Billy Joel Glass Houses on Numbered Edition Hybrid SACD
Still Rock and Roll to Him: Joel Toughens Up and Increases the Animosity, Sarcasm, Confidence, and Rock on 1980 Set
Elvis Costello long had a reputation for being the â€œangry young man.â€ With apologies to the former Declan McManus, he had nothing on Billy Joelâ€™s Glass Houses. Fed up with inexcusable critical backlash and believing heâ€™d still not been regarded as a serious artist, Joel ratcheted up the angst on the 1980 set that, oh, by the way, happened to sell another seven-million-plus copies and top the Billboard charts. Revenge is sweet.Glass Houses
is mastered from the original master tapes and made available on fully transparent hybrid SACD. Honing in on producer Phil Ramoneâ€™s radio-tailored albeit looser, straightforward production, this edition opens up the previously veiled soundstages, spotlights the clean yet raucous arrangements, and decongests the imaging so that every note comes to the fore. Thanks to DSD technology and meticulous remastering, Joelâ€™s urgency and temperament have never sounded so vibrant.
In addition to firing shots at detractors, Joel further solidifies his reputation as a pop maestro on the hit â€œDonâ€™t Ask Me Whyâ€ and mellow classic â€œCâ€™etait Toi (You Were the One),â€ each replete with sparkling structures and shimmering melodies. Throughout, he dials down the grand gestures, focusing more on an attitude and directness. At the time, Joel was conscious of the punk movement, and seems inspired to follow that genreâ€™s preference for simplicity, frankness, and irritability. The albumâ€™s legendary artworkâ€”the singer preparing to toss a brick through the windows of his houseâ€”is a metaphor for Joel shattering his image as a cocktail-lounge pop crooner.
Such changes are evident in the now-signature â€œYou May Be Right,â€ a hard-rocking and scathing rebuttal to a romantic partner on which Joel embraces the identity of a tough-skinned madman that wonâ€™t stop at anything. He inhabits the role with convincing theatrics, his voice mixing pushiness, smugness, self-evident humor, and cool that fits the resistive tone of the recordâ€™s songs. Glass Houses
is Joelâ€™s megaphone for stubborn independence, dogged assertiveness, and blustery confidence.
Itâ€™s also an announcement of artistic intent, a statement thatâ€™s simultaneously catchy and barbed, well-crafted and rowdy. And it succeeds on all levels, bringing to commercial pop-rock a brashness and grit often absent from fare that sticks in your head for days. Joel would never be seen the same way again.Billy Joel Glass Houses Track Listing:
1. You May Be Right
2. Sometimes a Fantasy
3. Donâ€™t Ask Me Why
4. Itâ€™s Still Rock and Roll to Me
5. All for Lenya
6. I Donâ€™t Want to Be Alone
7. Sleeping With the Television On
8. Câ€™etait Toi (You Were the One)
9. Close to the Borderline
10. Through the Long Night