Tuesday, July 29, 1986

Billy Joel’s The Bridge released

First posted 5/9/2011; updated 9/22/2020.

The Bridge

Billy Joel

Released: July 29, 1986

Peak: 7 US, 38 UK, 10 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.06 UK, 5.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/rock singer-songwriter


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Running on Ice
  2. This Is the Time (11/15/86, 18 US, 1 AC, 32 AR, 26 CN, 73 AU)
  3. A Matter of Trust (8/9/86, 10 US, 17 AC, 14 AR, 52 UK, 15 CN, 3 AU)
  4. Modern Woman (6/7/86, 10 US, 7 AC, 34 AR, 27 CN, 21 AU)
  5. Baby Grand (with Ray Charles) (4/4/87, 75 US, 3 AC, 78 AU)
  6. Big Man on Mulberry Street
  7. Temptation
  8. Code of Silence
  9. Getting Closer

Total Running Time: 40:06


3.146 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)


About the Album:

“Riding high on the blockbuster An Innocent Man and with a new jet-setting bride at his side, Billy Joel took full advantage of the high life, as is clear from The Bridge, an album that unwittingly celebrates the excesses of the Reagan years.” AMG He “advantage of his wealth and status, recruiting a hero (Ray Charles)” AMG for a sentimental ode to the piano with Baby Grand, although it is “weighed down by Joel’s vocal affectations.” AMG He also brought in “new wave kid” AMG Cyndi Lauper to duet on Code of Silence and turned to “Sting for inspiration” AMG for Running on Ice.

The album also finds Joel “fronting a big band [with] Big Man on Mulberry Street, writing “the catchy but fluffy” AMG Modern Woman for the movie Ruthless People, “and picking up the guitar (A Matter of Trust), just for the hell of it.” AMGThis Is the Time was one of Joel’s most touching and modern songs: his ‘Boys of Summer,’ complete with similar life-is-fleeting sentiments.” DB

“You could say that it’s eclectic, but it’s scattershot because it’s just Joel showing off his musical skills” AMG and it can end up sounding like “flabby, hammy R&B.” DB It ultimately ends up “his most uneven since Streetlife SerenadeAMG from 1974. “Nevertheless, Joel still has enough panache and is riding on so much exuberance that The Bridge remains an entertaining listen, especially if it's viewed as a Reagan-era artifact. It just doesn’t compare to what came before.” AMG

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Saturday, July 26, 1986

Run-D.M.C. charted with its remake of “Walk This Way”: July 26, 1986

Originally posted July 26, 2012.

image from sound-screen.co.uk

“Walk This Way,” about a high schooler losing his virginity, was sung at a fast speed with emphasis on rhyming. The title was inspired by a line in the Mel Brooks’ movie Young Frankenstein. WK While initially released as the second single for Aeromsith’s 1975 album Toys in the Attic, the song didn’t become a hit until after two singles from fourth album, 1976’s Rocks, charted. Then the late-1976 reissue climbed to #10 in the U.S. and established “Walk This Way” as one of Aerosmith’s signature songs and a staple of classic rock radio. A decade later, Aerosmith had fallen on hard times, unraveled by drug and alcohol problems. An attempted comeback with 1985’s Done with Mirrors did little to regenerate interest. However, a New York-based rap group would revive the song – and Aerosmith’s career.

Walk This Way (Aerosmith’s version)

DJ Jam Master Jay of Run-D.M.C. frequently cut back and forth between two copies of “Walk This Way” to allow MC’s Run and DMC to add rhymes to the instrumental. When the trio started work on their Raising Hell album, producer Rick Rubin – a fan of metal and rock – suggested they remake the song.

The resulting cover is often credited as breaking rap into the mainstream, as it was the first rap song to hit the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. WK The song was instrumental not only in introducing rock into rap music, but opened the possibilities for non-rap acts to include the genre in their music.

Walk This Way (Run-D.M.C.’s version)

The song also put Aerosmith back in the spotlight, not just because the band had been covered, but because singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry participated in the remake. “Perry acquitted himself quite well, as usual, and Tyler’s snotty snarl prospered in the hip-hop context.” MA The pair also appeared in the classic video which pitted them against Run-D.M.C. as neighbors trying to out-blast each other. By the video’s end, they all perform together on stage.

Awards (Aerosmith’s version):

Awards (Run-D.M.C.’s version):

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