There's a reason Turnstiles begins with the Spector-esque epic "Say Goodbye to Hollywood." Shortly after Streetlife Serenade, Joel ditched California -- and, by implication, sensitive Californian soft rock from sensitive singer/songwriters -- for his hometown of New York. "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" was a celebration of his move, a repudiation of his past, a fanfare for a new beginning, which is exactly what Turnstiles was. He still was a singer/songwriter -- indeed, "Summer, Highland Falls" was his best ballad to date, possibly his best ever -- but he decided to run with his musical talents, turning the record into a whirlwind tour of pop styles, from Sinatra to Springsteen. There's little question that the cinematic sprawl of Born to Run had an effect on Turnstiles, since it has a similar widescreen feel, even if it clocks in at only eight songs. The key to the record's success is variety, the way the album whips from the bouncy, McCartney-esque "All You Wanna Do Is Dance" to the saloon song "New York State of Mind"; the way the bitterly cynical "Angry Young Man" gives way to the beautiful "I've Loved These Days" and the surrealistic apocalyptic fantasy "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)." No matter how much stylistic ground Joel covers, he's kept on track by his backing group. He fought to have his touring band support him on Turnstiles, going to the lengths of firing his original producer, and it was clearly the right move, since they lend the album a cohesive feel. Turnstiles may not have been a hit, but it remains one of his most accomplished and satisfying records, clearly paving the way to his twin peaks of the late '70s, The Stranger and 52nd Street.
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Performance CreditsBilly Joel Primary Artist,Harmonica,Keyboards,Vocals
Richie Cannata Keyboards,Saxophone,Wind
Liberty DeVitto Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Drums
Howie Emerson Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Russell Javors Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Mingo Lewis Percussion
James Herb Smith Acoustic Guitar
Doug Stegmeyer Bass,Bass Guitar
James "Hal" Smith Acoustic Guitar
Technical CreditsBilly Joel Composer,Producer
Richard White Graphic Design
Kenny Ascher Arranger,Orchestration,Orchestral Arrangements
John Bradley Engineer
Don Puluse Engineer
Lou Waxman Engineer
John Berg Cover Design
John Naatjes Tape Research
Jerry Abramowitz Cover Photo
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Turnstiles based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This is Billy Joel at his best. Only 8 songs, but they are all incredible. Lesser-known standouts include, well, the entire second half of the album, especially ''Prelude/Angry Young Man,'' and ''Miami 2017.'' ''Summer, Highland Falls'' is one of the most emotionally stirring ballad's I have ever heard. Of course, there are the classics ''Say Goodbye To Hollywood'' and ''New York State of Mind.'' Aside from the aforemention second-side standouts, you won't find many hard-rocking songs on this album. But you will find a more soothing mix of songs you'll want to listen to again and again. Get this album.