Friday 26 August 2016

What we're listening to: Billy Joel 'Glass Houses'.

Billy Joel 'Glass Houses' was his seventh Album but the one that really made a breakthrough in 1980. 

Although following the very excellent Albums, '52nd Street' and 'The Stranger' ("Just the way you are", "Movin Out", "Only the good die young", "She's always a woman", "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"), it was part of a momentum. 

'Piano Man' had come out in 1973 about when he was playing at The Executive Room on Wilshire Boulevard as 'Billy Martin'. That's over 40 years ago folks.....

In particular, on this Album, "It's still Rock and Roll to me" was the single that brought attention. Produced by Phil Ramone (The Band, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles to name a tiny few) the cover shows Joel about to throw a stone at his house hence the "people in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones" Album title-ish.

"You may be right", "Sometimes a Fantasy", "I don't want to be alone anymore", "Sleeping with the Television on", "Don't ask me why" are killer tracks but for Streamabout, the classic is "All for Leyna".

He's Jewish from The Bronx and actually, you don't probably know, he was a champion boxer who loves Boating (!). He also suffered from depression having a suicide attempt and a substance abuse problem, as they say. 

Largely alcohol.

Influenced by The Drifters and The Four Seasons, you can hear it in his music although 'Glasshouses' has a more Rock feel than he's previous folky songs which brought a new audience.

And he deserves credit for excellent music over many decades. He's not a bad piano player either.

A good bloke too by all reports. Well worth a listen - in fact, it/he should be in every record collection.

Here you go ......

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)......Rodriguez "Cold Fact": Prefab Sprout 'Steve McQueen'; Chet Baker 'Live 64-79'; The Stone Roses 'Stone Roses'; Joe Jackson 'I'm the Man'; Oasis 'Morning Glory'; Bob Dylan 'At The Budokan'; Van "It's too late to stop now Volume 2/3/4"; Air 'Moon Safari'; Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense'; Lynyrd Skynyrd 'One for the road'; Marvin Gaye 'Whats Goin on'; Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill'.