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Nylon Curtain [Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Billy JoelAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 1998 $8.99  
Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, 2012 $31.47  
Audio CD, Enhanced, Original recording reissued, 1998 --  
Vinyl, Limited Edition, 2010 $26.21  
Audio Cassette, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, 1998 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Allentown [Clean] 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Laura [Clean] 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Pressure [Clean] 4:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Goodnight Saigon [Clean] 7:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. She's Right On Time 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. A Room Of Our Own [Clean] 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Surprises [Clean] 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Scandinavian Skies [Clean] 5:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Where's The Orchestra [Clean] 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Billy Joel Store


Image of album by Billy Joel


Image of Billy Joel


"Pressure"  Performed live from Russia 1987


Having sold more than 150 million records, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. Throughout the years, Joel's songs have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that "meant something during the time in which I lived ... and transcended that time.” Billy ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Joel Store

Visit Amazon's Billy Joel Store
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Frequently Bought Together

Nylon Curtain + Glass Houses + The Stranger [Vinyl]
Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DCHF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,633 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Billy Joel's chameleonlike leaps from style to style have never resulted in a more audacious album than 1982's Nylon Curtain. Gloriously overreaching both musically--Joel seems compelled to act as both Lennon and McCartney on this heavily Beatles-influenced disc--and thematically, he takes on everything from romance in an age of alienation ("Laura," "A Room of Our Own") to the sociopolitical causes of that alienation ("Goodnight Saigon," the moving recession saga "Allentown"). And it all works. As a portrait of a pop artist getting the Big Ideas out of his system, The Nylon Curtain is hard to beat. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy's Masterpiece 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
5.0 out of 5 stars The musical apex of Billy's Career 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than perfect 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A unique set of music by Billy Joel. It's Beatle-esque.
Published 1 month ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
gave as gift
Published 1 month ago by michael woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to have this album back in my collection
When my husband put my record collection in storage five years ago, he didn't realize how fragile they are. Read more
Published 6 months ago by DJKT
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But...
Why so expensive? I don't care if it's on 180 gram vinyl. Why are vinyl records costing more then cds?
Makes me rethink the whole vinyl thing..Why a shame. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Dj-Kokorio
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Billy's Best.
I love the sound. They are unique, they are like stories that anyone can relatye to. Some are comical, and some are serious, but a;lll are well com[posed and would be fun to dance... Read more
Published 19 months ago by sharekare
5.0 out of 5 stars album you must hear !!
Billy Joel - The Nylon Curtain MOFI SACD

....well we're living here in Allentown! The Nylon Curtain was released in 1982 and was another wonderful pop album from an... Read more
Published 22 months ago by James W. Unger
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the purchase
My knowledge of Billy Joel's catalog was limited to what I heard on the radio over the last 30+ years and his excellent "Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2" double CD, which I purchased in... Read more
Published 23 months ago by B. maskell
5.0 out of 5 stars Master tapes used
Buy it, you won't be sorry you did.

All the sound comes out and is clear and not distorted even at high volume, why is that, because they use the Master tapes
Published 23 months ago by Scott kupitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Joel's finest hour
Love this album! In fact it was the first Compact Disc I bought (or my mom bought for me) along with Prince's Purple Rain soundtrack. Read more
Published on October 13, 2012 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but strained (plus an F-bomb)
Billy Joel

The Nylon Curtain

"Allentown" and "Pressure" are the big hits but "Goodnight Saigon" may be the most satisfying song of the album. Read more
Published on May 16, 2012 by J. Bynum
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