Glass Houses

Glass Houses

by Billy Joel
     
 

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The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn't bring him critical respect, and it didn't dull his anger. If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker -- a soft rocker -- infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new

Overview

The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn't bring him critical respect, and it didn't dull his anger. If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker -- a soft rocker -- infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new wave kids were getting the praise that eluded him. He didn't take this lying down -- he recorded Glass Houses. Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, with a distinctly bitter edge, Glass Houses still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman and Phil Ramone the world-class hitmaker. Even its hardest songs -- the terrifically paranoid "Sometimes a Fantasy," "Sleepin' With the Television On," "Close to the Borderline," the hit "You May Be Right" -- have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements, ideal for radio play. Instead of turning out to be a fiery rebuttal to his detractors, the album is a remarkable catalog of contemporary pop styles, from McCartney-esque whimsy ("Don't Ask Me Why") and arena rock ("All for Leyna") to soft rock ("C'etait Toi [You Were the One]") and stylish new wave pop ("It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," which ironically is closer to new wave pop than rock). That's not a detriment; that's the album's strength. The Stranger and 52nd Street were fine albums in their own right, but it's nice to hear Joel scale back his showman tendencies and deliver a solid pop
ock record. It may not be punk -- then again, it may be his concept of punk -- but Glass Houses is the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/20/1998
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886978867728
catalogNumber:
788677
Rank:
9052

Tracks

  1. You May Be Right
  2. Sometimes a Fantasy
  3. Don't Ask Me Why
  4. It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
  5. All for Leyna
  6. I Don't Want to Be Alone
  7. Sleeping With the Television On
  8. C'etait Toi
  9. Close to the Borderline
  10. Through the Long Night

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joel   Primary Artist

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