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Whoever said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” never had to design the front of a rock and roll album. Before the internet put all the music in the world at everyone’s fingertips, that front cover first served as a siren call to anyone browsing in a record store. Then, when you sat down and listened to the songs while checking out the artwork …
 
Spread over three days in Cuba, the Havana Jam ‘79 featured Columbia recording artists alongside native musicians and bands. It was a monumental, historic event that hardly anyone knows about anymore. But Ernesto Juan knows the story. And, he’s been trying to tell it for the past decade. The Cuban-born journalist, documentarian and translator becam…
 
Sometimes the best part about the holidays are the leftovers. Picking at the feast you just enjoyed the day before can taste better than when it was just cooked. And, as the 2021 holiday season wraps up, we’re bringing you a second helping of Glass Houses - A Billy Joel Podcast. It’s been an amazing year for us, and with all the great topics and in…
 
Once again, we’re taking a break from Billy — mostly, anyway — during those weird weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays to bring you some different music. Jack’s at the board with a playlist that’s split into three categories. First up is “I’ve Loved These Days.” It’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way of looking at artists who spent 2020 …
 
Welcome back to our two-part series on Russell Javors. As the rhythm guitarist for Billy Joel, Russell was a fixture in Billy’s band on record and on stage for much of their storied run from 1976’s Turnstiles through 1986’s The Bridge. His playing was always understated and in service to the song, but at the same time an integral part of each track…
 
Billy Joel released his first solo album, Cold Spring Harbor, in November 1971. Almost 50 years to the day, his fans are celebrating a string of exciting new announcements. In our most timely episode yet, we’ll cover the latest developments in the Billy Joel world. On Friday, November 5, Billy brought his record-breaking residency back to Madison S…
 
Billy Joel’s monthly residency at Madison Square Garden resumes on November 5th after nearly a year and a half off due to the pandemic. In the leadup to the show, we sat down with guitarist Mike DelGuidice to talk about what he’s been up to during that time. Even with the Garden shows and annual summer tour off the calendar, Mike made the most of t…
 
Probably the last thing you think of when it comes to Billy Joel’s music is reggae but that influence is there. And if it’s subtle, it’s because it comes from arguably the most understated member of the classic Lords of 52nd Street, Russell Javors. In a band where the spotlight is squarely on the piano, Russell’s rhythm guitar playing was tight, ec…
 
The fact that a Billy Joel bootleg is named after a Bruce Springsteen song should clue in the listener that this show’s a little different from what you may expect. Recorded at Maurice Gusman Concert Hall in Miami, FL on October 31, 1977, Thunder Road isn’t a radical change from the Billy we know. But, there’s a big focus on a part of live act that…
 
Almost a decade after the breakout hit album The Stranger, the Billy Joel machine was showing some signs of wear. That strain was evident on his 1986 album The Bridge. After a string of multi-platinum, chart-topping, and award-winning records, Billy was worn out and wanted to be home with his family instead of back in the studio. Meanwhile, relatio…
 
Here’s an interview with Richie Cannata. That’s it. No great fanfare, no big intro. We just had a blast talking with Billy Joel’s longtime sax, organ, flute, accordion, and piano player, and we’re sharing that conversation with you. There’s a lot of great stuff here: Deep trivia about Billy Joel tracks and live performances, stories about the Lords…
 
The Stranger made Billy Joel a superstar back in 1977. Three years later, his career really launched into overdrive. In 1980, Billy was still reaping the benefits of two Grammy-Award winning albums. In March, he took his next step forward by releasing Glass Houses. That album would become a smash hit with a leaner sound that would propel him into t…
 
In the mid 80s, Billy Joel penned the lyric “After 1986 what else could be new?” If you were to judge that based on his 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” you’d think he meant it. But a closer look at that video and the others from the Storm Front album suggest otherwise. For this episode we’re looking at Eye Of The Storm. Released in 1990, it’s …
 
We're back with another playlist episode this week. We have so much fun putting these together and sharing some of our favorite music with you all. Michael is back with more of his favorites over the past several years. From 90s alternative to 2010s soul and singer/songwriters, these have been mainstays for Michael and we are excited to share them …
 
Twenty-seven years ago this month, two titans of pop music teamed up for a run of sold-out shows that would set the tone for tours to come. We’re talking about the first Face to Face tour featuring Billy Joel and Elton John. In the summer of 1994, the two hit-making piano players shared the stage for a then-unprecedented run of twenty-one sold-out …
 
By the end of the seventies, Billy Joel had found success with a formula that blended elements of pop, rock, and jazz around a singer-songwriter frame. And, he was about to turn all that on its side. The Live In Houston 1979 bootleg is proof of it. The video features Billy and the Lords of 52nd Street at the Summit in Houston, TX on November 25th. …
 
An album’s first track has a lot to live up to. The song must engage the listener right away and get them excited for what’s to come. Sometimes, it’s the record’s lead single and hopefully the band’s next hit. Other times, it’s just the song most likely to get people excited. Or, it’s a little of both.In this episode, we’re giving our opinions on B…
 
