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River Of Dreams

October 20, 1998 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 20, 1998
  • Release Date: October 20, 1998
  • Label: Columbia
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 49:12
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00136LZEA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,372 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marty McCarthy VINE VOICE on February 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is not perfect. It is especially not perfect when its individual parts are scrutinized.
However, this may be a case where the whole of the album is greater than the sum of its parts.
In many ways, the album is best understood as not having 10 tracks but rather two movements and each movemt has its own discrete meaning.
Tracks 1-5 are in the first movement. Thus movement has Billy Joel tapping into matters such as:
1) Suburban bitterness in "No Man's Land," ("I see these children with their boredom and their vacant stares/ God help us all if we're to blame for their unanswered prayers)
2) His business manager's theft of Joel's money in "Great Wall of China," ("You take a piece of whatever you touch/Too many pieces mean you're touching too much.")
3) The distance and unattainability of his estranged "blond" wife, Christie Brinkley in "Blond Over Blue" ("But in the darkness, I see her light turned on.")
4) Billy Joel's own mental state in "A Minor Variation," ("Some days I have to give right into the blues...You think I'm crazy/It's such a sad composition/But can you blame me/For what's causing my bad disposition?)
5) His loss of faith at midlife in the world in "Shades of Grey" (These days it's harder to say I know what'I'm fighting for/My faith is falling away/I'm not that sure anymore")
The songs in this "first movement" discuss and explore negative emotions and utilize dissonant sounds to protray a man who has become truly lost in the world. The "cause of his bad disposition" is fully explored here in the first movement and it threatens to consume him.
Then the Second movement begins:
6) In "All About Soul," the listener is presented with something not previously heard on the record - the prominent use of Piano.
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Format: Audio CD
River of Dreams, Billy Joel's last pop rock album, is 10 years old this year. It seemingly closed one chapter of Joel's creative career and opened another as he turned his attention to other musical genres. And even though listeners may have thought that River of Dreams was his farewell to pop, he has never ruled out future offerings, After all. Joel still tours and his record label still sells copies of his classic albums, compilations and Greatest Hits sets, and recently Movin' Out, a Broadway show written around some of his classics ("Good Night, Saigon," "Movin' Out [Anthony's Song])" has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike.
Even if these are Joel's "Famous Last Words" (that being the title of the last track) in the pop arena, River of Dreams is an eclectic mix of styles and themes. The 10 songs reflect a blend of anger at urban blight ("No Man's Land"), the nature of true love ("All About Soul"), parental love ("Lullabye [Goodnight, My Angel]"), and serious explorations of a spiritual nature ("River of Dreams," "Two Thousand Years").
Although the other songs on this album are also good ones ("Blonde Over Blue," "Shades of Grey," and "The Great Wall of China"), I tend to give more play time to the more sentimental compositions. Of these, my favorite is the titular "River of Dreams," with its catchy hooks and Gospel influences. It's reminiscent of the start of his friend Elton John's "Circle of Life," and its Gospel-choir background vocals and almost Biblical turns of phrase ("I was searching for something/something so undefined/that it can only be seen/by the eyes of the blind/in the middle of the night") make this song memorable and thought provoking.
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1 Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Alright. If I tell anyone here I'm 14, they'll probably throw their head back and laugh. That's nice. Go ahead and do that. OKAY. Now that everyone knows I am of youthful spirit, I'm going to continue this review. Mainly I'm here to defend the song Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel). About two years ago, my grandmother died, and my dad was assigned the part of making a CD with songs for her funeral. My dad hadn't heard this song in a while, and he was considering it for the CD. He said, Jess come here I've just got to play you this. When I first heard it, I thought it was beautiful. If definetly defined my grandmothers usual spirit as a loving, caring mother (even though Joel sang it from the perspective of a father.) I knew that when everyone heard it, they'd think of my grandma. Ever since her funeral, the song has had a very special place in my heart. One of my friends did a solo ballet dance to it and everyone almost cried. I play piano, so my family and my piano teacher searched wide for the music. I ended up playing it for my recital, and inspired a parent to learn it on guitar. All in all, what I'm trying to say is this song is very influential, and speaks to people in many different ways. It reflects on Joel's career in a very positive way. And even if this CD wasn't the fruit of his career, I'd buy it just to have Lullabye. And BTW- I also like some of Billy Joel's songs that fit into other categories, such as We didn't Start the Fire. If I got that wrong, sorry. Anyway, that's all I've got to say. Thanks for reading :)
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