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The Nylon Curtain
 
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The Nylon Curtain

21 octobre 2002 | Format : MP3

EUR 9,81 (TVA incluse le cas échéant)
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Format: CD
Malgré l'accueil glacial réservé à cet album lors de sa sortie en 1982 après cinq années de succès ininterrompus pour Billy Joel, je considère THE NYLON CURTAIN comme son meilleur album.

Il est vrai que cet album fut une surprise pour tout le monde tellement les sujets abordés dans les textes étaient subversifs pour un pur artiste pop comme Billy Joel. ALLENTOWN (1er single) traite du chomage, LAURA des realtions homme - femme, PRESSURE du stress urbain, GOODNIGHT SAIGON du Vietnam, SACNDINAVIAN SKIES de la guerre froide.

Billy Joel se mit un peu tout le monde à dos pour ses partis pris et ne re-tenta jamais l'expérience de la critique sociale ou politique.

Plus de 20 ans après, cet album représente un superbe témoignage de son époque et des années Reagan.

Du côté de la musique, les compositions de Billy Joel sont parmi ses meilleures: l'ambiance crépusculaire de GOODNIGHT SAIGON, les envolées lyriques de SCANDINAVIAN SKIES ou encore le très Beatlesque LAURA démontrent le talent de compositeur et d'arrangeur de Billy Joel.

THE NYLON CURTAIN représente son summum, tout ce qu'il a pu faire avant ou après ne pourra jamais égaler cet album. Cependant, je ne le conseillerai pas aux personnes ne connaissant pas très bien le répertoire de Billy Joel. Mieux vaut commencer par des albums plus classiques comme 52nd STREET ou THE STRANGER avant d'écouter celui-ci pour bien évaluer l'évolution du discours et des compositions de Billy Joel.
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Format: CD
Cet album m'avait semblé plus anodin à l'époque de sa sortie. A son écoute aujourd'hui, je dois reconnaître mon erreur. C'est bien une pièce majeure de la riche discographie de l'artiste. Du tubesque "Allentown", au surprenant "Pressure" et son synthé très "80" en passant par les beatlesien "Laura", "Surprises" et "Scandinavian Skies, il reste l'album de l'incontournable "Goodnight Saigon".
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Format: CD
Quelle modernité ,
... de l'influence des Beatles à ... ce qui influencera sûrement le travail de Rufus Wainwright et les œuvres de bien d'autres groupes ... , ... ... Comment ne pas percevoir toute l'influence qu'a pu avoir Billy Joel sur le travail de Rufus ? ... ,
Comment ne pas voir en cette œuvre : une perle !!! ( emplie de mélodies , qui nous invitent à la méditation poétique ). Le travail de composition est d'une splendeur cristaline , d'une limpidité ...
l' art du chant y est si varié et les oeuvres orchestrales si soignées :
"Le Nylon Curtain" est une œuvre forte , révelant une extraordinaire sensibilité , et la formidable créativité de Billy Joel .
Une œuvre rare , une somme d'une clairvoyance mélodique , un album d'une perspicacité rythmique , d'une insolente intélligence , quelle cohérence dynamique , quels arrangements , .. "quels paquets !!! de classe , abreuvent nos oreilles" enchantées , émues , réjouies , . Et ça irrigue nos oreilles puissance TOP

les titres se succèdent ... et comme "The Nylon Curtain" , qui ne dure que 40 minutes... nous semble si admirablement composé ...

