| Phil Ramone|
8 August 1983
| August 8, 1983 (1983-08-08)|
Chelsea Sound and A&R Recording, Inc., New York, NY Spring, 1983
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2
Rock music, Pop music, Soft rock, Blue-eyed soul
Grammy Award for Album of the Year
Billy Joel albums, Rock music albums
An Innocent Man is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 8, 1983. The concept album is a tribute to the American popular music of Joel's adolescent years with Joel paying homage to a number of different popular American musical styles from the late 1950s and early 1960s, most notably doo-wop and soul music. The album cover artwork was taken on the front steps of 142 Mercer Street, just north of the intersection of Mercer and Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City.
The album featured three Billboard Top 10 hit singles: "Tell Her About It" (No. 1), "Uptown Girl" (No. 3) and "An Innocent Man" (No. 10). Four other singles were released from the album: "The Longest Time" (No. 14), "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" (No. 27), "Keeping the Faith" (No. 18) and "This Night" (US B-Side of "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"). "Tell Her About It" and "Uptown Girl" garnered international success — "Uptown Girl" reached No. 1 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. An Innocent Man remained on the U.S. Pop album chart for 111 weeks, becoming Joel's longest charting studio album behind The Stranger. For over a year, the album remained on the charts in the UK, Japan and Australia.
Like his three previous efforts, Joel's An Innocent Man received a nomination for the 26th Grammy Award for Album of the Year, although the award went to Michael Jackson's Thriller. The album was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Uptown Girl," but again was beaten by Thriller.
In an interview about the making of the album, Joel talks about the fact that at the time that he was recording An Innocent Man, he was newly divorced from his first wife, Elizabeth Weber, and was single for the first time since achieving rock star status. So he had the opportunity to date supermodels like Elle Macpherson and Christie Brinkley, and because of these experiences, he said, "I kind of felt like a teenager all over again." And so he started writing songs in the same style as pop songs that he remembered from his teenage years, citing pop music from the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "early R&B songs and The Four Seasons, and the Motown music, soul music."
Joel explained, "When you're gonna write [songs for a new album], you write what you're feeling. And I didn't fight it. The material was coming so easily and so quickly, and I was having so much fun doing it. I was kind of reliving my youth. … I think within 6 weeks I had written most of the material on the album." Joel also said that he was pleasantly surprised to have hit records in the 1980s with retro songs like the mostly a cappella doo wop song "The Longest Time."
All songs by Billy Joel, except for the chorus for "This Night," which is credited on the sleeve to L. v. Beethoven.
The track listing on the LP is slightly different from that on the cassette and original CD pressings, with the latter swapping "The Longest Time" and "Uptown Girl"'s places respectively. However, on the actual cassette shell and disc label, the songs are listed (and play) in the correct order as printed on the LP.Billy Joel – Baldwin acoustic piano (SF-10), Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ, lead & background vocals
Liberty DeVitto – drums
Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
David Brown – lead electric & acoustic guitars
Russell Javors – rhythm electric & acoustic guitars
Mark Rivera – alto saxophone on "Keeping the Faith", "This Night" and "Christie Lee", tenor saxophone, percussion
Ralph MacDonald – percussion on "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" and "Careless Talk"
Leon Pendarvis – Hammond B3 organ on "Easy Money"
Richard Tee – acoustic piano on "Tell Her About It"
Eric Gale – electric guitar on "Easy Money"
Toots Thielemans – harmonica on "Leave a Tender Moment Alone"
"String Fever" - strings
Ronnie Cuber – baritone saxophone on "Easy Money", "Careless Talk", "Tell Her About It" and "Keeping the Faith"
Jon Faddis – trumpet on "Easy Money"
David Sanborn – alto saxophone on "Easy Money"
Joe Shepley – trumpet on "Easy Money", "Careless Talk", "Tell Her About It" and "Keeping the Faith"
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone on "Careless Talk", "Tell Her About It" and "Keeping the Faith"
John Gatchell – trumpet on "Careless Talk", "Tell Her About It" and "Keeping the Faith"
Tom Bahler – background vocals
Rory Dodd – background vocals
Frank Floyd – background vocals
Lani Groves – background vocals
Ullanda McCullough – background vocals
Ron Taylor – background vocals
Terry Textor – background vocals
Eric Troyer – background vocals
Mike Alexander – background vocals
Producer: Phil Ramone
Engineers: Jim Boyer, Bradshaw Leigh
Assistant engineers: Mike Allaire, Scott James
Production coordinator: Laura Loncteaux
Mastering: Ted Jensen
Horn and string arrangements: David Matthews
Background vocal arrangements: Tom Bahler
Musical advisor: Billy Zampino
Photography: Gilles Larrain
Cover design: Christopher Austopchuk, Mark Larson
Recorded at Chelsea Sound and A & R Recording, Inc., New York, NY
Mixed at A & R Recording, Inc., New York, NY
Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York, NY
1Easy Money4:06An Innocent Man Wikipedia
2An Innocent Man5:18
3The Longest Time3:38