52nd Street (album)

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52nd Street
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released October 13, 1978 (1978-10-13)
Recorded A&R Recording, Inc., 799 7th Avenue at 52nd Street, New York City; July – August 1978
Genre Rock
Length 40:26
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Phil Ramone
Billy Joel chronology
The Stranger
(1977)
52nd Street
(1978)
Glass Houses
(1980)
Singles from 52nd Street
  1. "My Life"
    Released: October 28, 1978
  2. "Big Shot"
    Released: 1979
  3. "Honesty"
    Released: 1979
  4. "Until the Night"
    Released: March 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars1
Robert Christgau B−2

52nd Street is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on October 13, 1978. It was the first of four Joel albums to top the Billboard charts and earned him two Grammys (for a total of four).

Three songs reached the Top 40 in the United States, contributing to the album's success: "My Life" (#3), "Big Shot" (#14), and "Honesty" (#24).3 It was similarly well-received by critics, earning the 1979 Grammy for Album of the Year.4 This Grammy was presented to its producer, Phil Ramone. Upon Ramone's death, 52nd Street's Album of the Year Grammy was passed on to Joel.

Allmusic praises Joel for expanding stylistically on 1977's The Stranger, describing 52nd Street as "more sophisticated and somewhat jazzy."5 (Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard guests on "Zanzibar".) The title is a reference to 52nd Street, which was one of New York City's jazz centers in the middle of the century. Joel's label was headquartered on 52nd Street (in the CBS Building) at the time of the album's release. The studio in which 52nd Street was recorded was also on 52nd Street, a block away from the CBS Building.

On October 1, 1982, 52nd Street became the first album to be commercially released on compact disc by Sony Music Entertainment when it went on sale in Japan.67 In 2003, the album was ranked number 352 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.8

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.

Side one
  1. "Big Shot" – 4:03
  2. "Honesty" – 3:56
  3. "My Life" – 4:44
  4. "Zanzibar" – 5:13
Side two
  1. "Stiletto" – 4:42
  2. "Rosalinda's Eyes" – 4:41
  3. "Half a Mile Away" – 4:08
  4. "Until the Night" – 6:35
  5. "52nd Street" – 2:27

Personnel

Accolades

Grammy Awards

Year Recipient Award Result
1980 52nd Street Album of the Year4 Won
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male4 Won
"Honesty" Song of the Year9 Nominated

Charts

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)33 4× Platinum 400,000^
France (SNEP)34 Gold 242,50035
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)36 Gold 7,500*
Japan (RIAJ)37 Gold 470,00038
New Zealand (RMNZ)39 Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)40 Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)41 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References

  1. ^ "52nd Street Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Billy Joel Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "allmusic ((( 52nd Street > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  4. ^ a b c "Past Winners Search". grammy.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  5. ^ Allmusic review
  6. ^ "Rock on! The compact disc turns 30". CNN. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Milner, Greg (2009). Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music. Macmillan. p. 215. ISBN 0-571-21165-8. 
  8. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-29. 
  9. ^ "Rock On The Net: 22nd Annual Grammy Awards - 1980". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "austriancharts.at Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  12. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 30, No. 21, February 17, 1979". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  13. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  15. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  16. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1979" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  17. ^ a-ビリー・ジョエル "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - Billy Joel" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  18. ^ "charts.org.nz - Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, charts.org.nz. Recording Industry Association of New Zea Land. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  19. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, norwegiancharts.com. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  21. ^ "swedishcharts.com Billy Joel - 52nd Street". Hung Medien, swedishcharts.com (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  22. ^ "Chart Stats - Billy Joel - 52nd Street". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 
  23. ^ "allmusic ((( 52nd Street > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  24. ^ "Album Search: Billy Joel" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  25. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1978". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.st - Jahreshitparade 1979" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  27. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1979". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  28. ^ 1979年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1979" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  29. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1979 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  31. ^ Billboard.com - Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  32. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ23 (Top-23 international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1980". Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  33. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". Music Canada. 
  34. ^ "French album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  35. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  36. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1979". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  37. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > April 1994 > Page 5 > Certified Awards (February 1994)". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  38. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  39. ^ THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION.
  40. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter 52nd Street in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  41. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – 52nd Street". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Live and More by Donna Summer
Greatest Hits Volume 2 by Barbra Streisand
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 18, 1978 – January 5, 1979
January 27 – February 2, 1979
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits, Volume 2 by Barbra Streisand
Briefcase Full of Blues by the Blues Brothers
Preceded by
A Canadian Tribute by Elvis Presley
Greatest Hits Volume 2 by Barbra Streisand
Canadian RPM Chart number-one album
December 16, 1978 – January 6, 1979
February 10–17, 1979
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits Volume 2 by Barbra Streisand
Blondes Have More Fun by Rod Stewart
Preceded by
Dire Straits by Dire Straits
Kent Music Report number-one album
December 25, 1978 – January 28, 1979
Succeeded by
Blondes Have More Fun by Rod Stewart
Preceded by
Stage by David Bowie
New Zealand Chart number-one album
January 21–28, 1979
Succeeded by
Greatest Hits Volume 2 by Barbra Streisand







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