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


Tracks:

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

Rating:

3.146 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)


Awards:

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

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, July 26, 1986

Peter Gabriel hit #1 with “Sledgehammer”

First posted 1/28/2021.

Sledgehammer

Peter Gabriel

Writer(s): Peter Gabriel (see lyrics here)


Released: April 21, 1986


First Charted: April 26, 1986


Peak: 11 US, 12 CB, 11 RR, 61 RB, 12 AR, 2 CO, 4 UK, 12 CN, 3 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.25 UK, 0.25 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 75.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Peter Gabriel helmed the British progressive rock band Genesis from 1967 to 1975 and then launched a successful solo career. Genesis soldiered on as well with Phil Collins as their front man, becoming hugely successful. In 1986, the band landed its sole #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. It was knocked out of the top slot by none other than Peter Gabriel.

The song took him “from art rock hero and college radio mainstay to full-on pop star.” AMG It was, as he said, “an attempt to recreate some of the spirit and style of the music that most excited me as a teenager – ‘60s soul.” BR1 To that end, the song featured a brass section led by Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns. Lyrically, the song is full of sexual innuendo. The title itself is a reference to male anatomy as are the terms train, bumper cars, and the big dipper. SF Gabriel said it was “about the use of sex as a means of getting through a breakdown in communication.” BR1

The “wildly inventive video” AMG directed by Stephen R. Johnson was “possibly the coolest thing that had ever been done in the medium.” AMG It included groundbreaking work with Claymation, stop motion, and pixilation. Gabriel had to spend sixteen hours a day for eight days lying under glass to film it. BR1 It won a record nine awards at the 1987 Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, and is the network’s most played video of all time. ME It also won Best British Video at the 1987 Brit Awards. WK

Gabriel told Rolling Stone he didn’t think the song would have been a hit if it weren’t for the video. “I think it had a sense of both humor and fun, neither of which were particularly associated with me. I mean – wrongly in my way of looking at it – I think I was seen as a fairly intense, eccentric Englishman.” ME


Resources and Related Links:

Run-D.M.C. charted with its remake of “Walk This Way”

First posted 7/6/2012; updated 1/31/2021.

Walk This Way

Aerosmith

Writer(s): Steven Tyler, Joe Perry (see lyrics here)


Released: August 28, 1975


First Charted: November 20, 1976


Peak: 10 US, 7 CB, 5 HR, 5 RR, 1 CL, 7 CN, 85 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK, 0.2 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 29.52 video, -- streaming

Awards for Aerosmith version: (Click on award for more details).

Walk This Way

Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry


Released: July 4, 1986


First Charted: July 26, 1986


Peak: 4 US, 9 CB, 10 RR, 8 RB, 8 UK, 7 CN, 9 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 1.45 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 94.8 video, -- streaming

Awards for Run-DMC version: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“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.

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.

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.


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Aerosmith
  • DMDB page for parent album Toys in the Attic
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Run-D.M.C.
  • DMDB page for parent album Raising Hell
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Page 566.
  • WK Wikipedia