Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Billy Joel - Storm Front (1989)

Harry Truman, Doris Day....


Released October 1989

Recorded in New York City

Three years after “The Bridge”, 1989’s “Storm Front” was probably Billy Joel’s last decent album. Indeed, the patchy “River Of Dreams” was the only subsequent release before his muse deserted him and he seemed to go into semi-retirement and undertake to occasional tour and no more.


1. That's Not Her Style
2. We Didn't Start The Fire
3. The Downeaster Alexa
4. I Go To Extremes
5. Shameless
6. Storm Front
7. Leningrad
8. State of Grace
9. When In Rome
10. And So It Goes                          

This album featured quite a few rock tracks - the heavy-ish chugging opener, “That’s Not Her Style”; the pop rock of “I Go To Extremes”; the horn-driven soulful rock of “When In Rome”; the rock ballad “Shameless” and the powerful, clunky “Storm Front”. All very upbeat, on the whole, and energetic.

Then, of course, there is the unique and extremely appealing “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, featuring name checks from the fifties onwards of politicians, singers, cultural figures and mentions of various notable incidents. All of this over a frantic rock beat. A classic hit single and a track Billy Joel will long be remembered for. I have friends who are not Joel fans in any way, yet they love that song.

The archetypal Joel melodic, attractive, meaningful ballads included here are the evocative “Leningrad” about a US-Russian friendship during the bleak cold war years and the haunting “Downeaster Alexa”, a moving song about the fishing industry. There is also “And So It Goes”, a quiet, piano-driven ballad that closes the album and “State Of Grace”, a mid-paced musical and enjoyable number with an addictive hook, the sort of song that Billy Joel has done so well over the years.

Overall, a highly competent album. The musicianship is high quality as indeed in the sound on this latest remastering.


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