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After the massive success of The Stranger, Joel hit back with 52nd Street (1978) - further building on his unique sound and songwriting formula that brought him to the top of the charts. Working again with producer Phil Ramone, Billy jazzed up his act and even gets some Steely Dan influences in there on songs like "Zanzibar". Ramone's slick producing style also fits the melodrama and uplifting effect of Joels music, derived from Broadway theater. Always a craftsman in his own right, the melodies Billy churned out on 52nd Street remain some of the best he ever wrote.1. Big Shot
3. My Life
6. Rosalinda's Eyes
7. Half A Mile Away
8. Until The Night
9. 52nd Street$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Turnstiles (Awaiting Repress)By 1976, Billy Joel had proven his merit as an auteur of California-based singer-songwriter pop-rock. On Turnstiles, the legend focuses his attention on more ambitious matters: Making an album whose scope and range dwarf that of his previous work, and shot his star into the stratosphere. Encompassing everything from urgent rock to soft pop and saloon fare, Turnstiles is a classic of major proportions.
Mobile Fidelity has gone back to the original master tapes to present Joels encompassing music the way it was always intended to be experienced: Intimate, detailed, expressive, warm. The records widescreen sonics are at last properly cinematic, flush with colors, textures, and atmosphere.
Progressing away from sensitivity, Joel casts his eye towards broader horizons. For him, that meant moving from the West Coast back to his native New York and embracing the citys doo-wop, Broadway, and R&B heritage. Joels diversity comes through in a spectacle of memorable tunes, including the infectious All You Wanna Do Is Dance, acerbic Angry Young Man, and gorgeous Ive Loved These Days.
Still, no song better illustrates the allureand breadthof Turnstiles more than Say Goodbye to Hollywood, bathed in the sort of fabulous Phil Spector sound, huge drum echoes, and Brill Building orchestral sweep that Joel grew up on. Similarly, the sprawling ballad New York State of Mind clearly states the singers vision and mood. On the definitive track, Joel luxuriates in full string accompaniment and soulful saxophone playing that gives the pop standard its foundation. Not for nothing did Joel insist on keeping his touring band for the album, a decision that resulted in the firing of the records original producer.
Supported by talents such as arranger Kenny Ascher, guitarist James Herb Smith, and percussionist Mingo Lewis, Joel succeeds in wrapping his head around a rich swath of American pop music, stopping by way of New Orleans, Kansas City, Memphis, Chicago, and other cities on his way from California back to the Garden State. While lacking the fame of the subsequent The Stranger and 52nd Street, Turnstiles is in every way their equal.
Finally, the delicate nuances of Joels phrasing, pregnant pauses, and introspective emotion can be experienced in three-dimensional fidelity. In addition, the spectrum of the orchestras power and finesse, ravishing poignancy of the lyrics, and bittersweet qualities of the melodies bloom with unforced immediacy. The previous veiled sonic character and stultifying dryness have been corrected, presenting Joel and his crack band with illuminating precision and feeling.
Turnstiles has never sounded betterand it never will.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Say Goodbye to Hollywood
2. Summer, Highland Falls
3. All You Wanna Do Is Dance
4. New York State of Mind
6. Prelude/Angry Young Man
7. I've Loved These Days
8. Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
52nd StreetRanked 352/500 on Rolling Stone's List of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
52nd Street on Numbered Limited Edition 180 Gram 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity
Mainstream Perfection: Melodic Devices, Passionate Singing, Sophisticated Arrangements, Jazzy Backdrop Walk Down 52nd Street
Commanding Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Edition Sets the New Standard in How Joel's 1978 Classic Should-and Does-Sound
Chart-Topper Certified Seven-Times Platinum: Includes "Big Shot," "Honesty," "My Life"
Some artists embrace their success by repeating the steps that originally granted them fame. Billy Joel did the opposite, refusing to be contained by prescribed approaches or constrained by a given label. The follow-up to the breakthrough The Stranger, 52nd Street further expands on its predecessor's bold production techniques and inventive arrangements, incorporating more sophisticated textures as well as reflecting a jazz edge gleaned from New York City's thriving club scene.
A key component of Mobile Fidelity's Billy Joel catalog restoration series, The Stranger is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 45RPM 180 gram LP at RTI. The wider and deeper grooves-as well as the meticulous mastering process-yield resplendent dynamics, broad soundstages, three-dimensional perspectives, and tonal balances absent from prior editions. Indeed, Joel wouldn't sound more realistic if were playing ten rows away from you onstage. This is how you want to experience the 1978 LP that captured the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
Teaming again with producer Phil Ramone, Joel capitalizes on his momentum, churning out another direct-sounding affair replete with captivating melodic devices, showmanship accents, and penetrating lyrics. The singer's concision and focus is evident via the tune's lengths, with only "Until the Night" breaking the six-minute mark. Hit singles "Big Shot" and "My Life" rattle forth with an urgency and intensity that Joel had not previously demonstrated, the combination of passionate deliveries, snide overtones, and insistent grooves setting the table for what follows.
