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52nd Street (album)

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Recorded  July-August 1978
52nd Street (1978)  Glass Houses (1980)
Release date  13 October 1978
Genres  Rock music, Jazz fusion
Length  40:26
Artist  Billy Joel
Producer  Phil Ramone
52nd Street (album) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen994Bil
Released  October 13, 1978 (1978-10-13)
Studio  A&R Recording, Inc., 799 7th Avenue at 52nd Street, New York City
Label  Family Productions/Columbia
Awards  Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
Similar  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.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Billy Joel.

Side one
Side two


  • 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
  • Songs

    1Big Shot4:03
    3My Life4:44


    52nd Street (album) Wikipedia

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