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Nylon Curtain


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Audio CD, July 7, 1987
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Nylon Curtain + Glass Houses + An Innocent Man [Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]
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Editorial Reviews

Billy Joel ~ Nylon Curtain

1. Allentown
2. Laura
3. Pressure
4. Goodnight Saigon
5. She's Right On Time
6. A Room Of Our Own
7. Surprises
8. Scandinavian Skies
9. Where's The Orchestra?

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 7, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B0000025RY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,910 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By M. Casarino on June 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"The Nylon Curtain" might be Billy's most initially frustrating album. The songs are strange and sometimes inaccessable, and even the hit singles had a palpable feeling of dread. But no other Billy album holds up as well, or makes a more complete statement as "The Nylon Curtain."
"Allentown" and "Goodnight Saigon" are probably the easiest to digest (if only because the subject matter is fairly clear). But listen closely to both of them, and you'll hear complex variations on basic themes (unemployment and war, respectively). "Allentown" takes the industrial woes of it's titular town personally - check the line "I won't be getting up today" to see how the employment situation has affected the narrator. And "Goodnight Saigon" veers between the horrors of war and the sadness of the bond between soldiers, and finds a simple truth in between. There's empathy but not a trace of sentimentality, which helps keep the songs fresh.
Duplicity is a common theme in "Nylon Curtain." "Laura," a magnificent piece of Beatlesque pop, hints at the pressures caused by an ex-lover's obsessions...and for once the production is perfect, as Liberty's pounding drums and Billy's overdubbed background vocals create a driving, almost mocking tone. The wonderful "A Room of Your Own" and the elusive, almost coy confessional "Surprises" are great spins on Billy's themes of disenchantment with middle-American life.
The album closes with two strange, complex charts: the swirling dream-like psychedelia of "Scandinavian Skies" and the bittersweet coda "Where's the Orchestra?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L.A. Scene on March 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Billy Joel entered the 1980s and began to expand his musical horizons. This was evident on his ninth studio album, 1982's "The Nylon Curtain". This album wouldn't be a return to the days of "The Stranger" or "52nd Street", but it would mark Billy's return more toward a piano style of music. Despite what may not have been his best selling album, the result would be that Billy would produce an album that would be the creative high point of his musical career.

.

I look at Billy Joel's career as having three phases. The first phase is what I call "Old Billy Joel". This basically includes all of his material from "Cold Spring Harbor" through "Turnstiles". These are perhaps the strongest days as the piano sound, but they also contain most of Joel's least heard material. The next phase is what I call "Middle Billy Joel". This was his most successful period and covers from "The Stranger" to "Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 2". Joel would go through a transition during this phase - expanding his musical horizons and exploring different avenues. The final phase is the "Later Billy Joel" phase - this covers "The Bridge" to "River of Dreams". In this phase, Billy would start to incorporate some of his older styles of music while not abandoning his desire to continue to explore new avenues. "The Nylon Curtain" clearly falls into the heart of this "Middle Billy Joel" phase.

"The Nylon Curtain" is a very different album that Billy Joel did. Albums such as "The Stranger" and "52nd Street" had the strong lyrical themes of "New York" and "Melting Pot". "The Nylon Curtain" doesn't have a strong lyrical theme, but it does have a strong style theme. Billy creates a set of songs in which the instrumentation creates an image of the song.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Cerasuolo on April 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
As a musician and a songwriter I have this to say to Billy Joel;

I often wonder if you have a team of writers to help with writing.

Because, one guy just CAN NOT be that brilliant!!!

There is only one force, if you will , in the universe with that kind of "perfection" as it pertains to his or her craft.

At the risk of sounding like a tin foil hat wearing moonbat, I pose this question;

Are you , in fact, that force??

Tongue in cheek diatribes aside, you can't go wrong with any of Billy Joels work. He hasn't made anything under a 5 star album.

His entire catalogue is top notch.

And that goes for "River of Dreams" as well.

If you're a songwriter that's constantly struggling to find that "perfect" formula then you know what I mean.

He is the essence of perfect formula because it's CONSTANTLY changing but never loses the "purist" approach.

Fantastic.

Just get an album, any album , from Billy Joel.

I promise it won't be your last.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karl Pedorski on July 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite Billy Joel album, by far. Which is saying a lot, because I would rate my least favorite Billy Joel album at about 4.5 stars. This album seems to have a depressing theme running through it. Running through unemployment, unhealthy dependency on relationships, war, rock 'n roll lifestyles, and more war, the songs can be a bit of a downer if you're in the wrong mood. However, the mood is intriguing like a car wreck, and the bitterness in so many of the songs is possibly what makes this such a great CD.

It might be worth noting that the three hits on this CD (Allentown, Pressure, and Goodnight Saigon) are usually among the songs that fans call their least favorite (especially Pressure), but don't let that turn you off from hearing the rest of the CD. When in place with the other songs, the mood fits perfectly. This album basically needs to be broken down by songs, because there isn't any way to describe it as a whole.

Allentown starts with a work whistle and resonating drum and percussion sounds, really emphasizing the hard-working tone of the lyrics, and the gentle melody understates the bitterness of the words. "They threw an American Flag in our face" is a perfect way to sum up the song, it's like an American dream has been ruined for the families of the town.

Laura is very McCartney-ish, complete with "ahhh"-ing background vocals and familiar chord changes. The song starts with resistance to a relationship with a girl named Laura, but by the end it seems there's appreciation for her. "She always says I'm the best friend that she's ever had. How do you hang up on someone who needs you that bad?"

Pressure was a staple of MTV videos back in '82, and if you know any song from this album, this is it.
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