Tuesday, October 17, 1989

Billy Joel’s Storm Front released

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

Storm Front

Billy Joel

Released: October 17, 1989

Peak: 11 US, 5 UK, 4 CN, 12 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.3 UK, 8.0 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. That’s Not Her Style (12/2/89, 18 AR, 77 US, 97 UK)
  2. We Didn’t Start the Fire (9/27/89, 1 US, 5 AC, 6 AR, 7 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU, platinum single)
  3. The Downeaster ‘Alexa’ (4/14/90, 57 US, 18 AC, 33 AR, 76 UK, 25 CN)
  4. I Go to Extremes (1/13/90, 6 US, 4 AC, 10 AR, 70 UK, 3 CN, 48 AU)
  5. Shameless (1/4/92, 40 AC)
  6. Storm Front
  7. Leningrad (53 UK)
  8. State of Grace
  9. When in Rome
  10. And So It Goes (10/20/90, 37 US, 5 AC, 30 CN)

Total Running Time: 44:34


3.293 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


About the Album:

For 1989’s Storm Front, Joel was looking for a new sound. He jettisoned most of his longtime band and producer Phil Ramone. He hired Mick Jones, “the Foreigner fat cat, not the Clash founder,” DB in pursuit of “big-rock pomp and power chords” DB in the vein of “Foreigner’s big AOR sound.” AMG

“Joel packed all the strongest numbers into the first half of Storm Front.” AMG The album opened with “That’s Not Her Style, a weirdly defensive song about his model wife, Christie Brinkley.” AMG It then transitioned to “the boomer-centric history lesson We Didn’t Start the FireDB, Joel’s third and final Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper.

Next up is his ode “to the fisherman's plight” AMG with The Downeaster ‘Alexa’, which is followed by I Go to Extremes, which gave Joel another top-10 hit. Then we get “the power ballad Shameless, which Garth Brooks later made a standard.” AMG

The second half, however, isn’t quite as strong. It “perks up only mildly with Leningrad and And So It Goes.” AMG “It’s upbeat, varied, melodic, and effective, but when it’s compared to…such high-water marks as The Stranger or Glass Houses…it pales musically and lyrically. The five singles…were catchy enough on the radio to propel the album to multi-platinum status, but in retrospect, Storm Front sounds like the beginning of the end.” AMG

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