Thursday, February 02, 2017

Billy Joel: 52nd Street (1978)

The cover image on 52nd Street sends mixed messages. I think the first time I saw it, I thought, this can't be a rock record. What kind of rock star plays a trumpet? I say this as someone who made a fairly serious mistake in my youth: I chose the trombone in music class, and later dearly wished that I had chosen the more compact trumpet, or perhaps the clarinet. Try taking the trombone home on the school bus and you will see what I mean.

And then, there's the denim with suit jacket combination that is undermined by the inclusion of a tie. But there are white sneakers, which I admit were cool in 1978. He's also holding his horn on the back cover and the inner sleeve. Maybe this horny posturing was and attempt to distance himself from the Piano Man?

I don't really mind My Life and Big Shot. I dislike Honesty. IMHO, the songs are strong pop tunes with a flash of jazz. It's not essential listening by any means.

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