Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this music junkie as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. Compact Discs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no files.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Billy Joel - Glass Houses (1980)

Note: this release was originally purchased as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

By 1980, I was a full-fledged Billy Joel fan. I knew every word to every song on The Stranger and 52nd Street. So even though this album has a harder edge than those two, I listened to it repeatedly in the summer of 1980 and knew all the words to these songs within a week.

Press of the time:
  • Billboard: "plenty of hooks and memorable melodies"
  • Smash Hits (8 out of 10): "harder, more aggressive material"
  • CashBox: "something-for-everybody collection"
  • Rolling Stone: "His material's catchy. But then, so's the flu"
  • Stereo Review: "his able talent places him among the best American songwriter/performers"
  • Robert Christgau (B-): "gregarious, shameless, and above all profitable."

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (6 weeks, June 14 - July 19, 1980)
Peak on CashBox album chart: #1 (5 consecutive weeks)
Peak on the Rolling Stone chart: #1

Tracks: If you had a radio in 1980, you couldn't escape the hits. Other than those, I like All for Leyna and C'Etait Toi. The closing track, Through the Long Night, is sappy and trite.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: My sister gave me this album for my birthday in June 1980. I had just put it on the turntable when I received a phone call (land line!) with an invitation to go play tennis with a friend who would later become my girlfriend. I really wanted to listen to this album, so she agreed to come over and listen to it with me before our tennis match. I still laugh when I hear Billy sing "Should I try to be a straight 'A' student? If you are then you think too much" because I can hear her saying "I guess I think too much." When you're 14, modesty is overrated.


  1. Dammit!

    I was holding out hope that although we are the same age, you would be the older one but if you're birthday is in June, then I am the senior one. Crap!

    Our Billy Joel stories are somewhat similar - here's mine:


    1. Yes my birthday is in June:

      Our Joel stories are very similar, right down to the April '84 concerts. I seem to like Nylon Curtain more than you, while you like River of Dreams more than me.

      I'm curious how long you can last through this.