The Bridge

The Bridge

by Billy JoelBilly Joel

CD(Remastered / Enhanced)

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Riding high on the blockbuster An Innocent Man and with a new jet-setting bride at his side, Billy Joel took full advantage of the high life, as is clear from The Bridge, an album that unwittingly celebrates the excesses of the Reagan years. While he hasn't quite settled into middle age, Joel is ready to take advantage of his wealth and status, recruiting a hero (Ray Charles) and a new wave kid (Cyndi Lauper) for duets, turning to Sting for inspiration ("Running on Ice"), fronting a big band ("Big Man on Mulberry Street"), writing a song for a movie ("Modern Woman"), and picking up the guitar ("A Matter of Trust"), just for the hell of it. You could say that it's eclectic, but it's scattershot, because it's just Joel showing off his musical skills. He's done this before, to great effect on Turnstiles, but this is all about hubris and, as such, it sounds exactly like its time. From its processed, distorted guitars to its hollow synthesizers, The Bridge sounds dated and it's his most uneven since Streetlife Serenade. Even on the hits, he sounds as if he's stretching -- "This Is the Time" is labored compared to "Just the Way You Are" (not to mention considerably more vulgar); "A Matter of Trust" never hits upon a solid riff like "Sometimes a Fantasy"; "Modern Woman" is catchy but fluffy; "Baby Grand" is weighed down by Joel's vocal affectations. In context of the album, they're fairly enjoyable, but they hint at the dry spell that was just around the corner. Nevertheless, Joel still has enough panache and is riding on so much exuberance that The Bridge remains an entertaining listen, especially if it's viewed as a Reagan-era artifact. It just doesn't compare to what came before.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/01/2008
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886972387925
catalogNumber: 723879
Rank: 27236

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joel   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,fender rhodes
Ray Charles   Piano,Vocals
Cyndi Lauper   Vocals
Steve Winwood   Organ,Keyboards,Hammond Organ
Michael Brecker   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ron Carter   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Ronnie Cuber   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer
Marvin Stamm   Trumpet
Dave Bargeron   Trombone
Jeff Bova   Synthesizer
Jimmy Bralower   Percussion
Dave Brooks   Harmonica
Don Brooks   Harmonica
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Eddie Daniels   Alto Saxophone,Wind
Liberty DeVitto   Percussion,Drums
Pete Hewlett   Vocals,Background Vocals
Neil Jason   Bass
Russell Javors   Guitar
John McCurry   Guitar
Dean Parks   Guitar
Mark Rivera   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Doug Stegmeyer   Bass
Neil Stubenhaus   Bass
Peter Hewlitt   Background Vocals
Dave Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar

Technical Credits

Billy Joel   Producer
Rob Mounsey   Orchestration
Patrick Williams   Arranger
Jim Boyer   Engineer
Phil Ramone   Producer

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