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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
Storm Front
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.


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. The glasnost policy allowed Billy Joel and his band to perform in 1987. He was seen as a "nice, safe, first attempt at bringing in an American 'pop star.'"[2]

Joel himself has said he was disappointed by the album and believes his vocals were not up to par during its production and Columbia Records released the album without his input. Joel and his band jokingly refer to the album as "Kaput."[3]

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.

The Concert[edit]

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's Russian tour was the first live rock radio broadcast in Soviet History.[4] Joel and his band were one of the first western rock groups to perform in Russia, along with Elton John, James Taylor, and Santana.[5]

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]

Kontsert track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Odoya" (Traditional) 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" [6] – 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
  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"


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

^shipments figures based on certification alone



  1. ^ Kontsert at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c Schock, Jeff (2014). A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge to Russia. Columbia Records. pp. 7, 36, 37. 
  3. ^ Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography. United States of America: Crown Archetype. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8041-4021-8. 
  4. ^ "Hewlett Anderson - Pete & Scott - Bios". www.hewlettanderson.com. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  5. ^ "The Story of Elton John's Historic First Tour of Russia". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  6. ^ Discogs - A Matter of Trust - The Bridge to Russia deluxe box-set 2014-May-19th Columbia / Legacy (88883759762) Europe
  7. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1987 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  9. ^ "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]