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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Billy Joel - Turnstiles (1976)


Billy Joel appeared on my radar via Capital Radio's much respected drive time show hosted by the late great Roger Scott. Billy had an earlier hit in"Piano Man" which I didn't really appreciate at the time. Scott was a true fan and plugged his favourites with great enthusiasm, sad that programming and the celeb "DJ" has put an end to that. So when "Moving Out (Anthony's Song) was issued it got heavy rotation on Capital. It was a good intro to what proved to be a great hit album ("The Stranger").
I discovered Turnstiles around the same time when my mother played her new, very different , Barbra Streisand album ("Superman"). One song "New York State Of Mind" really struck me and seeing Joel as the composer I looked for the album. It is bloody marvellous. Wonderful songs, "Say Goodbye To Hollywood" (later covered by Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band); "James" and; "Angry Young Man"; and obviously NYSOM.

Mid 70's singer songwriter stuff particularly American was getting a bad name (possibly rightfully so due to some bland west coast output). It seemed that Joel was part of a new generation. Not a hangover from the 60's but a new name (yes with a history but out of the mainstream and public eye here in the UK).  He was smooth but had an everyman approach.

He obviously went on to huge success after this via ("The Stranger") and "An Innocent Man"; has a great string of classic hits but behind it is a treasure of high crafted albums by someone well aware of not only the value of his various influencess but of the art of story telling - it' a great combination.
Start here and follow quickly with "The Stranger"; "An Innocent Man" and "Storm Front". If in doubt one of the many hits comps will convince- but my advice is go deeper via these albums in sequence and they'll remain favourites.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know I've been enjoying your posts. Been back-tracking a bit. Catching up on a few at my leisure. Anyway, these have been fun to read and you've peeked my interest on many. Thanks

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