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The Nylon Curtain


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Having sold more than 150 million records, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. Throughout the years, Joel's songs have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that "meant something during the time in which I lived ... and transcended that time.” Billy ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Joel Store

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The Nylon Curtain + 52Nd Street + Glass Houses
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ja
  • ASIN: B0000025RY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,277 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Billy Joel ~ Nylon Curtain

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. S. Stanier on 28 Nov 2002
Format: Audio CD
Maybe it's because there aren't any love songs on this that it's so uncelebrated, because this is a simply brilliant album.
"Allentown" opens things up with vital force and that continues through the first side, ending with another political song, the Vietnam lament "Goodnight Saigon", a genuine epic.
In between, you find "Pressure", which is the best rock song Joel ever recorded.
As for the second side, it's full of unexpected numbers: "Scandinavian Skies" is really intriguing, and the closer "Where's The Orchestra?" has yet another fantastic lyric to accompany a mournful melody.
If you want Joel at his warmest, buy "An Innocent Man", if you want Joel at his most melodic, buy "The Stranger", but if you want Joel at his most intelligent, buy "The Nylon Curtain". A fantastic collection of songs that bears repeated listening.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John J. Martinez on 23 Sep 2011
Format: Audio CD
Billy Joel is angry, and he is searching, and on his 1982 release "The Nylon Curtain," he is at his most cynical, introspective and yet most creative. From the opening whistle of "Allentown," this album by the once mostly harmless radio-friendly Joel of the 1970's has become something noticably different. If you've heard all of his previous albums from Cold Spring Harbor on, you'd notice the odd darker change. This is a more mature Joel remembering his past with sad twists.

The wonderful East Coast cities of his youth in the late 1950's and early 1960's are being dragged down through the failing policies of President Reagan, and as the backlash for the first time hits Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, they don't like it, and neither does Joel. However, manned with a piano and a wonderful imagination of his America and it's people, Joel tells the stories many citizens here couldn't or can't, and long the way no one is spared, from the U.S. government on down to his own demanding psyche.

9 songs totaling just over 55 minutes:

1 - Allentown - The Pennsylvania town, home to one of the more massive grouping steel mills on the East Coast, began to topple and fall under the weight of 1980's White house policy, and thousands and thousands of men and women who never knew unemployment now felt the economic crush of deals created by Reagan. The American flag all of a sudden didn't seem so star-spangled, and the Statue Of Liberty, once the the beacon of hope throughout the world, began to darken and fade under hopelessness ans starvation right on it's once fat shores. This song was the call to alarm in the 1980's, but very few listened at the time until it was too late.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Feb 2001
Format: Audio CD
On my first listening, there were a number of occasions when I thought that I had purchased a Beatles album rather than a Billy Joel album. During 'Laura', Joel sounds uncannily like John Lennon at times. And 'Scandinavian Skies' sounds more like something you'd expect to find on 'Magical Mystery Tour'. This is certainly one of Joel's more unusual offerings.
Curiously, this somewhat offbeat album starts and finishes badly. The opening 'Allentown' is a little dull (it doesn't seem to have a chorus!) and 'Where's the orchestra?' closes the album with something of a whimper rather than a bang. But there is lots of quality in between. My two favourite songs are 'Pressure' (which makes great use of synthesisers) and the festive 'She's right on time'. Sandwiched between these two is 'Goodnight Saigon', another excellent example of those slow ballads that Joel does so well.
One of Joel's better-known albums this is not, but I would definitely recommend it as one of his more interesting records.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Jan 2000
Format: Audio CD
Not one of his more famous albums but one of my favourites. In fact the album contains my favourite Billy Joel track:- Saigon. A wonderful, evocative song about the Vietnam war and its affect upon a young GI. Brilliant, listen carefully to the lyrics. Also Allen town, Presure and Laura a brilliant first side. It appears Billy is growing disillusioned with the great American dream. Very sad for the Americans but for Billy Joel fans a wonderful collection of songs
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chief Wiggum on 20 Aug 2006
Format: Audio CD
If the Beatles had kept on going this is the type of music we could have expected them to produce by the early '80s. I can't pay this masterpiece of an album a better compliment that that. Marvellous.
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By A Customer on 2 Oct 2000
Format: Mini-Disc
"Nylon Curtain" is far from being Billy Joel's best album and I feel it's musically one of his worst, but lyrically it was far and away the best album that he's released to date. The album was really the first time that Billy spoke his mind and the album had a very political feel to it as he showed his disapproval of the Vietnam war on the track "Goodnight Saigon" and he highlighted the economic struggles of the poor and of the nation on "Allentown". The album also deals with failed relationships such as on the tracks "Laura" and "A Room Of Our Own". Musically it' s mixed bag the album starts off slow then moves up a couple of gears and slows down to a whimper by the end, the album also sees Billy mix keyboards in with his more traditional piano based sound. It's not his best work but he definitely showed growth as a songwriter with the album and from that angle I would recommend giving it a chance.
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