10 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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