Turnstiles (album)

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Billy Joel - Turnstiles.jpg
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released May 19, 1976
Recorded Ultrasonic Recording Studios, Hempstead, NY, Caribou Ranch January 1976
Length 36:22
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Billy Joel
Billy Joel chronology
Streetlife Serenade
The Stranger
Singles from Turnstiles
  1. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood"
    Released: 1976
  2. "James"
    Released: 1976
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau C+ [2]

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.[citation needed] 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,[citation needed] 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").[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed 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
1. "James"   3:53
2. "Prelude/Angry Young Man"   5:17
3. "I've Loved These Days"   4:31
4. "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)"   5:12
Total length:

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.[4]


  • Billy Joel – piano, electric piano, Moog synthesizer, clavinet, organs, harmonica, vocals
  • Ken Ascher – orchestral arrangements
  • Richie Cannata – saxophones, clarinet
  • Liberty DeVitto – drums
  • Howie Emerson – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Russell Javors – electric and acoustic guitars
  • Mingo Lewis – percussion
  • Brian Ruggles – basic track consultant
  • James Smith – acoustic guitar
  • Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
  • Phil Woods - saxophone in "New York State of Mind" (on 1998 CD reissue and subsequent issues) [4]


Robert Christgau gave it a C+, saying 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.'" [2] 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."[1]



  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Review of Turnstiles at AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-09-29.
  2. ^ a b "CG: billy joel". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ Billy Joel on Turnstiles - from THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION. YouTube. October 18, 2011. Retrieved 2014-09-29. 
  4. ^ a b http://billyjoel52ndstreetserenade.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-great-showdown.html
  5. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  6. ^ "allmusic ((( Turnstiles> Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Turnstiles". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH