Kontsert

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Kontsert
Billy Joel - KOHUEPT.jpg
Live album by Billy Joel
Released October 26, 1987
Recorded Summer 1987
Genre Rock
Length 72:52
Label Columbia
Billy Joel chronology
The Bridge
(1986)
Концерт
(1987)
Storm Front
(1989)
Singles from Kontsert
  1. "Back in the U.S.S.R. (Live)"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone Album Guide, 3rd Edition 3/5 stars[citation needed]

Kontsert (/kɒnˈtsɛərt/; Russian: Концерт, commonly changed to Kohuept, English: Concert) is the second live album by Billy Joel, released in 1987. The album was recorded during the Soviet leg of Joel's 1987 The Bridge tour.

Background[edit]

During the Cold War, rock music was not allowed in the U.S.S.R. because it was not seen as part of Soviet culture. In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev implemented glasnost. Glasnost, meaning openness, gave more freedom to the people of the Soviet Union, but in a controlled manner. As a result of glasnost, the Kremlin invited Billy Joel to perform in the Soviet Union in 1986.[2] Joel being a history enthusiast, took advantage of this opportunity, knowing that this would impact the history of the Cold War.[3] He was seen as a "nice, safe, first attempt at bringing in an American 'pop star.'"[2]

The Concert[edit]

The tour of the Soviet Union consisted of 6 shows, 3 in Moscow and 3 in Leningrad. He brought his family with him to show the Russians that he feels safe and trusts the Russian people. During the show Joel gave new meanings to songs such as "Honesty." Each time the song was performed, he dedicated the song to Vladimir Vysotsky because he was an inspirational Russian man that "spoke the truth."[2]

Because rock concerts were foreign to the Russians, Joel had to invite the crowd to stand and dance. During the second of the three concerts performed in Moscow at the Olympic Sports Complex, Joel flipped his electric keyboard, and broke his microphone stand on his grand piano. While performing "Sometimes a Fantasy," the audience kept getting attention from spotlights, which angered Joel. He yelled, "Stop lighting the audience!" He then trashed his instruments. He claims that, "People like their privacy. They go to a concert to get that, to be in the dark and do their own thing."[2]

Joel wanted the audience to feel comfortable, and most of all enjoy the show. To do so, he brought his daughter Alexa Ray Joel and his wife Christie Brinkley on tour with the band. He also crowd-surfed during his performances. While in Leningrad, Joel dove into the crowd during the performance of "The Longest Time." This was another way for Joel to show that he trusted the Russian people.[2]

Joel played a tour in Europe prior to the tour in the Soviet Union, and was being interviewed during the day. As a result, his voice became hoarse. Joel himself stated that he was disappointed by the album, and believes his vocals were not up to par during its production.[4] Despite his opinion, Columbia Records released the album, claiming it was a "historic event." Joel and his band jokingly refer to the album as "Kaput."[4]

Impact[edit]

Prior to this show, Rock music was barely gaining ground in the Soviet Union. The implementation of Gorbachev's glasnost allowed people of the Soviet Union to witness Western Rock. In result, the government had to learn how to put on concerts, while the people of Russia had to learn how to participate in them.[2] Joel's Russian tour was the first live rock radio broadcast in Soviet History.[5] Joel and his band were one of the first western rock groups to perform in Russia, along with Elton John, James Taylor, and Santana.[6]

While in Russia, Joel and his daughter Alexa met and became friends with a clown named Viktor. The song Leningrad would eventually be written about him. This song was released on the 1989 Storm Front album.

Joel went on to say:

The trip to Russia was probably the biggest highlight for me as a performer. I met these people and they weren't the enemy. I also hoped that the people in America could see what we did. What happens when your kid says to you 'what did you do in the Cold War, Daddy?' And now we have something to say.[4]

Kontsert track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Billy Joel, except where noted. Joel's cover of the Beatles' "Back in the U.S.S.R." became the first single released by him that was written by someone other than himself. The B-side was "The Times They Are A-Changin'", Joel's live cover of Bob Dylan's song.. 

