An Innocent Man

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This article is about the Billy Joel album. For the title track, see An Innocent Man (song). For other uses, see Innocent Man.
An Innocent Man
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released August 8, 1983 (1983-08-08)
Recorded Chelsea Sound and A&R Recording, Inc., New York, NY Spring, 1983
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 40:25
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Phil Ramone
Billy Joel chronology
The Nylon Curtain
(1982)
An Innocent Man
(1983)
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2
(1985)
Singles from An Innocent Man
  1. "Tell Her About It"
    Released: July 1983
  2. "Uptown Girl"
    Released: September 1983
  3. "An Innocent Man"
    Released: December 1983
  4. "The Longest Time"
    Released: March 1984
  5. "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"
    Released: July 1984
  6. "Keeping the Faith"
    Released: September 1984
  7. "This Night"
    Released: November 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [2]

An Innocent Man is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 8, 1983. The concept album is a tribute to the American popular music of Joel's teenage years with Joel paying homage to a number of different popular American musical styles from the late 1950s and early 1960s, most notably doo-wop and soul music (see each track listed below for specific homages).[3] The album cover artwork was taken on the front steps of 142 Mercer Street, just north of the intersection of Mercer and Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City.[4]

Chart performance[edit]

The album featured three Billboard Top 10 hit singles: "Tell Her About It", which reached #1, "Uptown Girl", which peaked at #3 and "An Innocent Man", which peaked at #10. Four other singles were released from the album: "The Longest Time" (number 14), "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" (number 27), "Keeping the Faith" (number 18) and "This Night" (US B-Side of "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"). "Tell Her About It" and "Uptown Girl" garnered international success — "Uptown Girl" reached #1 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. An Innocent Man remained on the U.S. Pop album chart for 111 weeks, becoming Joel's longest charting studio album behind The Stranger. For over a year, the album remained on the charts in the UK, Japan, and Australia.

Awards[edit]

Like his three previous efforts, Joel's An Innocent Man received a nomination for the 26th Grammy Award for Album of the Year although Joel lost the award to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Joel was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Uptown Girl" but Jackson won in that category as well.

Background[edit]

In an interview about the making of the album, Joel talks about the fact that at the time that he was recording An Innocent Man, he was newly divorced from his first wife, Elizabeth Weber, and was single for the first time since achieving rock star status. So he had the opportunity to date supermodels like Elle Macpherson and Christie Brinkley, and because of these experiences, he said, "I kind of felt like a teenager all over again." [3] And so he started writing songs in the same style as pop songs that he remembered from his teenage years, citing pop music from the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "early R&B songs and The Four Seasons, and the Motown music, soul music."

Joel explained, "When you're gonna write [songs for a new album], you write what you're feeling. And I didn't fight it. The material was coming so easily and so quickly, and I was having so much fun doing it. I was kind of reliving my youth. . .I think within 6 weeks I had written most of the material on the album." Joel also said that he was pleasantly surprised to have hit records in the 1980s with retro songs like the mostly a cappella doo wop song "The Longest Time."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Billy Joel, except for the chorus for "This Night," which is credited on the sleeve to L. v. Beethoven.

The track listing on the LP is slightly different from that on the cassette and original CD pressings, with the latter swapping "The Longest Time" and "Uptown Girl"'s places respectively. However, on the actual cassette shell and disc label, the songs are listed (and play) in the correct order as printed on the LP.

