Billy Joel
Turnstiles


4.5
superb

Review

by Kenneth E. Rathburn USER (46 Reviews)
June 15th, 2011 | 9 replies | 5,196 views


Release Date: 1976 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Joel begins to progress, releasing one of his most triumphant albums.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The early 70's were primarily a solidification period for Billy Joel and his musical career. Even though differences between his first three studio releases were clear, all of them showed a generally relaxed and melodic nature. This easygoing approach was put forward even more thanks to Joel's delicate, yet enthusiastic piano-playing and his even more resoundingly unique voice. While certainly captivating listeners on his earlier works, it wasn't until 1976's Turnstiles that Joel seemed to have found his niche, carrying it out for an entire album. It's a shame then, that it appears to be one of his less recognized works.

Trying to pinpoint and describe just what makes Turnstiles so different that it stands higher than its predecessors isn't easy, since it's very similar to the said albums. The more relaxed nature and mood of Cold Spring Harbor is persistently present, mostly broken up by "Prelude," a bit of a successor to "Root Beer Rag." Serving to compliment this stylistic return is the fact most of the songs clock in around five minutes, which helps the music feel more naturally elaborated. And despite the runtime being less than thirty-five minutes, a lot of ground is actually covered between the eight tracks.

Another difference that likely plays into Turnstiles' superiority is that Joel himself was the producer for the album; rather than Michael Stewart on Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade. As said, the music is still very much like its predecessors. However, the best of those works seem to have found their way together on Turnstiles; as noted above. Whether peaked and exemplified by the beautiful opening minutes to "I've Loved These Days," or the equally entrancing seconds leading into the superb, catchy closer "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)," having Joel at the helm of his own album really paid off here.

Though still a hit and success, Turnstiles appears to have become disregarded when mentioned as among Billy Joel's more notable albums. Yet we're treated to exactly what his previous albums were missing: consistent excellence. Even if "All You Wanna Do Is Dance" feels a little too much like the lower points on Piano Man, any open-minded listener, whether avid or casual, really can't go wrong with the entire release. Truly one of Joel's most commendable releases to-date.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenorazr
June 15th 2011



317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I know this is on the short side, but it's a tough album to describe; especially compared to its predecessors when justifying the higher score. It just has to be heard to understand, and might require more than one listen.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 15th 2011



15693 Comments


my work plays the same billy joel greatest hits album every day and its the best part compared to the other shit they play. so i have an appreciation for this guy. even if hes the most uncool rock star ever

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

Xenorazr
June 15th 2011



317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Define "uncool"... :/

Parallels
June 15th 2011



6640 Comments


uncool? hardly.
Billy Joel is bad ass

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 15th 2011



15693 Comments


uncool in an amiable way, like a kid who is trying waaaaay too hard to be one of the guys, and sort of succeeds at it. he just put in so much effort

Xenorazr
June 15th 2011



317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Eh, fair enough.

Parallels
June 15th 2011



6640 Comments


WE DIDNT START THE FIIIIIRE
IT WAS ALWAYS BURNIN'

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2011



15693 Comments


i mean "still rock and roll to me" is a whole song about him not being hip

theacademy
June 16th 2011



27694 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is probably his best album imo



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