Broadening his palette, and drawing from New York's thriving jazz club scene and the city's late-70s grit, Joel splashes Latin and jazz colors on several pieces-even employing veterans such as Dave Grusin and Freddie Hubbard to contribute along with a cast that includes a team of background vocalists and horn players. Everything is tastefully appointed, and yet the vocalist's trademark Broadway gaze and knack for the grand gesture coincide with the straight-ahead swagger.
52nd Street is one of the main reasons why Joel has always been championed for consistency. Everything here, from the production to the stand-up songs, helped redefine mainstream pop-rock. More than three decades later, it's finally available in fidelity that rivals that of those Columbia Records' master tapes produced right on 52nd Street. Mobile Fidelity takes you there and Joel sweeps you away.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Big Shot
3. My Life
6. Roaslinda's Eyes
7. Half a Mile Away
8. Until the Night
9. 52nd Street$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Columbia Years 1968-1969All Tracks Previously Unreleased (Except Track B5/8)
Production By Miles Davis & Teo Macero
Featuring Performances From Hugh Masekela, Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience), John Mclaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Harvey Brooks, Wayne Shorter, Billy Cox (Band Of Gypsys), Larry Young, And Members Of The Jazz Crusaders
Remastered From The Original Analog Master Tapes
New Interviews, Rare Photos, And Unseen Historical Documents From The Teo Macero Archive
One can hardly imagine Prince, Erykah Badu, or Outkast without the influence of Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can't be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop. In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli have rhymed over her intensely strong but sensual music. Betty penned the song ''Uptown'' for The Chambers Brothers and wrote the tunes that got The Commodores signed to Motown. The Detroit label soon came calling, pitching a Motown songwriting deal, which Betty turned down. Motown wanted to own everything. Heading to the UK, Marc Bolan of T. Rex urged the creative dynamo to start writing for herself. A common thread throughout Betty's career would be her unbending DIY ethic, which made her quickly turn down anyone who didn't fit with the vision. She would eventually say no to Eric Clapton as her album producer, seeing him as too banal. In 1968, she married Miles Davis and quickly influenced him on the magic of psychedelic rock along with introducing him to Jimi Hendrix-personally inspiring the classic album, Bitches Brew.
Miles and Betty fans have long debated the truth of a near mythological session recorded in Studios B and E at Columbia's 52nd Street Studios on May 14th and 20th, 1969. The landmark session was produced by Miles and Teo Macero and featured Betty on vocals, accompanied by Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, guitarist John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock on keys, and Dylan/Miles session bassist Harvey Brooks. Other players included bassist Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Larry Young. Now, Light In The Attic, with full support from Betty herself, presents these recordings to the public for the very first time. These historic sessions-never heard, never bootlegged-predate Miles' revolutionary album, Bitches Brew, and are the true birth of Miles' jazz-rock explorations, along with the roots for Betty's groundbreaking funk that came years later, starting with her self-titled debut in 1973. While, ultimately, these recordings would go unreleased for nearly half a century, they would greatly shape each of their careers.
The vibe is intrinsically unique, fresh, and futuristic-jazz heavyweights playing psychedelia, rock, and jazz-fusion long before the term became commonplace. The songs include Betty originals and covers of classics by Creedence and Cream. The concepts explored on these previously unheard sessions fueled concepts that wouldn't be fully realized until years later with Miles' seminal On The Corner.
Additionally, included here is the first time rerelease of a 1968 Columbia single, recorded in October 1968 at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles. The session was produced by Jerry Fuller and featured South African maverick Hugh Masekela on trumpet and arrangements, plus members of jazz-funk pioneers The Crusaders-including trombonist Wayne Henderson and pianist Joe Sample. Two of the three tracks included here from this session are previously unreleased.
This deluxe package is a treasure trove for both Betty and Miles fans, including rare documents from the pen of co-producer Teo Macero, rarely seen photos from legendary photographer Baron Wolman, and new interviews with Mrs. Davis herself, Harvey Brooks, and Hugh Masekela-the entire project overseen with Betty's full blessing.1. Hangin' Out
2. Politician Man
3. Down Home Girl
4. Born On The Bayou
5. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 1)
6. I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 9)
7. It's My Life (Alternate Take)
8. Live, Love, Learn
9. My Soul Is Tired$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now