Sunday, April 28, 2013

Billy Joel- Until the Night and 52nd Street

The original 52nd album cover superimposed on a  picture of the location it was taken...*

"Until the Night" is from Billy Joel's 52nd street album.  52nd Street won the Grammy for the best album of the year for 1978, against the tough competition of the time.  It was one of those albums where I find myself preferring the album tracks to the hits.  I loved the light jazz of "Zanzibar", and "Rosalinda' Eyes", and the percussive insistent piano work of "Stiletto".  But "Until The Night" was my favorite, a wonderful melodrama evoking the Righteous Brothers at their best.

Although I am sometimes uncomfortable with all the copyright infringement that occurs on Youtube, I am happy that you often get to hear some excellent performances that were otherwise unavailable.  Here is a case in point.  This performance  was originally only  available in fan upload, but Billy's label, CBS has now uploaded an official version.

This is a 1982 live performance by Billy Joel and his band of his song "Until the Night".   This performance was left off the commercially available video from that time called Live in Long Island. It's an excellent concert video that has yet to be released in it's entirety on DVD.  At the point that this  was recorded  most  of Billy's classic band is still there, and Billy still has hair.  This video is unusual , in that you get to hear guitarist  Russell Javors sing some lead parts- almost making the song a duet.  Javors  actually provides a perfect complement to Billy Joel's  smoky unnaturally low voice.  The best part of the song is at the end, when Mark Rivera comes out for the dramatic horn solo, that in the original studio version was performed by Richie Cannata.

* The cover image shown above comes from Bob Egan's fascinating website-Pop SpotsNYC