The Nylon Curtain
|The Nylon Curtain|
|Studio album by|
|Released||June 23, 1982|
|Recorded||Winter 1981-Spring 1982|
|Studio||A&R Recording, Inc. and Media Sound Studios, New York City|
|Billy Joel chronology|
|Singles from The Nylon Curtain|
The album is among Joel's most ambitious efforts, and Joel has openly acknowledged that it is one of his personal favorites, calling it "the recording I'm most proud of and the material I'm most proud of." When he recorded the album, he said in an interview that he wanted to "create a sonic masterpiece." Joel spent more time in the studio, crafting the sound of the album, than he had on any previous album. He said that the process of making the album was "exhausting." Critics have interpreted the album to be, in part, an homage to the music of The Beatles and the recently-deceased John Lennon.
Saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata left the band prior to recording, so Joel, bassist Doug Stegmeyer, drummer Liberty DeVitto and guitarists David Brown and Russell Javors recorded the album mostly by themselves, thus making it Joel's first album since Streetlife Serenade not to feature a regular saxophonist, although Eddie Daniels plays saxophone on the closing track "Where's the Orchestra?" alongside Charles McCracken on cello and Dominic Cortese on accordion. Saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Mark Rivera, formerly of the band Tycoon, joined the band to replace Cannata for the Nylon Curtain Tour and he remains with the band to this day.
Regarding the album's themes, Joel has stated "It was during the Reagan years, and the diminishing horizons in America at the time [meant that] all of a sudden you weren't going to be able to inherit [the kind of life] your old man had." This pessimism about the American dream, in Joel's view, permeates most of the songs on the album. Joel also said that the theme of the album was "an American dilemma, specifically of people born after World War II." He said that although he doesn't provide solutions to the dilemma, he "hope[d] the record speaks like someone in that age group, if only just to tie us all together as people, as an entity."
|1983||The Nylon Curtain||Album of the Year||Nominated|
All tracks written and composed by Billy Joel.
- "She's Right on Time" – 4:14
- "A Room of Our Own" – 4:04
- "Surprises" – 3:26
- "Scandinavian Skies" – 6:00
- "Where's the Orchestra?" – 3:17
- Billy Joel – vocals, acoustic & electric pianos, synthesizers, Hammond organ, melodica, Prophet-5 synthesizer, Synclavier II on "Pressure"
- Liberty DeVitto – drums, percussion
- Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
- David Brown – electric & acoustic guitars (lead)
- Russell Javors – electric & acoustic guitars (rhythm)
- Dominic Cortese – accordion on "Where's the Orchestra?"
- Eddie Daniels – saxophone and clarinet on "Where's the Orchestra?"
- Dave Grusin – string and horn arrangements
- Charles McCracken – cello on "Where's the Orchestra?"
- Rob Mounsey – synthesizer on "Scandinavian Skies"
- David Nadien – concertmaster on all except "Laura" and "Scandinavian Skies"
- "String Fever" – strings on "Laura" and "Scandinavian Skies"
- Bill Zampino – field snare on "Goodnight Saigon"
- Phil Ramone - producer
- Laura Loncteaux - assistant producer
- James Boyer - engineer, remix
- Bradshaw Leigh - associate engineer
- Michael Christopher - assistant engineer
- Larry Franke - assistant engineer
- Andy Hoffman - assistant engineer
- Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC - mastering engineer
- Kenneth Topolsky - production manager
- Paula Scher - artwork
- John Berg - inner sleeve design
- Chris Austopchuk - front cover design
- Benno Friedman - back cover photo
Certifications and sales
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||356,000|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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