Tagged Billy Joel

Monday 10pm ET: LP Lounge with Willie B

A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector (originally released as A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records) is an album of Christmas songs, produced by Phil Spector, and originally released as Philles 45 in 1963. Spector treated a series of mostly secular Christmas standards to his “Wall of Sound” treatment, and the selections feature the vocal performances of Spector’s regular artists during this period. The album peaked at No. 13 on Billboard magazine’s special, year-end, weekly Christmas Albums sales chart in December 1963.

The album was reissued by Apple Records in 1972, with different cover art—a photograph of Spector dressed as a heavily bearded Santa Claus, wearing a “Back to Mono” button—and retitled Phil Spector’s Christmas Album. This version of the album went to No. 6 on Billboard’s special Christmas Albums sales chart in December of that year, which was its highest chart ranking. It was also in 1972 that the album made its debut on the UK Albums Chart; it would re-chart in 1983, peaking at No. 19. On the week ending December 15, 2018, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector entered the main Billboard 200 albums chart for the first time (at position No. 48), eventually peaking at No. 12 three weeks later (on the week ending January 5, 2019).

In 2003, the album was voted No. 142 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. In 2017, it was ranked the 130th greatest album of the 1960s by Pitchfork. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has cited this album as his favorite of all time. The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer Billy Joel, released in September 1977 by Columbia Records. It was the first of Joel’s albums to be produced by Phil Ramone, with whom he would go on to work for all of his albums up until his 1986 album The Bridge.

The Stranger was released a year following Joel’s previous studio effort, Turnstiles, which had sold modestly and peaked low on the US charts, prompting Columbia to consider dropping Joel if his next release did not sell well. Joel wanted the album to feature his newly-formed touring band that had formed during the production of Turnstiles, which consisted of drummer Liberty DeVitto, bass player Doug Stegmeyer and saxophonist Richie Cannata. Seeking out a new producer, he first turned to veteran Beatles producer George Martin before coming across and settling on Ramone, whose name he had seen on albums by other artists such as Paul Simon. Recording took place across the span of three weeks, with Devitto, Stegmeyer and Cannata being featured in addition to other studio musicians filling in as guitarists on various songs.

Spending six weeks at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, The Stranger is considered Joel’s critical and commercial breakthrough. Four singles were released in the US, all of which became top-40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, including “Just the Way You Are” (#3), “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”, “She’s Always a Woman” (both #17), and “Only the Good Die Young” (#24). Other songs, such as “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” and “Vienna”, have become staples of his career and are frequently performed in his live shows. The album won two awards at the 1978 Grammy Awards, winning Record of the Year as well as Song of the Year for “Just the Way You Are”. It remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and surpassed Bridge Over Troubled Water to become Columbia’s best-selling album release, with more than 10 million units sold worldwide. It was ranked at No.  70 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

Tuesday 6pm ET: Sounds of The 80s

This week on the Sounds of The 80s we feature music from:  DeBarge, Def Leppard, Journey, Beach Boys, Limahl, Johnny Lee, Billy Joel, Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Culture Club, Icehouse and more . . . 

Wednesday 11pm: Feature LP: Billy Joel – An Innocent Man (1983)

An Innocent Man is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 8, 1983. The concept album is a tribute to the American popular music of Joel’s adolescent years with Joel paying homage to a number of different popular American musical styles from the late 1950s and early 1960s, most notably doo-wop and soul music. The album cover artwork was taken on the front steps of 142 Mercer Street, just north of the intersection of Mercer and Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City.

The album featured three Billboard Top 10 hit singles: “Tell Her About It” (No. 1), “Uptown Girl” (No. 3) and “An Innocent Man” (No. 10). Four other singles were released from the album: “The Longest Time” (No. 14), “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” (No. 27), “Keeping the Faith” (No. 18) and “This Night” (US B-side of “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”). “Tell Her About It” and “Uptown Girl” garnered international success—”Uptown Girl” reached No. 1 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. An Innocent Man remained on the US Pop album chart for 111 weeks, becoming Joel’s longest charting studio album behind The Stranger. For over a year, the album remained on the charts in the UK, Japan and Australia.

1. “Easy Money” (Homage to James Brown and Wilson Pickett) 4:04
2. “An Innocent Man” (Homage to Ben E. King and The Drifters) 5:17
3. “The Longest Time” (Homage to doo-wop groups like Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) 3:42
4. “This Night” (Homage to Little Anthony and the Imperials; also to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata) 4:17
5. “Tell Her About It” (Homage to Motown groups like The Supremes and The Temptations) 3:52
6. “Uptown Girl” (Homage to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons) 3:17
7. “Careless Talk” (Homage to Sam Cooke) 3:48
8. “Christie Lee” (Homage to Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis) 3:31
9. “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” (Homage to Smokey Robinson) 3:56
10. “Keeping the Faith” (Lyrical homage to Pre-British Invasion Rock n Roll) 4:41

Tuesday 4pm: Sounds of The 80s

This week on Sounds of The 80s we feature music from:  Toto, Kenny Loggins, Prince, Dan Fogelberg, Gloria Estefan, Robin Williams, Blues Brothers, Elton John, Billy Joel, Peter Cetera, Alabama, Romeo Void and more . . .

Wednesday 4pm: Sounds of The 70’s

This week on the Sounds of The 70s:  Yes, Wet Willie, Tony Orlando & Dawn, John Mellencamp, Elton John, Rattles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Abba, Queen, Chicago, Billy Joel, Helen Reddy, Jackson Browne and more . .  

Wednesday 2pm: Sounds of The 70s

This week on Sounds of The 70s.  Temptations, Jackson Browne, Billy Joel, Harry Chapin, Lou Rawls, Neil Young, Elton John, Paul McCartney & Wings, Rod Stewart, Jacksons, Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Blondie and more . . . 

Wednesday 1:30pm: Sounds of The 70s

This week we feature music from:  Leo Sayer, George Harrison, John Denver, Gerry Rafferty, Manhattan Transfer, Jim Croce, Elton John, Billy Joel, Marvin Gaye, Meat Loaf, Dion, Carole King, Linda Clifford, Bruce Springsteen and more . . .