"The Nylon Curtain ", fait bel et bien parti de ces albums Rares !!! à redécouvrir !!! Véritables chef d'œuvres .
La Voix de Billy est absolument bouleverssante de profondeur et d'intélligence ..( Where's the Orchestra ..)..
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e83c198) étoiles sur 5 100 commentaires
29 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9f6cbe4c) étoiles sur 5 Billy's Masterpiece 12 juin 2003
Par M. Casarino - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
"The Nylon Curtain" might be Billy's most initially frustrating album. The songs are strange and sometimes inaccessable, and even the hit singles had a palpable feeling of dread. But no other Billy album holds up as well, or makes a more complete statement as "The Nylon Curtain."
"Allentown" and "Goodnight Saigon" are probably the easiest to digest (if only because the subject matter is fairly clear). But listen closely to both of them, and you'll hear complex variations on basic themes (unemployment and war, respectively). "Allentown" takes the industrial woes of it's titular town personally - check the line "I won't be getting up today" to see how the employment situation has affected the narrator. And "Goodnight Saigon" veers between the horrors of war and the sadness of the bond between soldiers, and finds a simple truth in between. There's empathy but not a trace of sentimentality, which helps keep the songs fresh.
Duplicity is a common theme in "Nylon Curtain." "Laura," a magnificent piece of Beatlesque pop, hints at the pressures caused by an ex-lover's obsessions...and for once the production is perfect, as Liberty's pounding drums and Billy's overdubbed background vocals create a driving, almost mocking tone. The wonderful "A Room of Your Own" and the elusive, almost coy confessional "Surprises" are great spins on Billy's themes of disenchantment with middle-American life.
The album closes with two strange, complex charts: the swirling dream-like psychedelia of "Scandinavian Skies" and the bittersweet coda "Where's the Orchestra?" Both pieces are hard to pin down, but the orchestral fury of "Skies" and the plaintive vocal of "Orchestra" represent some of his finest work.
I've left out "Pressure," which was a huge hit for Billy, and one of the strangest hit singles ever...the heavy drums, the strange keyboards, the mocking vocal...how did this song speak to so many people? I don't know, but "Nylon Curtain" continues to speak to me. Billy's made some great albums, but so far he hasn't topped this one.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9f348270) étoiles sur 5 The musical apex of Billy's Career 11 mars 2005
Par L.A. Scene - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Billy Joel entered the 1980s and began to expand his musical horizons. This was evident on his ninth studio album, 1982's "The Nylon Curtain". This album wouldn't be a return to the days of "The Stranger" or "52nd Street", but it would mark Billy's return more toward a piano style of music. Despite what may not have been his best selling album, the result would be that Billy would produce an album that would be the creative high point of his musical career.

.

I look at Billy Joel's career as having three phases. The first phase is what I call "Old Billy Joel". This basically includes all of his material from "Cold Spring Harbor" through "Turnstiles". These are perhaps the strongest days as the piano sound, but they also contain most of Joel's least heard material. The next phase is what I call "Middle Billy Joel". This was his most successful period and covers from "The Stranger" to "Billy Joel Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 2". Joel would go through a transition during this phase - expanding his musical horizons and exploring different avenues. The final phase is the "Later Billy Joel" phase - this covers "The Bridge" to "River of Dreams". In this phase, Billy would start to incorporate some of his older styles of music while not abandoning his desire to continue to explore new avenues. "The Nylon Curtain" clearly falls into the heart of this "Middle Billy Joel" phase.

"The Nylon Curtain" is a very different album that Billy Joel did. Albums such as "The Stranger" and "52nd Street" had the strong lyrical themes of "New York" and "Melting Pot". "The Nylon Curtain" doesn't have a strong lyrical theme, but it does have a strong style theme. Billy creates a set of songs in which the instrumentation creates an image of the song. For example, as you listen to just the music of "Allentown", you can almost visualize the Allentown, Pennsylvania. On "Glass Houses", Billy moved away from his traditional style more toward a Rock Music style. On "The Nylon Curtain", there isn't one overall style, but you can see a variety of influences - including The Beatles. As mentioned, Billy Joel would return more toward his piano based music. The big difference with a couple of exceptions, there is going to be an absence of the trademark horns that have been such a part of Billy's music throughout the years.

The best way to look at each track on the collection:

"Allentown": This might not be New York, but Billy creates an image of the town of Allentown, Pa - about 100 miles west of NYC. This is done by a combination of some clever percussion and piano playing. Combine this with the lyrics and you clearly get an image of how a town must deal with the mines and factories that made up its economy closing down.

"Laura": A very underrated track. A piano based tune. Even by just listening to the music without the lyrics, you can still get an image of a woman manipulating Billy Joel. Listening to the music and background harmonies - you can hear The Beatles influence.

"Pressure": Once again terrific piano, synthesizer, and percussion create an image of a "high pressure environment". Listen to how the piano and drums practically say "PRESSURE". Of course Billy throws more clever lyrics to complete the picture.

"Goodnight Saigon": Another masterpiece. This time Billy paints a picture of the story of two comrades who go off to Vietnam together. Billy integrates some nice percussion - including a helicopter sound to help create a virtual picture of Vietnam. The piano is going to be the instrument that moves this song - Billy hits the chords in all the right places. Billy also uses his vocals by using a variety of ranges to add to the emotion of this song. The background vocals add to the theme of camaraderie.

