10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1989, Billy Joel took stock of his own past and the state of the world. On “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” he condensed 40 years of politics, pop culture, and world events into a feverish 4:51, using rapid-fire delivery over plinking keyboards and clucking guitar. He quivers with emotion on “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’,” a rousing elegy for fishermen who lost their living, and digs deep on “Leningrad,” a touching ballad about human connection and the thawing of the Cold War.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In 1989, Billy Joel took stock of his own past and the state of the world. On “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” he condensed 40 years of politics, pop culture, and world events into a feverish 4:51, using rapid-fire delivery over plinking keyboards and clucking guitar. He quivers with emotion on “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’,” a rousing elegy for fishermen who lost their living, and digs deep on “Leningrad,” a touching ballad about human connection and the thawing of the Cold War.

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