Wednesday, May 19, 1976

Billy Joel’s Turnstiles released

First posted 5/9/2011; updated 10/17/2020.


Billy Joel

Released: May 19, 1976

Peak: 122 US, -- UK, -- CN, 12 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 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. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (1976: 45 AU, 9/12/81: live version, 17 US, 6 CL, 35 AC, 11 AR, 27 AU)
  2. Summer, Highland Falls
  3. All You Wanna Do Is Dance
  4. New York State of Mind (11 CL)
  5. James (77 AU)
  6. Prelude/Angry Young Man (18 CL)
  7. I’ve Loved These Days
  8. Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) (16 CL)

Total Running Time: 36:22


3.781 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


About the Album:

“For all his seemingly natural pop instincts, it took Joel almost a decade to find his voice – which he finally did on his fourth album, a commercial flop. His singing and songwriting felt supple and relaxed, balancing uban sophistication and suburban gruffness, beauty and bravura, in ways that would often escape him later.” DB It “may not have been a hit, but it remains one of his most accomplished and satisfying records, clearly paving the way to his twin peaks of the late '70s, The Stranger and 52nd Street.” AMG

“There’s a reason Turnstiles begins with the Spector-esque epic Say Goodbye to Hollywood. Shortly after Streetlife Serenade, Joel ditched California -- and, by implication, sensitive Californian soft rock from sensitive singer/songwriters -- for his hometown of New York. ‘Say Goodbye to Hollywood’ was a celebration of his move, a repudiation of his past, a fanfare for a new beginning, which is exactly what Turnstiles was.” AMG

“He still was a singer/songwriter – indeed, Summer, Highland Falls was his best ballad to date, possibly his best ever – but he decided to run with his musical talents, turning the record into a whirlwind tour of pop styles, from Sinatra to Springsteen. There’s little question that the cinematic sprawl of Born to Run had an effect on Turnstiles, since it has a similar widescreen feel, even if it clocks in at only eight songs.” AMG

“The key to the record’s success is variety, the way the album whips from the bouncy, McCartney-esque All You Wanna Do Is Dance to the saloon song New York State of Mind; the way the bitterly cynical Angry Young Man gives way to the beautiful I’ve Loved These Days.” AMG That song and James offer “tender concessions to impending adulthood” DB and “countered by the apocalyptical New York science-fiction of Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway).” DB

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