"She's Right on Time": This song might be the closest thing to a Christmas song that Billy has done. Once again a terrific combination of piano and percussion. Of all of the tracks, this one has the most "Classic Piano Man" sound.

"A Room of Our Own": On this song, Billy once again brings the piano to the forefront. On this song, Billy creates a Honky Tonk Piano sound.

"Surprises": Many people have said this is one of the most Beatle-esque sounds on the collection. I would agree with that. I can also hear signs of the Electric Light Orchestra and Jeff Lynne - particularly when Billy sings "It shouldn't surprise you at all".

"Scandinavian Skies": This is another extremely underrated song, but it is also a masterpiece. Once again, the instrumentation - with piano and percussion in the forefront do an outstanding job at painting a picture. This time the picture is (from a plane) of Scandinavian Europe during World War II times. There is a "marching band" sound prevalent during this track that helps support it. There is almost a psychedelic sound to it - bringing back memories of The Beatles. It is also worth noting Billy makes use of some intricate String arrangements. However, I think Billy's vocals bring his own style to this song and it helps to give it its own unique flavor.

"Where's the Orchestra": This shows Billy's interest in Classical Music. The song literally paints the picture of being in an Orchestral Theater. Billy does a great job at integrating a full orchestral ensemble (Strings, Brass Horns - they are on this song, Woodwinds, and Percussion).

The lyrics to each of the songs are included on this collection - as well as the musician and production credits. I was surprised this wasn't the "Album of the Year" for 1982, but it did have some worthy competition in Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly" and Toto's "Toto IV". That being said, this is one incredible musical collection - a must for not just Billy Joel fans, but for music fans.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9f3482e8) étoiles sur 5 More than perfect 9 juillet 2006
Par Karl Pedorski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
This is my favorite Billy Joel album, by far. Which is saying a lot, because I would rate my least favorite Billy Joel album at about 4.5 stars. This album seems to have a depressing theme running through it. Running through unemployment, unhealthy dependency on relationships, war, rock 'n roll lifestyles, and more war, the songs can be a bit of a downer if you're in the wrong mood. However, the mood is intriguing like a car wreck, and the bitterness in so many of the songs is possibly what makes this such a great CD.

It might be worth noting that the three hits on this CD (Allentown, Pressure, and Goodnight Saigon) are usually among the songs that fans call their least favorite (especially Pressure), but don't let that turn you off from hearing the rest of the CD. When in place with the other songs, the mood fits perfectly. This album basically needs to be broken down by songs, because there isn't any way to describe it as a whole.

Allentown starts with a work whistle and resonating drum and percussion sounds, really emphasizing the hard-working tone of the lyrics, and the gentle melody understates the bitterness of the words. "They threw an American Flag in our face" is a perfect way to sum up the song, it's like an American dream has been ruined for the families of the town.

Laura is very McCartney-ish, complete with "ahhh"-ing background vocals and familiar chord changes. The song starts with resistance to a relationship with a girl named Laura, but by the end it seems there's appreciation for her. "She always says I'm the best friend that she's ever had. How do you hang up on someone who needs you that bad?"

Pressure was a staple of MTV videos back in '82, and if you know any song from this album, this is it. The pulsing rhythm and frantic synthesizer definitely accomplishes a feeling of pressure.

Goodnight Saigon is an epic war song that takes a while to get going, and even longer to reach its powerful climax. The imagery and lyrics are the best part of the song, the line "We came in spastic like tameless horses, we left in plastic as numbered corpses" has to be one of the most perfect lines in rock history, and by the time the song is going full speed, you're lost in the imagery, feeling like you're with the troops.

She's Right on Time has the best pop-hook on the CD, a great melody with a Christmas-y feel to it. It's actually the only song of the nine that isn't depressing or sinister, just a love song with more-complex-than-usual lyrics.

A Room of our Own is a comparison of lifestyles, "you're got love, darling, I've got sex" is one of the many good/bad statements that form a split between the two people in the song. But it's alright; cause we all need a room of our own.

