Almost a decade after the breakout hit album The Stranger, the Billy Joel machine was showing some signs of wear. That strain was evident on his 1986 album The Bridge.
After a string of multi-platinum, chart-topping, and award-winning records, Billy was worn out and wanted to be home with his family instead of back in the studio.
Meanwhile, relationships were strained between his long-time band mem bers after years and years in and out of tour busses and recording studios.
All this was weighing on Billy and the band as they headed back into the studio to record their followup to An Innocent Man. That album felt light and breezy, and was stacked with bright and bouncy pop hits. By contrast, The Bridge would sound more labored and strained, and would explore more turbulent themes.
But, even one of Billy’s least-regarded albums still contains flashes of brilliance that are worth seeking out. On one hand, the record sounds dated and locked in the 80s. But on the other, it’s like a time capsule to the pop music of that decade.
The album is also dotted with guests that personify the era in which it was recorded while also tracing the roots of Joel’s career and musical influences.
Join us as we dive deep in Billy Joel’s 1986 album The Bridge.
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