In the ecstatic wake of The Stranger, Billy Joel released 52nd Street in 1978; I believe the album is one of his best collections. Unusual enough for him, the guitar-heavy rockish "Big Shot" opens the album with a bang. "Honesty" follows as the highlight track; a powerful but meloncholy ballad in which Joel displays some of his cleverest songwriting ("I don't want some pretty face to tell me pretty lies"). The entire album seems edgier than his previous efforts, as evident in the mood-swinging "My Life". Joel holds a trumpet on the album's front cover, and in the mesmerizing "Zanzibar" the instrument is played 1950's style. As these songs all display a musically maturing Joel, his piano work is sometimes forgettable. On the latin - sounding "Rosalinda's Eyes" the focus is kept on his consistent singing and smooth lyrics; a tale reminiscent of Springsteen's The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle. The title track is a two-and-a-half-minute and quite modest ending to the album. I have given 52nd Street 4.5/5 stars because of the superb first half; this was a solid album, though not as ambicious as Turnstiles or The Stranger. This said, an essential collection and a must for any Joel fan will be found somewhere in 52nd Street.
Total Sales: 7.5 Million
Did anyone notice the Release date of this album on this site? Am I wrong, but didn't this album get released 20 years earlier in 1978? Wasn't this album the very first music album CD released in 1982? I was thinking I wasn't that crazy that I didn't remember buying this CD in 1983. Maybe I was holding something from the future.
I received this album for my 12th birthday and played it to death. Billy has provided the soundtrack of my life. I remember every song since... what grade I was in school, jobs, and what was going on in my life.
I have been a Billy fan for many many years. Will see him in concert for the 1st time tomorrow in Philly. Tracks 4,5,6,7,8 on this album I believe are some of the most underrated songs from Billy or any other artist. He has been playing Zanzibar on the recent tour, and if Until The Night happens to come up, it will certainly be special for me.
I use these tracks continuously in a cycling class I teach and people always come up after and ask "Was that Billy Joel? That was a great song...I never heard it before"
This album is proudly in my vinyl collection
I know the stranger is Billy's best album by fact but in my opinion 52nd strret his his best work ever. I love the Jazzy back ally classic Rock and roll. A great start to the album with Big shot, Honesty and my life and then he keeps rockin with Zanzibar, Stilleto and Rosalinda!
The 12 year old Billy Joel fan
"Working to hard can give you a heart attack ak ak ak ak ak"
WOW.......this was my introduction to the way music supposed to be........LOVED it when i first bought the LP; love it now on my MP3 player.....I just wish Until the Night would have and would get more exposure.....makes me PAY ATTENTION to the song everytime i hear it....
I received this LP for Christmas in 1980, I guess it was. I was just turning 16 and it was my very first album of "real" music of my generation. Before that, I had been given and only listened to albums of my parents' favorite singers/performers (Andy Williams, The Carpenters, Dean Martin...not that there's anything wrong with that), but this one was MINE! Admittedly, I didn't know who Billy Joel was at the time and neither did my parents, but what a fortuitous event it turned out to be. It truly was a transition for me from child to, well, whatever comes next. I studied this album day and night. Zanzibar and Honesty are my favorites from this one. And I've been a top-of-the-line fan ever since, seeing his concerts every time he's been in Orlando. What a musical and lyrical genius this guy is. He never fails to amaze me and it all started for me wit this album. I can honestly say in his whole body of work, there is only one song I never cared for (but now that I'm older I can even appreciate that one more). How lucky we are that his boxing career went south! Truly, thank you for the music. You've provided my life with a soundtrack.
This song rules. It's all about getting away. I bought the vinyl record of 52nd Street, Glass Houses, The Stranger, and Songs In The Attic for $2 apiece at a yard sale. Vinyl just sounds better than CD.
I love Stiletto and heard Billy sing at a concert I attended in Phiadelphia, PA a few years ago. He said it was the fist time in over a decade that he sang it. I went there hoping he'd sing it and he did. I think he should consider signing Stiletto more often.
My Grandma who has demntia, has always sung along to Honesty
What a trooper for stickig in there!!!!
Not as 'top to bottom' great as 'Turnstiles', or as flat out stunning as 'the Stranger', '52nd Street' really picks up momentum toward the end. 'Half a Mile Away' and the title track are absolute classics stacked around the Everest of 'Until the Night'.