- Album name: 52nd Street
- Artist name: Billy Joel
- Year: 1978
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Columbia Records
- Collection: Selman
- Distinguishing characteristics:
- Scratched into side one of LP: AL 35609 – 1D
- Scratched into side two of LP: BL 35609 – 1A
- Buy it on Amazon: $59.99
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve never heard this record before, though I would not be surprised to recognize some of its songs.
I previously reviewed Billy Joel’s extremely unusual 1983 record An Innocent Man, and thought it was pretty good.
What I expected
In photographs on the front of the album, back of the album and liner, Joel is holding a trumpet, so based on that and some other credited musicians (saxophone), I’ll guess soft rock and jazz.
What it was actually like
This was pretty bad. It was not as jazzy as I expected, though there was a significant jazz sound, especially on the second side. The trumpet solo on Zanzibar would have been great on an actual jazz record, and the saxophone in Stiletto was terrible.
I did recognize Big Shot, from its horrible chorus, and also My Life, a weird techno-piano hybrid.
Other dislikes included Rosalinda’s Eyes, the worst song on the record – really more elevator music than a song, and with some flute that made it even more awful, as well as Half a Mile Away, which sounded at the beginning like it would be a disco song, but mercifully was not.
2/5: bad, but I was able to listen to the whole thing