52nd Street (album)

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52nd Street
Billy Joel 52nd Street album cover.JPG
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released October 13, 1978 (1978-10-13)
Recorded July–August 1978
Studio A&R Recording, Inc., 799 7th Avenue at 52nd Street, New York City
Genre Rock, jazz rock
Length 40:26
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Phil Ramone
Billy Joel chronology
The Stranger
(1977)
52nd Street
(1978)
Glass Houses
(1980)
Singles from 52nd Street
  1. "My Life"
    Released: October 28, 1978
  2. "Big Shot"
    Released: January 1979
  3. "Until the Night"
    Released: March 1979
  4. "Honesty"
    Released: May 1979

52nd Street is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released in 1978. It was the first of four Joel albums to top the Billboard charts, and it earned him two Grammys. Three songs reached the Top 40 in the United States, contributing to the album's success: "My Life" (#3), "Big Shot" (#14), and "Honesty" (#24).[1] It was similarly well received by critics, earning the 1979 Grammy for Album of the Year.[2] This Grammy was presented to its producer, Phil Ramone. Upon Ramone's death, 52nd Street's Album of the Year Grammy was passed on to Joel. Additionally, the album is notable for being among the first batch of albums commercially released on the compact disc format, reaching store shelves on October 1, 1982 in Japan (it was one of fifty CDs released that day, including three other Billy Joel albums, but bore the first catalogue number in the sequence, 35DP-1, and so is frequently cited as the first to be released).[3]

The title is a reference to 52nd Street, which was one of New York City's jazz centers in the middle of the century. Joel's label was headquartered on 52nd Street (in the CBS Building) at the time of the album's release. The studio where recording took place was also on 52nd Street, a block away from the CBS Building.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
Blender 4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[6]
The Village Voice B−[7]

Allmusic praises Joel for expanding stylistically on 1977's The Stranger, describing 52nd Street as "more sophisticated and somewhat jazzy."[8] (Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard guests on "Zanzibar".)

Accolades

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1979 52nd Street Album of the Year[2] Won
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male[2] Won
"Honesty" Song of the Year[9] Nominated

In 2003, the album was ranked number 352 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[10]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.

Side one
  1. "Big Shot" – 4:03
  2. "Honesty" – 3:52
  3. "My Life" – 4:44
  4. "Zanzibar" – 5:13
Side two
  1. "Stiletto" – 4:42
  2. "Rosalinda's Eyes" – 4:41
  3. "Half a Mile Away" – 4:08
  4. "Until the Night" – 6:35
  5. "52nd Street" – 2:27

Song notes

The song "Rosalinda's Eyes" was inspired by Joel's mother, Rosalind Nyman Joel.[11] The song was used in the 1982 feature film Personal Best.[12] It was also featured in an episode of the cult classic TV series Freaks and Geeks, (entitled "Carded and Discarded"), in 2000.[13]

Personnel

Charts

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[42] 5× Platinum 500,000^
France (SNEP)[43] Gold 242,500[44]
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[45] Gold 7,500*
Japan (RIAJ)[46] Gold 470,000[47]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[48] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[51] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ "allmusic ((( 52nd Street > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  2. ^ a b c "Past Winners Search". grammy.com. Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  3. ^ "How Billy Joel's '52nd Street' Became the First Compact Disc Released". Ultimate Classic Rock. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "52nd Street – Billy Joel". AllMusic. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  5. ^ Browne, David (May 22, 2007). "Billy Joel: 52nd Street". Blender. Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ Evans, Paul (2004). "Billy Joel". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 434–35. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 2, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ "52nd Street - Billy Joel - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2012-04-03. 
  9. ^ "Rock On The Net: 22nd Annual Grammy Awards - 1980". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  10. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  11. ^ "Billy Joel's mother, '78 song's namesake, dies". Tyler Morning Telegraph. Associated Press. July 16, 2014. p. 7A. 
  12. ^ Personal Best. Dir. Robert Towne. Perf. Mariel Hemingway. 1982. Warner Home Video, 1992. VHS.
  13. ^ "Revived and Derived: "Freaks and Geeks" Ep. 7, "Carded and Discarded"". IFC. March 8, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  15. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Billy Joel – 52nd Street" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 30, No. 21, February 17, 1979". RPM. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  17. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  18. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 2013-09-10. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  20. ^ "Tonlist Top 40". DV. Archived from the original on 2018-05-15. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  21. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1979" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  22. ^ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - Billy Joel" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  23. ^ "charts.org.nz - Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, charts.org.nz. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  24. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, norwegiancharts.com. VG-lista. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  26. ^ "swedishcharts.com Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, swedishcharts.com (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  27. ^ "Billy Joel - 52nd Street - hitparade.ch". Archived from the original on 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  28. ^ "Chart Stats - Billy Joel - 52nd Street". UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  29. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Billy Joel – 52nd Street – offiziellecharts.de" (in German). Media Control. Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2017-04-10. 
  31. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: albums chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1978". RPM. Archived from the original on 2013-06-19. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  33. ^ "Austriancharts.st - Jahreshitparade 1979" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2011-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  34. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1979". RPM. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  35. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1979 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on February 21, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1979" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  37. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 1979". Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  38. ^ "The Top 20 Albums of Vinter 1979". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  39. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  40. ^ Billboard.com - Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  41. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ23 (Top-23 international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1980". Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  42. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". Music Canada. 
  43. ^ "French album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  44. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  45. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1979". IFPI Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. 
  46. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > April 1994 > Page 5 > Certified Awards (February 1994)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Archived (PDF) from the original on July 20, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  47. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  48. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". Recorded Music NZ. 
  49. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016. 
  50. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". British Phonographic Industry.  Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter 52nd Street in the search field and then press Enter.
  51. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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