Surprises is another very Beatles-influenced song, but the anger in the lyrics is closer to John Lennon's early solo material. What exactly shouldn't surprise the focus character is unclear to me, but all you need to know is that they did something wrong and something bad happened to them. "What has it cost you, what have you won? The sins of the fathers are the sins of the sons" is bitter enough to send a clear message.

Scandinavian Skies is the weirdest song on here, but it's possibly the best. This actually sounds like the psychedelia of George Harrison, with a voice to match. Billy seems to like playing the part of each individual Beatle rather than mimic the band as a whole. Just like Goodnight Saigon, the imagery is wonderful. "We climbed towards the sun, we turned and cursed as one, we pulled the shades and closed our eyes", along with the progressive and scary melody, is an ominous preview to the violent interludes.

Where's the Orchestra is a sad finish to the album, with beautiful piano and soft vocals. One of the best moments on the CD is at the end of this song, when the melody to Allentown is slowly played on an accordian as the piano fades out.

Overall, this album holds up better than any of Billy Joel's others, with perfect orchestration and instrumentation, clever and cynical lyrics, and the most innovation and vision Billy has ever shown. I highly recommend it to anyone who's willing to give the man a listen.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9f348678) étoiles sur 5 One Of Billy Joel's Most Serious Albums 12 septembre 2001
Par Barry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
The Nylon Curtain seems to be the most serious Billy Joel album that's out there. It hits themes like Vietnam, The stress of everyday life, and more. It's a somber sounding album. The three hits here are some of Billy's most strongest songs, lyrically and musically. "Pressure", "Allentown", and "Goodnight Saigon". The other songs are stand outs. "Surprises" is a beautiful song. "She's Right On Time" is a strong addition to the labum. "Laura" sounds like a very Beatlesque song. This album is very different from his previous, "Glass Houses". This is Billy at his strongest.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9f3487b0) étoiles sur 5 The twisted flipside of the American Dream, by way of a Beatles blueprint 23 septembre 2011
Par John J. Martinez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
Billy Joel is angry, and he is searching, and on his 1982 release "The Nylon Curtain," he is at his most cynical, introspective and yet most creative. From the opening whistle of "Allentown," this album by the once mostly harmless radio-friendly Joel of the 1970's has become something noticably different. If you've heard all of his previous albums from Cold Spring Harbor on, you'd notice the odd darker change. This is a more mature Joel remembering his past with sad twists.

The wonderful East Coast cities of his youth in the late 1950's and early 1960's are being dragged down through the failing policies of President Reagan, and as the backlash for the first time hits Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public, they don't like it, and neither does Joel. However, manned with a piano and a wonderful imagination of his America and it's people, Joel tells the stories many citizens here couldn't or can't, and long the way no one is spared, from the U.S. government on down to his own demanding psyche.

9 songs totaling just over 55 minutes:

1 - Allentown - The Pennsylvania town, home to one of the more massive grouping steel mills on the East Coast, began to topple and fall under the weight of 1980's White house policy, and thousands and thousands of men and women who never knew unemployment now felt the economic crush of deals created by Reagan. The American flag all of a sudden didn't seem so star-spangled, and the Statue Of Liberty, once the the beacon of hope throughout the world, began to darken and fade under hopelessness ans starvation right on it's once fat shores. This song was the call to alarm in the 1980's, but very few listened at the time until it was too late.

2 - Laura - a wonderful psychotic Beatles-esque rambling tune about a woman who can and will eventually destroy Billy, but he makes it sound so wonderful! One of my favorite songs off the album without a doubt, I mean check out these lyrics:

"I'm her machine, and she can punch all the keys
She can push any button I was programmed through"

The guitar solo at the end is so George Harrison, the orchestra playing throughout the entire song, it's just a great song about obsession, a theme that would be visited many more times on the
album, which brings us to

3 - Pressure - one of the more famous songs by Joel, but believe me, it's not about anyone; Joel indites himself by accusing himself of going too hard too fast, and as he screams into the mirror he knows where the problem not only lies but where the solution is as well: in himself. He's making himself unwell, and he roots out the causes - too much television, too much print magazines, too much excessive self-loathing, and if he doesn't let it go he will explode. A well-crafted song about the problems - and solutions to - himself.

