| July-August 1978|
13 October 1978
Rock music, Jazz fusion
| October 13, 1978 (1978-10-13)|
A&R Recording, Inc., 799 7th Avenue at 52nd Street, New York City
Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Billy Joel albums, Rock music albums
52nd Street is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on October 13, 1978. It was the first of four Joel albums to top the Billboard charts and earned him two Grammys. Three songs reached the Top 40 in the United States, contributing to the album's success: "My Life" (#3), "Big Shot" (#14), and "Honesty" (#24). It was similarly well received by critics, earning the 1979 Grammy for Album of the Year. This Grammy was presented to its producer, Phil Ramone. Upon Ramone's death, 52nd Street's Album of the Year Grammy was passed on to Joel.
Allmusic praises Joel for expanding stylistically on 1977's The Stranger, describing 52nd Street as "more sophisticated and somewhat jazzy." (Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard guests on "Zanzibar".) The title is a reference to 52nd Street, which was one of New York City's jazz centers in the middle of the century. Joel's label was headquartered on 52nd Street (in the CBS Building) at the time of the album's release. The studio in which 52nd Street was recorded was also on 52nd Street, a block away from the CBS Building.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 352 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.Side one
Billy Joel – acoustic piano, Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, vocals
Doug Stegmeyer – bass, backing vocals
Liberty DeVitto – drums
Richie Cannata – saxophones, organ, clarinet
Steve Khan – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Freddie Hubbard – flugelhorn and trumpet on "Zanzibar"
Mike Mainieri – vibes and marimba on "Zanzibar" and "Rosalinda's Eyes"
David Spinozza – acoustic guitar on "Honesty"
Donnie Dacus & Peter Cetera – background vocals on "My Life"
David Freidman – orchestral chimes and percussion on "Until the Night"
Ralph MacDonald – percussion on "Rosalinda's Eyes" and "Half a Mile Away"
Eric Gale – electric guitar on "Half a Mile Away"
Frank Floyd, Babi Floyd, Zack Sanders, Milt Grayson, & Ray Simpson – background vocals on "Half a Mile Away"
George Marge – sopranino recorder on "Rosalinda's Eyes"
Hugh McCracken – nylon string guitar on "Until the Night" and "Rosalinda's Eyes"
Robert Freedman – horn and string orchestration on "Until the Night" and "Honesty"
Dave Grusin – horn orchestration on "Half a Mile Away"
David Nadien – concertmaster
Phil Ramone - producer, mixing
Kathy Kurs - associate producer
Carol Peters - associate producer
Jim Boyer - engineer, mixing
David Martone - assistant engineer
Ted Jensen - mastering at Sterling Sound (New York City, NY)
John Berg - cover design
Jim Houghton - photography
1Big Shot4:0352nd Street (album) Wikipedia