LP track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Easy Money" (Homage to James Brown and Wilson Pickett[3]) 4:04
2. "An Innocent Man" (Homage to Ben E. King and The Drifters) 5:17
3. "The Longest Time" (Homage to doo-wop) 3:42
4. "This Night" (Homage to Little Anthony and the Imperials) 4:17
5. "Tell Her About It" (Homage to Motown girl groups like The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas) 3:52
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Uptown Girl" (Homage to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons[5]) 3:17
2. "Careless Talk" (Homage to Sam Cooke) 3:48
3. "Christie Lee" (Homage to Little Richard) 3:31
4. "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" (Homage to Smokey Robinson) 3:56
5. "Keeping the Faith" (Homage to late 1950s-early 1960s R&B) 4:41

Personnel[edit]

Solos

  • "Toots" Thielemans - harmonica on "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"
  • Mark Rivera - alto saxophone on "Keeping the Faith", "This Night" and "Christie Lee"

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Phil Ramone
  • Engineers: Jim Boyer, Bradshaw Leigh
  • Assistant engineers: Mike Allaire, Scott James
  • Production coordinator: Laura Loncteaux
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen
  • Horn and string arrangements: David Matthews
  • Background vocal arrangements: Tom Bahler
  • Musical advisor: Billy Zampino
  • Photography: Gilles Larrain
  • Cover design: Christopher Austopchuk, Mark Larson
  • Recorded at Chelsea Sound and A & R Recording, Inc., New York, NY
  • Mixed at A & R Recording, Inc., New York, NY
  • Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York, NY

Accolades[edit]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1984 An Innocent Man Album of the Year[6] Nominated
"Uptown Girl" Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male[6] Nominated

American Music Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
1983 Billy Joel (performer) Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist[7] Nominated
"Tell Her About It" Favorite Pop/Rock Video [7] Nominated

Charts[edit]

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980–89) Position
Australian Albums Chart[8] 12
UK Albums Chart[29] 33

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[30] 5× Platinum 350,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[32] Gold 10,000*
Japan (Oricon Charts) 510,000[12][33]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[34] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] 3× Platinum 900,000^
United States (RIAA)[36] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ An Innocent Man at AllMusic
  2. ^ Parke Puterbaugh (1983-08-18), "Music Reviews : An Innocent Man by Billy Joel", Rolling Stone, archived from the original on 2011-08-29 
  3. ^ a b c d Billy Joel Website Interview
  4. ^ "Billy Joel - An Innocent Man - Album Cover Location", PopSpots 
  5. ^ Billy Joel website interview
  6. ^ a b "Rock On The Net: 26th Annual Grammy Awards - 1984". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  7. ^ a b "11th American Music Awards". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  8. ^ a b c d Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-11-01
  10. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Billy Joel - An Innocent Man". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  11. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Billy JOEL". infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  12. ^ a b a-ビリー・ジョエル "Yamachan Land (Japanese Chart Archives) - Albums Chart Daijiten - Billy Joel" (in Japanese). Original Confidence. 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  13. ^ "charts.org.nz - Billy Joel - An Innocent Man". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  14. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Billy Joel - An Innocent Man". Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  15. ^ "swedishcharts.com Billy Joel - An Innocent Man". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats - Billy Joel - An Innocent Man". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  17. ^ Allmusic - An Innocent Man > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  18. ^ "Album Search: Billy Joel" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  19. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1983". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  20. ^ http://dutchcharts.nl/jaaroverzichten.asp?year=1983&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-08-29.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1983 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  22. ^ 1983年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1983" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  23. ^ "UK best albums 1983". Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  24. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1984". RPM. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  25. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ10" [Top-ten international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1984]. Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  26. ^ 1980s Albums Chart Archive "Top Albums of 1984". everyhit.com. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  27. ^ "1984 Billboard Year-End". Google Books. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  28. ^ "Billboard.BIZ – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1985". billboard.biz. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  29. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1984 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – An Innocent Man". Music Canada. 
  32. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1985". IFPI Hong Kong. 
  33. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  34. ^ THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION.
  35. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Joel – An Innocent Man". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter An Innocent Man in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  36. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – An Innocent Man". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
Seven and the Ragged Tiger by Duran Duran
Footloose (soundtrack) by Various artists
New Zealand Chart number-one album
January 22, 1984
August 5 – 12, 1984
Succeeded by
Touch by Eurythmics
Legend by Bob Marley & The Wailers