- Released: October 20, 1998
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Big Shot
- 3.My Life
- 6.Rosalinda's Eyes
- 7.Half a Mile Away
- 8.Until the Night
- 9.52nd Street
Personnel includes: Billy Joel (vocals, harmonica, piano, keyboards); Eric Gale, Hugh McCracken, David Spinozza, Russell Javors, Steve Khan, David Brown (guitar); George Marge (sopranino saxophone); Richie Cannata (saxophone, organ); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Robert Freedman (horns); Mike Manieri (vibraphone, percussion); Doug Stegmeyer (bass); Liberty DeVito, David Friedman, Ralph MacDonald (percussion); Peter Cetera, Donnie Dacus, Frank Floyd, Babi Floyd, Zachary Sanders, Ray Simpson, Milt Grayson (background vocals).
Recorded at A&R Recording, Inc., New York, New York.
Every major artist has at least one record that is the consummate definition of their style. Billy Joel has several. 52ND STREET, however, may be at the top of the heap. Following the ridiculously successful THE STRANGER, Joel didn't rest on his laurels. Instead he kept his songwriting skills moving forward into even deeper areas of exploration. His uniquely personal tales of emotional defiance and blue collar struggles take different, and sometimes darker forms this time to reveal an even richer creative side to the tough kid from Levittown.
This collection finds the piano man in a very solitary mood as he struggles with the influence of those around him in the raucous "Big Shot" and the beautiful ballad "Honesty." One of Joel's many signature songs, "My Life," is among the best anthems of self reliance ever written. The very creative "Zanzibar" and "Rosalinda's Eyes" explore jazz and Latin influences, respectively. Finally, the lesser known gem "Until The Night" is a grandiose tale of longing that is the emotional apex of the entire album. The end result is a stellar work that effectively puts the cap on the '70s phase of Joel's career.