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.