4 - Goodnight Saigon - I went into the Army in November 1984, and I had only a couple of cassettes to listen to during Basic Training: this album was one of them, and I listened to this song endlessly. This is Joel's homage to the older brothers who went to Viet Nam and never returned, and with every crescendo, you can feel the buildup of emotion and anger and fear in the lyrics. Joel told the story of reminiscing with razor-sharpness, and captured the emotions of the brotherhood and camaraderie of war with some rah-rah, but with a lot of regrets as well. Also one of the best cuts on the album. (Even as the years have passed, this song always gets me, as America's vets - now as well as then - still don't get the real honest hero's welcome they should get, because we as Americans are too busy trying to step over homeless people to get to McGarbage to stuff our fat faces with artificial food.)

5 - She's Right on Time - this song is so odd as some have classified it as a "Christmas song" or at the very least a "holiday song." It isn't, by any stretch of the means. The mention of Christmas lights being turned on and Christmas trees being set up only means there's been lights hanging up somewhere for probably a long time and a Christmas tree was "needed" for her. He's been alone for a very long time, and his female partner, who sounds like she ran away or left him because of either his abusiveness or his undisclosed mental illness, is finally coming back home to him. Check the lyrics:

"I'm a man with so much tension
Far too many sins to mention
She don't have to take it anymore
But since she said she's coming home
I've torn out all my telephones
Soon she will be walking through that door
I may be going nowhere
But I don't mind if she's there
She's just in time for me
She's right on time
She's right where she should be
She's right on time..."

Maybe she ran off on him around Christmas, and he's trying to re-create the wonderfulness of what was once then - and then to rip out all the telephones, and doing so much to wait patiently for her to walk right in the door... well, I don't know about you, but this is one of the oddest and scariest songs by Joel, not cheeriest...

6 - A Room of Our Own - this sounds like an outtake, but it does make sense, if you once again look at it from Joel's psychotic sense of humor. This is a twisted take on a Beatles love song, and Joel knows this was the hardest thing he could put on wax at the time - but it's still screwy, and the chorus is punctuated by staccato guitar riffs ala The Beatles. She's got this, I've got that, and we function - barely. The total opposite of a classic Beatles tune, and this works.

7 - Surprises - One day you're gonna wake up and find out you're old. The stomach isn't as flat as it was, the hair is looking a little thinner, and your tastes at 20 will no longer apply at 40. Then, as some have done for a long long time, simply freak out and have a mid-life crisis. Divorce, mental breakdowns, a radical change in lifestyle? One day you're gonna realize you couldn't handle it and maybe you need help. Maybe you will need that help.

8 - Scandinavian Skies - the greatest tribute to the Beatles by someone of this stature. A (and if only implied) drug-filled romp with a fictional group of tourists on an Middle European tour, and what happened in Amsterdam, Norway and West Germany probably stayed there - at least until Billy wrote this song about at last, in Oslo, the power dropped, and the fans cried, and by the way, Billy can still play the blues all night... this has "I Am The Walrus" written all over it's DNA, but it's a wonderful light piece of psychedelica.

9 - Where's the Orchestra? - a short piece of music to conclude the album. It's about as personal and thought-provoking as it sounds, as the singer is lost after walking in too late on the performance: there's no music, the plot is kinda pointless, the dialogue is being performed by a once-great star who's never performed live, and when it ended, the applause gave way to empty chairs that have nothing left to give, the hall is silent, and Joel is left with his thoughts in an uncertain place, and not just about what he's seen in the theater.

This album, the concept, and it's delivery are more than worthy of five healthy stars.

After listening to this album for almost 30 years, there is one thing I can still say, and it's that it has always brought great emotions from me, whether I wanted it or not. It was timely, and it made you think, and that's very rare in a music album of any kind anymore. I want to commend Billy Joel for following his path - he was once a boxer, and even was part of a hard rock band in the late 60's called Attila, a horrible heavy-metal experiment - and has proven himself over and over and over. This album is a highlight of mine, and is one of my top 100 albums to bring to a deserted island.

The album as a whole evokes emotions, fits and happiness and rage, and cools you off at the end with a nice bit of reflection. This was the last album Billy Joel released in the 1980s that sold under 2 million copies upon it's initial release. Billy was ready, and this only proves that he had a wonderful songwriting power, even when he himself at one time didn't believe it.

I recommend it heartily, and give it to a friend if they're having a bad day, they may need to hear a little craziness from someone else who totally understands.

(Thanks for reading, and please don't forget to leave a comment or vote if you liked my review - or hated it!)
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