|Live album by|
|Released||October 26, 1987|
|Genre||Rock, hard rock, new wave|
|Producer||Jim Boyer, Brian Ruggles|
|Billy Joel chronology|
|Singles from Kontsert|
|Rolling Stone Album Guide, 3rd Edition|||
Kontsert (//) (Russian: Концерт, [kɐnˈt͡sɛrt], commonly read as Kohuept or Kohliept, 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. This album was co-produced by Jim Boyer and Brian Ruggles, and mixed by Jim Boyer.
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—the Soviet policy of managed openness—and the Kremlin invited Billy Joel to perform in the Soviet Union in 1986. Joel, being a history enthusiast, took advantage of this opportunity, knowing that this would impact the history of the Cold War. He was seen as a "nice, safe, first attempt at bringing in an American 'pop star.'"
The tour of the Soviet Union consisted of six shows, three in Moscow and three in Leningrad. Joel brought his family with him to show the Russians that he felt safe and trusted 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 who "spoke the truth."
Because rock concerts were unknown in the Soviet Union, 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, overturning his piano and breaking his mic stand. He later claimed that, "People like their privacy. They go to a concert to get that, to be in the dark and do their own thing."
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, Billy dove into the crowd during the performance of "The Longest Time." This was another way for him to show that he trusted the Russian people.
Joel had 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. 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."
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. Joel's Russian tour was the first live rock radio broadcast in Soviet History. Joel and his band were one of the first western rock groups to perform in Russia, along with Elton John, James Taylor, and Santana.
While in Russia, Billy 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.
Kontsert track listing
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.
|1.||"Odoya" (Traditional Rustavi Ensemble)||1:17|
|2.||"Prelude/Angry Young Man"||5:23|
|6.||"Big Man on Mulberry Street"||7:17|
|1.||"An Innocent Man"||6:09|
|3.||"A Matter of Trust"||5:09|
|4.||"Only the Good Die Young"||3:31|
|5.||"Sometimes a Fantasy"||3:38|
|8.||"Back in the U.S.S.R."||Lennon–McCartney||2:43|
|9.||"The Times They Are A-Changin'"||Bob Dylan||2:55|
A Matter of Trust: The Bridge to Russia
On May 19, 2014 the album was re-released and 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 and 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 and former band members as well as personnel involved with the original 1987 production. Charles Pitter at PopMatters commented: "Superfans are likely to drool over the deluxe edition which includes a book with accounts from writers and journalists who were on the road with Joel during the tour."
All songs written by Billy Joel, except where noted.
- "Odoya" (Traditional Georgian) – 1:16
- "Prelude/Angry Young Man" – 5:33
- "Honesty" – 5:15
- "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" – 5:32
- "She's Always a Woman" – 3:35
- "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" – 8:21
- "Goodnight Saigon" – 6:37
- "Stiletto" – 5:10
- "Big Man on Mulberry Street" – 7:29
- "Baby Grand" – 6:14
- "What's Your Name" – 2:17
- "The Longest Time" – 5:11
- "An Innocent Man" – 6:04
- "Pressure" – 5:23
- "Allentown" – 3:52
- "A Matter of Trust" – 5:10
- "Only the Good Die Young" – 3:32
- "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" – 4:00
- "Sometimes a Fantasy" – 3:38
- "You May Be Right" – 5:35
- "Uptown Girl" – 3:09
- "Big Shot" – 4:54
- "Back in the U.S.S.R." (Lennon/McCartney) – 2:55
- "The Times They Are A-Changin'" (Dylan) – 2:38
- "She Loves You" (Lennon/McCartney) (Russian concerts rehearsal recording) – 2:24
- "New York State of Mind" (Russian concerts rehearsal recording) – 6:22
- "Piano Man" – 4:25
- "Prelude/Angry Young Man"
- "Goodnight Saigon"
- "Big Man on Mulberry Street"
- "Baby Grand"
- "An Innocent Man"
- "The Longest Time"
- "A Matter of Trust"
- "Only the Good Die Young"
- "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"
- "Sometimes a Fantasy"
- "You May Be Right"
- "Uptown Girl"
- "Big Shot"
- "Back in the U.S.S.R."
- Billy Joel – vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards, electric guitar
- Liberty DeVitto – drums, maracas, Simmons drums
- Doug Stegmeyer – bass, electric upright bass
- Dave Lebolt – keyboards
- Russell Javors – acoustic and Electric guitars, harmonica, backing vocals
- Mark Rivera – baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, backing vocals, keyboards, tambourine, lyricon
- Kevin Dukes – electric and acoustic guitars
- Peter Hewlett – background vocals, percussion
- George Simms – background vocals, percussion
- The Georgian Rustavi Ensemble of USSR – vocals on "Odoya"
- Oleg Smirnoff – on-stage translation
|Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)||10|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||39|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||16|
|New Zealand Albums (RIANZ)||13|
|UK Albums (OCC)||92|
|Billboard 200 (Billboard 200)||38|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||7,500^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- Kontsert: Live in Leningrad at AllMusic. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- Schock, Jeff (2014). A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge to Russia. Columbia Records. pp. 7, 28, 36, 37.
- "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.
- Ozzi, Dan (2017-07-27). "30 Years Ago, Billy Joel Had a Meltdown in Moscow". Vice. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
- Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography. United States of America: Crown Archetype. pp. 186, 187. ISBN 978-0-8041-4021-8.
- "Hewlett Anderson - Pete & Scott - Bios". www.hewlettanderson.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "The Story of Elton John's Historic First Tour of Russia". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- Pitter, Charles. "PopMatters".
- Discogs - A Matter of Trust - The Bridge to Russia deluxe box-set 2014-May-19th Columbia / Legacy (88883759762) Europe
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "dutchcharts.nl Billy Joel – Kontsert" (ASP). dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "charts.nz – Billy Joel – Kontsert" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Billy Joel > Artist > Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1987 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Cite journal requires
- "New Zealand album certifications – Billy Joel – Концерт". Recorded Music NZ.
- "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Концерт". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.