" when that came out. Then I decided to go ahead and get some of his earlier albums with "Piano Man" the first of those. Still have it on cassette as well as "River Of Dreams". Was robbed and lost the CD of "Storm Front". 

Anyway, finally bought this about 20 years after it came out and really like it, especially "Leyna" and "Close To The Borderline". Actually bought this album twice, the first time was the first release CD and then got the remastered version. 

What's funny to me is that this is considered his rock album, but it didn't really do anything for me back then. It's one of those artists that I didn't care for back in the 70's, early 80's but now like. Kinda like The Doobie Brothers, but with them they still suck with MM taking over, but their earlier albums are really cool.

Good thing his left hand wasn't positioned lower on the album cover. How much do you want to bet they did take some photos of left hand positioned lower and it's sitting in a box somewhere?

I never was a big fan of Joel. The only album, I ever bought was the double Best of-album from the 80's, and it was only the 3 first sides, that I listened to, meaning I liked his 70's output. Later on, I've listened to all the 70's album through Spotify, and I like them, but not enough to be a fan. "Piano Man" is probably my favorite album by him.

But I kind of consider 1980 to be part of the 70's, so it's not bad at all, this album, and I like it when he "rocks out" a bit.

"Don't Ask Me Why" sounds exactly like a McCartney-song, even the way he sings it. Not a Beatles-song, though, more Wings.

"Leyna" is a great "hidden track" on this album.Maybe the best track on the album, even though he stole a bit from Toto.

Side 1 is definitely the best side by far, even though "Through The Long Night" is a nice song to end the album. Again it sounds like a McCartney/Wings-song, and not a Beatles-song.


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