Usually, a late-career live album is a victory lap, an excuse to tour, or at worst, an excuse to make some extra cash. For Billy Joel, however, it was a sign that he was back on the scene. Released on June 13, 2006, 12 Gardens Live is a two-disc set. It features performances from Billy’s groundbreaking run of a dozen shows at Madison Square Garden …
 
Pardon the pun, but for Billy Joel, 1988 was the calm before the storm. Billy and the band had just come off an exhausting, groundbreaking two-year tour that saw them on four continents. And, they capped it all off with a historic run of six shows in the now-former USSR. Billy was the first pop act from the west to get this kind of access behind th…
 
What changes when other piano players perform Billy Joel’s music? What elements shine through? What’s it like to be tasked with performing music written by one of the most popular recording artists of the 20th century? This is the second installment of our two-part series where we talk with piano players who have been tasked with interpreting and p…
 
Billy Joel is no stranger to awards shows and other accolades. Following 1977’s The Stranger, he’s won a handful of industry awards, was nominated for plenty more, and gave a few memorable — and in, one case, literally show stopping — performances. And, when you’re tracking award show appearances over three decades, you also start noticing trends a…
 
After 1993’s River of Dreams, fans waited and wondered if Billy Joel would ever release another pop album. The answer, as we know now, turned out to be no. But, nearly a decade after that release, we saw a new development for Billy’s music. The first years of the new century saw three new releases that featured Billy Joel’s music, but without him p…
 
Billy Joel’s last album is a study in contrasts. It sounds like a new beginning, when it was really the end of an era. It alternated between gritty, angular rhythms and sweet, flowing melodies. It’s arguably one of his most divisive albums. Yet it earned him a handful of award nominations, a new generation of fans, 5 million in record sales in Amer…
 
Apart from the botched release of Cold Spring Harbor, 1971 was a surprisingly low-key year for Billy Joel. His teenage band collapsed a few years before. And the proto-metal power duo that rose from its ashes failed to gain any traction. Broke, depressed, and aimless, Billy was ready to leave the music industry for good. And, he may have done just …
 
It’s easy to overlook most of Billy Joel’s The Bridge Tour concert dates from 1986 and 1987. The shows, which spanned four continents, were in support of one of Billy’s arguably weakest albums. Meanwhile, these dates are eclipsed by the handful of landmark shows he played in the USSR at the tail end of the tour. But it turns out there’s enough goin…
 
This may be the beginning of 2021, but this installment marks the end of our first 12 months of episodes. So, we decided to do something special for the occasion. We’re hosting a round table with some of the biggest Billy Joel fans we know. It’s an opportunity for us all to chat about the music we love. Our conversation uncovered new stories about …
 
WIlliam Martin Joel had released three solo albums by the beginning of 1976. In many ways, however, that was the year he became the Billy we all know today. It was the year he recorded and released Turnstiles, finally winning his battle with CBS records to cut an album with his touring band. That band, of course, was now almost entirely the classic…
 
We’re kicking off 2021 with a look back and a look forward at Billy Joel’s work, his fans, and the music industry in general. This episode features two sets of interviews. The first is with Mikhail Pivovarov and Billy Ruegger from the online music collective Love Raptor. We’ll go behind the scenes of their funk covers of “Movin’ Out” and “She’s Got…
 
When it comes to Billy Joel’s most successful run of albums, you can’t talk about the man behind the piano without also talking about the man behind the board: Phil Ramone. By the time Phil and Billy teamed up, Ramone was already a renowned engineer and innovator in the recording studio. His discography included landmark albums by Stan Getz, Frank …
 
Billy Joel’s World Tour from 2006 through 2007 turned out to be a true page-turner in his career. He’d played virtually no concerts the previous two years. And by the end of 2003 his performances were getting just a little stale. But, you’d never know that from the 110 or so dates he mounted when he got back into touring mode. And, from all the hig…
 
This holiday week, settle in with some classic songs, a small glimpse into the Philadelphia music scene, and some exciting new artists making music today! This is our second playlist episode, where Jack and Michael take turns playing DJ to spin some tunes and tell some stories behind them. Jack’s on the turntable (literally, in some cases) this tim…
 
Date: May 14, 1974 City/State: Boston, MA Venue: Orpheum Theatre Supporting: Jesse Colin Young & Livingston Taylor The Setlist: Travelin' Prayer Somewhere Along The Line Technical Difficulty Blues Piano Man The Entertainer The Ballad of Billy The Kid Worse Comes To Worst Everybody Loves You Now Captain Jack Ain't No Crime ------ In less than 50 min…
 
They say it’s always darkest before the dawn. If that’s true, then the sun rose for Billy Joel in 1983. That’s not to say things were bleak before then. But the past year or so carried a more somber tone. In 1982, Billy was in a bad motorcycle accident that left his hands severely injured for months. Despite this, he completed, released, and toured…
 
Sometimes, the best way to find out what makes a songwriter special is hearing someone else sing their songs. Listening to how other artists interpret their work brings out aspects of the music that weren’t as obvious before. That’s what Michael and Jack discovered when they put this episode together. This week, They're diving into versions of Bill…
 
1974 saw Billy Joel back in the studio mere months after 1973's Piano Man. Billy wasn't ready for a new album but pushed his way through to complete Streetlife Serenade which was released October 11, 1974 on Columbia Records. The album peaked at #35 on the album charts and featured the single "The Entertainer," which is the sole song that has gotte…
 
Artists who rose to stardom in the 1970s were the first generation to have that rise documented on TV cameras. Billy Joel was no exception. Michael & Jack comb through as many of Billy's 1970's TV appearances as they could find to share their observations along the way. Watching these in chronological order, you really get the feel with how Billy's…
 
The year was 2003 and once again, Billy was at a crossroads. He mounted a shorter Face To Face tour with Elton John before taking one of the longest hiatuses of his career which would stretch into the end of 2005. Michael & Jack chronicle a year in which saw depression, Billy vocally discussing retiring, and the end end of the professional relation…
 
The year was 1987. Billy and the band were well into their tour supporting The Bridge album. An incredible opportunity came along that would change everyone involved's life forever. Billy Joel and his band became the first American pop act to bring a full-scale touring production to Russia. While other US artists had played behind the Iron Curtain …
 
In 1993, Billy Joel began work on what would become his final pop studio album, River of Dreams. What began with he and his live band tracking in a makeshift studio in a boathouse on the east end of Long Island, ended with a new producer, new musicians, and a new direction. Michael & Jack revisit the Shades of Grey documentary that chronicles the j…
 
Liberty DeVitto is the drummer that Billy Joel chose to record those unforgettable albums and memorable tours between 1975 and 2005. Michael & Jack discuss his brand new autobiography Liberty: Life, Billy and the Pursuit of Happiness which is out now from Hudson Music. Join us for a special candid conversation with Liberty DeVitto as he discusses t…
 
Michael & Jack take their first dip into a classic Billy Joel concert from the past. They discuss the famed C.W. Post College concert recorded in Greenvale, NY on May 6, 1977. This concert was also broadcast live in New York and Philadelphia as Billy and the band tear through some classics and road test two brand new songs that would be recorded fo…
 
On this episode, Michael & Jack celebrate the life and music of Billy Joel bassist Doug Stegmeyer. Known as The Sergeant, Doug played bass in the Billy Joel band from 1975 which he joined for the Streetlife Serenader tour and continued on through the end of The Bridge Tour in 1988. We discuss many of the facets that made Doug so special and integra…
 
We're bringing you something a little different for this episode. To say things have been crazy lately, is an understatement. We weren't able to pull together a regular episode in time but still wanted to bring you something. Introducing the GLASS HOUSES PLAYLIST. Michael & Jack will take turns playing DJ to spin some tunes and tell some stories be…
 
1985 brings us Billy Joel's first Greatest Hits release with Greatest Hits Volume I & II which covered songs from 1973's Piano Man through the two new songs for 1985, "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and "The Night Is Still Young." Greatest Hits Volume I & II has gone on to be one of the greatest selling albums of all time. Michael & Jack discuss …
 
Michael & Jack revisit the historic 2008 Shea Stadium concerts from Flushing, New York in Queens. The Beatles performed the first concert at Shea and New York's son, Billy Joel, appropriately closed out the stadium with the final two concerts before the Shea's ultimate demolition. This viewing / listening companion goes song by song through the liv…
 
The year was 1994 and Billy Joel is a few months into his hugely successful River of Dreams Tour. Michael & Jack look back at this year in review which proved to be a pivotal year for Billy as he wrapped up support for his final studio album, launched the first incarnation of the hugely successful Face 2 Face Tour with Elton John, and began talking…
 
Michael & Jack dust off the crates and reminisce about some classic Billy Joel 45s, soundtrack appearances, remixes and more! The songs covered in this episode are: Elvis Presley Blvd. You've Got Me Hummin' (Live) I'll Cry Instead (Live) House of Blue Light You Picked A Real Bad Time Nobody Knows But Me Why Should I Worry? When You Wish Upon A Star…
 
While keeping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael & Jack decided to launch a sub-series of live episode broadcasts on Facebook. This first live episode was recorded on Tuesday April 7, 2020. Here, we discuss a few top 5 Billy lists, talk about how we are keeping busy while under stay at home orders, and talk with our special guests Meliss…
 
Michael & Jack present a song by song companion of the 1983 home video concert release Live From Long Island. Having been out of print for some 30+ years now, this concert is a must see and highlights Billy and the band firing on all cylinders as they transition into an arena touring band in the early 1980s. Live From Long Island was recorded on De…
 
While keeping at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael & Jack decided to launch a sub-series of live episode broadcasts on Facebook. This first live episode was recorded on Wednesday March 25, 2020. Here, we discuss how the podcast came to be, roll out a few top 5 Billy lists, discuss some of our other favorite artists, read some great listene…
 
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