Glass Houses (album)
|Studio album by Billy Joel|
|Released||March 12, 1980|
|Recorded||1979 at A&R Recording, New York City|
|Billy Joel chronology|
|Back cover (some versions)|
On the LP and some CD releases, Joel is shown looking through a hole after throwing a rock in the glass house. This is also seen on the front cover of some of the single releases from this album.
|Singles from Glass Houses|
Glass Houses is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on March 10, 1980. It features Joel's first song to peak at No. 1 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me". The album itself topped the Pop Albums chart for six weeks and was ranked No. 4 on Billboard's 1980 year-end album chart. The album is the 41st best selling album of the 1980s, with sales of 7.1 million copies in the U.S. alone. In 1981, Joel won a Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" for his work on Glass Houses. According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the album featured "a harder-edged sound" compared to Joel's other work, in response to the punk and new wave movements.
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Opening with the sound of glass shattering, Glass Houses has more of a hard rock feel than Joel's previous albums. The cover shows Joel poised to throw a rock through the two-story window of his real-life waterfront glass house in Cove Neck. On some versions, the back cover shows Joel looking through the hole that the rock made in the glass. This alludes to the adage that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".
In 2004, the pop-culture journalist and rock critic Chuck Klosterman praised the album in an essay on Joel titled "Every Dog Must Have His Every Day, Every Drunk Must Have His Drink" from his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (the title of the essay refers to a line from the Glass Houses song "Don't Ask Me Why") In particular, Klosterman praised some of the more obscure tracks from the album including "All for Leyna", "I Don't Want to Be Alone", "Sleeping with the Television On", and "Close to the Borderline."
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote retrospectively: "It may not be punk — then again, it may be his concept of punk — but Glass Houses is the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album." Rolling Stone critic Paul Nelson stated: "Billy Joel writes smooth and cunning melodies, and what many of his defenders say is true: his material's catchy. But then, so's the flu."
All songs written by Billy Joel.
- "You May Be Right" – 4:15
- "Sometimes a Fantasy" – 3:40
- "Don't Ask Me Why" – 2:59
- "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" – 2:57
- "All for Leyna" – 4:15
- "I Don't Want to Be Alone" – 3:57
- "Sleeping with the Television On" – 3:02
- "C'était Toi (You Were the One)" – 3:25
- "Close to the Borderline" – 3:47
- "Through the Long Night" – 2:43
- Billy Joel – acoustic piano, synthesizers, harmonica, electric pianos, accordion, vocals
- David Brown – acoustic and electric guitars (lead)
- Richie Cannata – saxophones, organs, flute
- Liberty DeVitto – drums and percussion
- Russell Javors – acoustic and electric guitars (rhythm)
- Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
- Phil Ramone – producer
- Jim Boyer – engineer
- Bradshaw Leigh – assistant engineer
- Ted Jensen – mastering
- Brian Ruggles – technician
- Steve Cohen – lighting
- Jim Houghton – photography
- Michele Slagter – production assistant
- Jeff Schock – product management
|1981||Glass Houses||Best Rock Vocal Performance - Male||Won|
|Album of the Year||Nominated|
American Music Awards
|1981||Glass Houses||Favorite Pop/Rock Album||Won|
|Billy Joel (performer)||Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist||Nominated|
Certifications and sales
|Australia (ARIA)||5× Platinum||350,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||5× Platinum||500,000^|
|Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)||Gold||7,500*|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||317,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||7× Platinum||7,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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