The Bridge (Billy Joel album)

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The Bridge
The bridge billy joel.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 28, 1986
RecordedThe Power Station, Chelsea Sound (North), RCA Studios, New York City and Evergreen Studios, Burbank, California 1985-86
LabelFamily Productions/Columbia
ProducerPhil Ramone
Billy Joel chronology
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2
The Bridge
Singles from The Bridge
  1. "Modern Woman[1]"
    Released: May 1986
  2. "A Matter of Trust[2]"
    Released: July 1986
  3. "This Is the Time[3]"
    Released: November 1986
  4. "Baby Grand[4]"
    Released: March 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[5]
Chicago Tribune(Mixed)[6]
Los Angeles Times(Not favorable)[7]
Rolling Stone(Not rated)[8]

The Bridge is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on July 28, 1986. It was the last studio album produced by Phil Ramone as well as the last to feature Joel's long-time bassist Doug Stegmeyer and rhythm guitarist Russell Javors. The album yielded several successful singles, including "A Matter of Trust" (peaking at No. 10), "Modern Woman" (which also appeared on the Ruthless People soundtrack, peaking at No. 10), and "This Is the Time" (peaking at No. 18).

Joel began work on the album — on which two of his major influences (Ray Charles and Steve Winwood) made guest appearances — in 1985. Charles sang a duet with Joel on the song "Baby Grand", and Winwood played Hammond organ on the song "Getting Closer". Other notable musicians who made guest appearances on the album include jazz musicians Ron Carter and Michael Brecker, who both played on the jazzy track "Big Man on Mulberry Street."

The album also had some New wave influences. For instance, the first song, "Running on Ice," is heavily influenced by the music of The Police, and "Modern Woman" borrows heavily from the styles of Huey Lewis and the News. The final song recorded for the album, "Code of Silence," featured Cyndi Lauper who contributed backing vocals and received co-writing credit for the lyrics; Joel would return the favor by contributing backing vocals on Lauper's song "Maybe He'll Know" for her 1986 album True Colors.

The Bridge was Joel's last album to carry the "Family Productions" logo which had appeared on all of Joel's albums up to that time as part of a deal that Columbia Records made to get Joel out of his first recording contract with Artie Ripp's Family Productions. In the closing song of the album — "Getting Closer" — Joel makes several of what are clearly attacks and observations on the iron-clad contract with Ripp, with references to "my stolen youth", "all the conmen and their acrobats who stomped me in the ground," and "I must live up to contracts."

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by Billy Joel, except "Code of Silence" written by Joel and Cyndi Lauper.

Side one

  1. "Running on Ice" – 3:15
  2. "This Is the Time" – 4:59
  3. "A Matter of Trust" – 4:09
  4. "Modern Woman" – 3:48
  5. "Baby Grand" (duet with Ray Charles) – 4:02

Side two

  1. "Big Man on Mulberry Street" – 5:26
  2. "Temptation" – 4:12
  3. "Code of Silence" (backing vocals by Cyndi Lauper) – 5:15
  4. "Getting Closer" – 5:00


  • Billy Joel – piano, synthesizers, vocals, Fender Rhodes on "Getting Closer", electric guitar on "A Matter of Trust"
  • Liberty DeVitto – drums, percussion
  • Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
  • David Brown – guitars, acoustic 12-string and electric guitars on "Code of Silence", guitar on "Getting Closer"
  • Russell Javors – guitars
  • Mark Rivera – tenor saxophone on "Modern Woman", alto saxophone on "Temptation"

Additional personnel


  • Produced by Phil Ramone
  • Engineer: Jim Boyer
  • Associate engineers: Steve Boyer, Fred Tenny, David Dickson and Bradshaw Leigh.
  • Technical support: Joe Salvatto, Gary Ciuzio, Joe Lopes, Frank Rodriguez, Peter Bergren, Bruce Howell, Cary Butler, Ed Evans, Mark Betts, Steve Buller, Ricki Begin, Audrey Tanaka, Billy Rothschild and Phil Vachon.
  • Production coordinator: Joseph D'Ambrosio
  • Support system: Jim Flynn, Barry Bongiovi and The Power Station staff.
  • Digitally recorded at The Power Station, Chelsea Sound (North), RCA Studios, New York, NY and Evergreen Studios, Burbank, CA.
  • Mixed at The Power Station, New York, NY.
  • Direct metal mastering at Sterling Sound, New York, NY by Ted Jensen.
  • Acoustic Piano: supplied by Yamaha
  • Design: Mark Larson
  • Cover painting: Brad Holland
  • Photography: Patrick Demarchelier
  • Sleeve photos: Larry Busacca, Phil Ramone and Charles Reilly



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[29] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[30] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 250,000[17]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[31] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^


Year Single Country Chart Position
1986 "Modern Woman" United States Billboard AC 7
Billboard Hot 100 10
Billboard Mainstream Rock 34
"A Matter of Trust" Australia Kent Music Report 3
United States Billboard Hot 100 10
Billboard Mainstream Rock 14
Billboard AC 17
United Kingdom UK Singles Chart 52
1987 "This is the Time" United States Billboard AC 1
Billboard Hot 100 18
Billboard Mainstream Rock 32
"Baby Grand" Billboard AC 3
Billboard Hot 100 75


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  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Bridge at AllMusic
  6. ^ Brogan, Daniel (1986-09-12). "Turner Outdoes `Dancer` With `break Every Rule` Lp > BILLY JOEL, The Bridge, (Columbia)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  7. ^ Pond, Steve (1986-08-10). "RECORD RACK > Billy Bites Off Too Much". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  8. ^ "Billy Joel: The Bridge". Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ "Billy Joel – The Bridge –" (ASP) (in German). Retrieved 2013-11-19.
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  12. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 45, No. 6,". RPM. 1986-11-01. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-01.
  13. ^ " Billy Joel – The Bridge" (ASP). (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
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  15. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  16. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1986" (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  17. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  18. ^ " – Billy Joel – The Bridge" (ASP). Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  19. ^ " Billy Joel – The Bridge" (ASP). Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  20. ^ " Billy Joel – The Bridge" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  21. ^ " – Billy Joel – The Bridge". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "Billy Joel > Artist > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  23. ^ Allmusic – The Bridge > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  24. ^ "Album Search: Billy Joel – The Bridge" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  25. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1986". RPM. 1986-12-27. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  26. ^ 年間アルバムヒットチャート 1986年(昭和61年) [Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1986] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2013-11-13.
  27. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  28. ^ "Billboard.BIZ  – Year-end Charts – Billboard 200 – 1987". Retrieved 2011-11-17.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1986 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  30. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – The Bridge". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  31. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Billy Joel – The Bridge". Recorded Music NZ.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Billy Joel – The Bridge". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type The Bridge in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – The Bridge". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 July 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.