Billy Joel The Nylon Curtain on Numbered Edition 180g 45RPM 2LP
Legendary Singer-Songwriter Channels John Lennon on Musically Ambitious and Socially Poignant Baby Boomer-Themed Set
Having triumphantly asserted himself as a take-no-mess singer-songwriter on 1980â€™s hard-rocking Glass Houses, Billy Joel continues to push his creative impulses on The Nylon Curtain, a fascinating song cycle that pays tribute to John Lennon and stands as the most ambitious project of his career. Enriched by sweeping orchestral arrangements and socially conscious lyrics, the 1982 set addresses unemployment, war, and realities of the Reagan era with exacting precision. Insightful and clever, the albumâ€™s Baby Boomer-themed narratives continue to resonate.
Harnessing concerns, obsessions, reflections, and feelings that consumed a majority of the Baby Boomer generation near the beginning of the Reagan Era, Joel delves into job loss (â€œAllentownâ€), wartime fallout (â€œGoodbye Saigonâ€), and, of course, romantic longing (â€œSheâ€™s Right on Timeâ€). Rather than take a long-view perspective, Joel gets up and close to the issues, infusing the fare with a mix of sadness, frustration, cautious optimism, and moodiness that he wears on his sleeve. Joelâ€™s melodies, too, ricochet with unmistakably personal sentiment, as he constructs arrangements in tribute to Lennon, whose ghost arises on pieces like â€œScandinavian Skiesâ€ and â€œLaura.â€
Pop culture author Chuck Klosterman addresses the Beatles link and The Nylon Curtainâ€™s timeless appeal in Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, writing: â€œâ€™Lauraâ€™ and â€˜Whereâ€™s the Orchestraâ€™ really are as good as whatâ€™s on The White Album. This is because the first song says things so directly that its words shouldnâ€™t make sense to anyone else (and yet they do), while the latter is so metaphorically vague that anybody should be able to understand what heâ€™s implying.â€
Joelâ€™s anguish, regrets, sorrow, and worries transcend both tastes and time. Somewhat underappreciated upon its original release, the 55-minute effort is now regarded as a conceptual masterpiece.
Billy Joel The Nylon Curtain Track Listing:
4. Goodnight Saigon
5. Sheâ€™s Right on Time
6. A Room of Our Own
8. Scandinavian Skies
9. Whereâ€™s the Orchestra