[Don't Throw Stones] -- I've been focusing on records rather than themes for the last several Flashback posts, and I wanted to continue in that vein. But picking this week's feature took a little longer than usual. Yeah, it's from March 1980, so you might think I would have stumbled across that quickly. But I don't run through the decade in chronological order until I find something. But when I finally stumbled across this week's record, it was a B-side that struck me. Don't get me wrong: I like the singles from this record, too. But the B-side holds the stronger memory for me. Anyway, this week's record is Glass Houses, Billy Joel's seventh studio album. It was released on March 10, 1980, so it is 38 years old this week! Glass Houses features Joel's first Billboard #1 hit, and the album itself peaked at #1 on the US Billboard 200. If the videos for this record's top singles were your first introduction to Billy Joel, you might have been confused by his reputation as a pianist.
Flashback #1: "But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for."
"You May Be Right" was the second single released off Glass Houses. It hit the charts in March of 1980, and peaked at #7 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The video features Joel as a front man, strutting to the song while wearing dark glasses and a bad tie. Actually, on second glance, it's not that bad of a tie. Then again, I might not be a good judge of tie fashion. But that's just the kind of lunatic I am.
Flashback #2: "You're only standing there 'cause somebody once did somebody wrong."
Remember I mentioned choosing Glass Houses for this week because I recognized a B-side? Well, here it is. I had "Sleeping With The Television On" as a B-side to "Modern Woman," a song Joel did for the Ruthless People (1986) soundtrack. For the life of me, I cannot remember why I got the 45rpm for "Modern Woman." What I do know, with absolute certainty, is that I played "Sleeping With the Television On" far more often than that A-side. I can still remember most of the B-side's lyrics! It's one of those songs that tells a complete story. However, it's a story that folks can only enjoy in nostalgia, considering that we've had 24-7 television programming for 365 day a year for several years now. I doubt anyone who came of age in the music streaming generation remembers a time when TV stations would end their broadcast day with the national anthem and then air a test pattern/static for the rest of the night. I guess that makes this song something of a time capsule. And I cherish it.
Flashback #3: "Hot funk, cool punk, even if it's old junk | It's still rock and roll to me."
"It's Still Rock and Roll To Me" was the third single off Glass Houses. It was released in May 1980, and it was Joel's first song to peak at #1 on Billboard. It held the Billboard Hot 100's #1 spot for two weeks, from July 19 through August 1, 1980. I may be crazy, but I suspect that Joel recorded this song's music video right after doing one for "You May Be Right." He just changed his jacket and shirt (but not the tie), and then removed his shades.
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
I'll see you in seven!