The Nylon Curtain

The Nylon Curtain

by Billy JoelBilly Joel


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Billy Joel hit back as hard as he could with Glass Houses, his bid to prove that he could rock as hard as any of those new wave punks. He might not have proven himself a punk -- for all of his claims of being a hard rocker, his work inevitably is pop because of his fondness for melody -- but he proved to himself that he could still rock, even if the critics didn't give him any credit for it. It was now time to mature, to move pop
ock into the middle age and, in the process, earn critical respect. In short, The Nylon Curtain is where Billy Joel went serious, consciously crafting a song cycle about Baby Boomers in the Reagan era. Since this was an album about Baby Boomers, he chose to base his music almost entirely on the Beatles, the pivotal rock band for his generation. Joel is naturally inclined to write big melodies like McCartney, but he idolizes Lennon, which makes The Nylon Curtain a fascinating cross between ear candy and social commentary. His desire to record a grand concept album is admirable, but his ever-present lyrical shortcomings mean that the songs paint a picture without arriving at any insights. He occasionally gets lost in his own ambition, as on the waterlogged second side, but the first half of the song suite -- "Allentown," "Laura," "Pressure," "Goodnight Saigon," "She's Right on Time" -- is layered, successful, mature pop that brings Joel tantalizingly close to his ultimate goal of sophisticated pop
ock for mature audiences.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/2003
Label: Imports
UPC: 5099749118829
catalogNumber: 900745
Rank: 99258

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Billy Joel   Primary Artist,Organ,Synthesizer,Harmonica,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Melodica
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer
David Nadien   Concert Master
Dominic Cortese   Accordion
Dave Grusin   Strings,Horn
Eddie Daniels   Clarinet,Saxophone,Wind
Liberty DeVitto   Percussion,Drums,Electric Piano
Russell Javors   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Charles McCracken   Cello
Doug Stegmeyer   Bass
Bill Zampino   Percussion,Drums,Snare Drums
Dave Brown   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Billy Joel   Composer,Producer
Jim Boyer   Engineer,Remixing
Dave Grusin   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Phil Ramone   Producer
John Berg   Cover Design
Christopher Austopchuk   Cover Design
Bradshaw Leigh   Engineer

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Nylon Curtain' has been called referred to as 'the Levittown Sgt. Pepper's' in at least one review I read back when it was a new album. There's some truth to this - it is Billy Joel's most overtly Beatles-influenced album. "A Room Of Our Own" has changes that remind me of "Another Girl" (from the 'Help!' album), and "Laura" sounds positively Lennonesque (almost like a lost 'Plastic Ono Band' track done by the Beatles, f-word and all). It's Billy Joel's most challenging and rewarding album (and if such a thing can be said about him, psychedelic - thus the 'Sgt. Pepper's' comment). Although it was considered not very commercial at the time, it still had two big radio hits, "Allentown", and "Pressure", both of which had more compelling messages then most of what was on the radio in 1982. 'The Nylon Curtain' is listened to best as a complete song cycle, and with headphones (tracks such as "Scandinavian Skies" and "Goodnight Saigon" call for it).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago