Turnstiles (album)

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Billy Joel - Turnstiles.jpg
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released May 19, 1976
Recorded January 1976
Studio Ultrasonic Recording Studios, Hempstead, NY; Columbia Recording Studios, New York City, NY; Caribou Ranch, Nederland, CO
Length 36:22
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Billy Joel
Billy Joel chronology
Streetlife Serenade
(1974)Streetlife Serenade1974
The Stranger
(1977)The Stranger1977
Singles from Turnstiles
  1. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood"
    Released: 1976
  2. "James"
    Released: 1976

Turnstiles is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on May 19, 1976.


Joel recorded Turnstiles in part as a celebration of his return to his native New York City.[1] Three of the album's tracks reference New York: "Summer, Highland Falls", "New York State of Mind" and "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)". It begins with "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" (inspired by The Ronettes song "Be My Baby") and also includes "I've Loved These Days", a tongue-in-cheek expression of regret at leaving behind Hollywood decadence.

The songs were first recorded at Caribou Ranch (near Nederland, Colorado), with members of Elton John's band (Nigel Olsson on drums and Dee Murray on bass) and produced by Chicago producer James William Guercio. Dissatisfied with the results, Joel took over as producer and returned to New York, where he re-recorded the album in its entirety, with his own touring band, which consisted of Long Island musicians Richie Cannata and the members of the band Topper: Liberty DeVitto, Russell Javors, Howie Emerson,[1] and Doug Stegmeyer. Turnstiles marked the first time that Joel's band played on one of his studio albums.

The album cover photo was shot in the Astor Place station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. According to Joel, each of the characters on the album cover was meant to represent a particular song (e.g., the girl in headphones for "All You Wanna Do is Dance," the wealthy couple for "I've Loved These Days").[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Blender 5/5 stars[4]
Christgau's Record Guide C+[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[6]

Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote that Joel's craft improves, but "he becomes more obnoxious: the anti-idealism of 'Angry Young Man' isn't any more appealing in tandem with the pseudoironic [sic] sybaritism of 'I've Loved These Days.'" [5] In a retrospective review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that "key to the record's success is variety, the way the album whips from the bouncy, McCartney-esque 'All You Wanna Do Is Dance' to the saloon song 'New York State of Mind'; the way the bitterly cynical "Angry Young Man" gives way to the beautiful 'I've Loved These Days' and the surrealistic apocalyptic fantasy 'Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway).' No matter how much stylistic ground Joel covers, he's kept on track by his backing group."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Billy Joel.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" 4:36
2. "Summer, Highland Falls" 3:15
3. "All You Wanna Do Is Dance" 3:40
4. "New York State of Mind" 5:58
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "James" 3:53
6. "Prelude/Angry Young Man" 5:17
7. "I've Loved These Days" 4:31
8. "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)" 5:12
Total length: 36:22

Many tracks have alternate mixes exclusive to the Quadrophonic LP release including "New York State of Mind", "Prelude/Angry Young Man", "I've Loved These Days" & "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)".

On the 1998 CD reissue of Turnstiles, the original version of "New York State of Mind" with Richie Cannata on saxophone was replaced with the version featuring Phil Woods on that instrument, which had been released for the first time on the Greatest Hits Volume 1 & 2 compilation album in 1985.[7]


Adapted from the AllMusic credits.[8]

  • Billy Joel – piano, electric piano, moog synthesizer, clavinet, organs, harmonica, vocals
  • Jerry Abramowitz – cover photography
  • Ken Ascher – orchestral arrangements
  • John Berg – cover design
  • Bruce Botnick – mixing
  • John Bradley – engineer, project supervisor
  • Jo Buckley – production coordination
  • Richie Cannata – saxophones, clarinet
  • Liberty DeVitto – drums
  • Howie Emerson – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Russell Javors – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Mingo Lewis – percussion
  • Don Puluse – engineer
  • Brian Ruggles – basic track consultant
  • James Smith – acoustic guitar
  • Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
  • Lou Waxman – tape engineer
  • Phil Woods - saxophone in "New York State of Mind" (on 1998 CD reissue and subsequent issues)[7]



  1. ^ a b "Classic Flashback: Billy Joel, 'Turnstiles'". About.com Entertainment. 
  2. ^ Billy Joel on Turnstiles - from THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION. YouTube. October 18, 2011. Retrieved 2014-09-29. 
  3. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Turnstiles – Billy Joel". AllMusic. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Browne, David (May 22, 2007). "Billy Joel: Turnstiles". Blender. Archived from the original on January 31, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Billy Joel: Turnstiles". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved August 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 434–35. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  7. ^ a b http://billyjoel52ndstreetserenade.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-great-showdown.html
  8. ^ "Turnstiles - Billy Joel | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. 
  9. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ "allmusic ((( Turnstiles> Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  11. ^ ビリー・ジョエル-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Turnstiles by Billy Joel" Check |url= value (help). oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  12. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Turnstiles". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH