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52nd Street Enhanced, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 32.25
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DCHD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,908 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Big Shot
2. Honesty
3. My Life
4. Zanzibar
5. Stiletto
6. Rosalinda's Eyes
7. Half A Mile Away
8. Until The Night
9. 52nd Street

Product Description

Following up his 1977 breakthrough smash The Stranger was no easy task for Billy Joel; 52nd Street shows he wasn't quite up to the challenge, though it sold similarly well and kept the momentum for his fast- track career until the more impressive Glass Houses appeared in 1980. 52nd Street isn't without its moments: "My Life" remains one of Joel's most memorable hit singles, "Half a Mile Away" is a wonderful slice of infectiously upbeat pop, and "Rosalinda's Eyes" sways to an alluringly airy Latin feel. But macho poseur numbers such as "Big Shot" and "Stiletto" are embarrassingly overwrought, while the arty "Zanzibar" ultimately comes across more as pretentious than adventurous. The closing title track fails to convince anyone Joel is a cool blues hound. --Peter Blackstock --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Not a bad SACD by any means, and definitely superior to the CD version, "52nd Street" on SACD still isn't as good as its predecessor. It's still easy to use and fun to play with though. As for the music itself...
After the mega-hit "The Stranger", which spawned hit after hit, Billy Joel released "52nd Street". It's a solid album, and essential for fans of the Piano Man, even if it's not quite up to the standards he raised for himself with "The Stranger".
The album opens with it's top three songs, "Big Shot", "Honesty", which is easily one of his most meaningful songs, and "My Life". Other standout songs include "Stiletto", "Rosalinda's Eyes", and the title track, but to be entirely honest (no pun intended) the album tends to taper off a bit after an incredible start. (hence 4 stars and not 5)
Still, a B+ album from Billy Joel is still going to contain some great music, and "52nd Street" is no exception. There's more here than music for die hard fans, and the Piano Man continues to please.
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Format: Audio CD
Just like the man himself, "52nd Street" is obnoxious and overambitious but thoroughly lovable. After "The Stranger" found Billy flirting with the dark side of AM radio, he went after a streetwise blues & jazz sound with "52nd Street." He found it, sometimes.
But even when he missed and overshot, he created some great, lasting music. "Stiletto" has an irresistible groove and some impressive hellcat piano work, while "Rosalinda's Eyes" and "Half a Mile Away" find him approaching a maturity that carries his angry-young-man themes into a realistic setting. The set's centerpiece, the would-be epic "Zanzibar," is notable for its attempt to shoehorn streetwise romantic cliches into an insanely ambitious arrangement. Featuring trumpet solos by Freddie Hubbard and shifting movements, "Zanzibar" is one of the most entertaining and interesting failures you'll ever want to hear. Which means it isn't a failure at all, but a joyously ridiculous piece of music.
The album's standout, however, is the gorgeously layered "Until the Night." Billy's not the most lovey-dovey fellow, but "Until the Night" is one of the great love songs in history, a tough, unsentimental track that acknowledges how crucial it is to share love when times get difficult. The song aims high and scores even higher - it's a truly transcendent piece of work.
Hey, I'm a Billy Joel fan, so I'm gonna love most of what he does. "52nd Street" might be my favorite album of his. I'm aware that it's not perfect - but heck, who wants to hear a perfect album anyway? For all his forced tough-guy stances, for all his "I'm a white boy singing funky blues" pretense, he hit enough homers with this album to make anyone a true Billy believer.
Oh, and when I was a kid, I assumed verse two of "Zanzibar" really was about baseball.
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Format: Audio CD
"52nd Street" was Billy Joel's first #1 album,thanks to the jaunty #3 hit "My Life" and two other big hits "Big Shot" and "Honesty".It also won the Grammy for 1979 Album Of The Year and became the first CD ever pressed in 1983.Musically speaking,it was a extension of "The Stranger",pushing into both jazzier("Zanzibar","Stilleto","Rosalinda's Eyes")and rockier("Big Shot","Half A Mile Away")territories while remaining widely appealing and radio-friendly.Song for song,it may not match "The Stranger",but there are no weak songs either.Billy Joel had quickly established himself as the most talented and consistent hitmakers of the late 70's and early 80's,and "52nd Street" is a strong testament to that indeed.The 5.1 SACD mix isn't quite as good as the mix done on the "The Stranger".The sound is a bit flatter and duller than on that one,but I guess that was the result of the remnents of late-70's production values than of the sound quality of the SACD itself.That said,this transfer is superb for the most part,providing an excellent clarity,rich and spaciousness to such songs as "Honesty","Until The Night","Rosalinda's Eyes" and "Stilleto" that isn't available on the standard CD.All in all,this version of "52nd Street" is surely recommened,just not as much as "The Stranger" 5.1 SACD.
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Format: Audio CD
52nd Street was the very first Billy Joel album I ever owned, having convinced my older sister to part with her bulky eight-track cassette (remember eight-track tapes?) when she moved out on her own. For a while, I adopted "My Life," Joel's ode to independent thought, as my own anthem of (lukewarm) teenage rebellion. Then, the eight-track craze died -- as did my stereo system -- and 52nd Street was consigned to my dustbin of discarded debris.
I rediscovered my love for Joel's eclectic style in the last few weeks of my senior year in high school when I heard a few songs from the then-current Nylon Curtain at a friend's house, and slowly my Billy Joel collection grew, first in cassette format, then in compact discs. Most of the latter are from the tail end of Billy's pop-rock days, but when I saw the remastered version of 52nd Street, I just had to get it.
52nd Street's set of nine songs ranges from the aforementioned "My Life" (which Tom Hanks fans may also remember as the theme song to his 1980s vintage sitcom "Bosom Buddies") to the lyrical and insightful "Honesty." I like its melancholic melody and comments on human nature ("Honesty is such a lonely word/Everyone is so untrue....") I also enjoy the biting sarcasm of "Big Shot," the descriptive narrative of "Zanzibar" and the Latin-inspired rhythms and melody of the lovely "Rosalinda's Eyes."
The one thing I did not like about this 1998 re-issue was the inclusion of CD-Extra software that was supposed to play videos on PCs using Windows 95-98 operating systems. While I haven't tried running this enhanced CD on my e-Machines T2482 computer, all other attempts to do so on my previous PCs failed. Granted, the CD comes with a disclaimer warning that the software will not work on all machines, so not everyone will have problems like I did.
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