EP 085 – Turnstiles Tour 1976-77

Fans and critics alike took Billy Joel’s live shows in 1976 and 1977 as a sign that Turnstiles was going to be his big break. That wasn’t the case, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Starting six weeks before the album’s May 1976 release, the Turnstiles tour was Billy’s most intense schedule to date. It still stacks up against his busiest chart-topping years. 

With the Lords of 52nd Street lineup now mostly in place, Billy’s shows quickly blossomed into energetic, barnburning performances. And, over the span of more than 170 shows in 13 months, audiences and even critics took notice. 

Today, we can hear how the band came together as a live touring unit through two famous bootlegs and an official release from the beginning and near the end of the tour. Observations in newspaper reviews reveal how the crew and production were coming into their own as well. 

The Turnstiles album wasn’t the leap to superstardom that many concert reviewers predicted. That would come by the end of 1977 with the release of The Stranger. But, the hundreds of hours performing and thousands of miles traveled along the way, set the stage for that success. 

Join us as we dig deep into the Turnstiles tour of 1976 and 1977.


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Produced by Michael Grosvenor & Jack Firneno for Groove Music Marketing