No. Title Length
1. "Odoya" (Traditional Rustavi Ensemble) 1:17
2. "Prelude/Angry Young Man"   5:23
3. "Honesty"   3:58
4. "Goodnight Saigon"   7:20
5. "Stiletto"   5:09
6. "Big Man on Mulberry Street"   7:17
7. "Baby Grand"   6:09
8. "An Innocent Man"   6:09
9. "Allentown"   4:22
10. "A Matter of Trust"   5:09
11. "Only the Good Die Young"   3:31
12. "Sometimes a Fantasy"   3:38
13. "Uptown Girl"   3:08
14. "Big Shot"   4:44
15. "Back in the U.S.S.R." (Lennon–McCartney) 2:43
16. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (Bob Dylan) 2:55

A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia[edit]

A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia

On May 19, 2014 the album was re-released & re-titled as A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia, A two CD, one DVD/Blu-ray set incorporating eleven previously unreleased tracks on CD and seven previously unreleased & restored songs on video. In addition the DVD/Blu-ray set contains a newly produced documentary of the same name which features updated interviews with Joel's current & former band members as well as personnel involved with the original 1987 production.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Billy Joel, except where noted.

Disc one
  1. "Odoya" (Traditional Georgian) – 1:16
  2. "Prelude/Angry Young Man" – 5:33
  3. "Honesty" – 5:15
  4. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" – 5:32
  5. "She's Always a Woman" – 3:35
  6. "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" – 8:21
  7. "Goodnight Saigon" – 6:37
  8. "Stiletto" – 5:10
  9. "Big Man on Mulberry Street" – 7:29
  10. "Baby Grand" – 6:14
  11. "What's Your Name" [7] – 2:17
  12. "The Longest Time" – 5:11
  13. "An Innocent Man" – 6:04
Disc two
  1. "Pressure" – 5:23
  2. "Allentown" – 3:52
  3. "A Matter of Trust" – 5:10
  4. "Only the Good Die Young" – 3:32
  5. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" – 4:00
  6. "Sometimes a Fantasy" – 3:38
  7. "You May Be Right" – 5:35
  8. "Uptown Girl" – 3:09
  9. "Big Shot" – 4:54
  10. "Back in the U.S.S.R." (Lennon/McCartney) – 2:55
  11. "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (Dylan) – 2:38
  12. "She Loves You" (Lennon/McCartney) (Russian concerts rehearsal recording) – 2:24
  13. "New York State of Mind" (Russian concerts rehearsal recording) – 6:22
  14. "Piano Man" – 4:25
DVD/Blu-ray
  1. "Prelude/Angry Young Man"
  2. "Allentown"
  3. "Goodnight Saigon"
  4. "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
  5. "Baby Grand"
  6. "An Innocent Man"
  7. "Honesty"
  8. "The Longest Time"
  9. "A Matter of Trust"
  10. "Only the Good Die Young"
  11. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
  12. "Sometimes a Fantasy"
  13. "You May Be Right"
  14. "Uptown Girl"
  15. "Big Shot"
  16. "Back in the U.S.S.R."

Bonus song:

  1. "Pressure"

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[8] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[9] Gold 7,500^
United States (RIAA)[10] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kontsert at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d e f Schock, Jeff (2014). A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge to Russia. Columbia Records. pp. 7, 28, 36, 37. 
  3. ^ "Billy Joel 'A Matter Of Trust - The Bridge To Russia' To Be Released On 2CD Live Album, DVD/Blu-ray Concert Film & Deluxe Edition | Billy Joel Official Site". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  4. ^ a b c Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography. United States of America: Crown Archetype. pp. 186, 187. ISBN 978-0-8041-4021-8. 
  5. ^ "Hewlett Anderson - Pete & Scott - Bios". www.hewlettanderson.com. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  6. ^ "The Story of Elton John's Historic First Tour of Russia". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  7. ^ Discogs - A Matter of Trust - The Bridge to Russia deluxe box-set 2014-May-19th Columbia / Legacy (88883759762) Europe
  8. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1987 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  9. ^ THE FIELD id (chart number) MUST BE PROVIDED for NEW ZEALAND CERTIFICATION.
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Концерт". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

See also[edit]