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Storm Front

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iTunes Review

Billy Joel shook things up with Storm Front. He hired Foreigner's Mick Jones to take over the producer's chair from his longtime ally Phil Ramone and fired his backing band, with the exception of drummer Liberty DeVito. The album is a continuation of Joel's ever-evolving sound. The heavily shoulder-padded '80s sound of The Bridge is tempered, but it's still as grand as that outsized decade tended to be. It was 1989, after all: a time when hair metal bands were riding the charts with power ballads. "We Didn't Start the Fire" has become a divisive Joel tune, bringing fans together to sing the rapid-fire lyrics while annoying detractors enough to have the song regularly show up on "worst song" lists. However, it's just Joel's playful rewrite of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," itself somewhat of a rewrite of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Other tracks include "That's Not Her Style" (about his wife, Christie Brinkley), "The Downeaster 'Alexa'," "I Go to Extremes" and the future Garth Brooks hit "Shameless"; they all prove Joel hadn't lost his touch as a superior craftsman.

Customer Reviews

A Fine Album

I don't know who's writing these reviews for iTunes, but I'd hardly characterize "The Downeaster Alexa" as "minor". This is one of the better songs in the album - a moving and melancholy testimonial to the plight of Long Island fishermen and, by extension, working-class fishermen everywhere. "Storm Front" doesn't have any message - at least, none that this listener can discern - but it's just fun and rocking! "Leningrad" is a true story of Billy's family in Russia on tour, back when it was the Soviet Union, and the new friend they found in a Russian circus clown. It's a beautifully composed and written song. Filler??? Nyet! In summary, sure, it's not Billy's best album, but it's still pretty damn good!

BIlly's still got it

We didn't start the fire is an amazing song, as well as all the others. Billy's a legend and this album is just another example of how good he is.


Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. I adore this album, as I do all your others as well.


Born: May 9, 1949 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar in the late '70s and '80s, as he racked an impressive string of multi-platinum albums and hit singles. Born in the Bronx, Joel was raised in the Long Island suburb of Hicksville,...
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