The Bridge (Billy Joel album)

The Bridge is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on July 9, 1986. It was the last studio album produced by Phil Ramone as well as the last to feature Joel's long-time bassist Doug Stegmeyer and rhythm guitarist Russell Javors. The album yielded several successful singles, including "A Matter of Trust" (peaking at No. 10), "Modern Woman" (which also appeared on the Ruthless People soundtrack, peaking at No. 10), and "This Is the Time" (peaking at No. 18).

The Bridge
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 9, 1986
Recorded1985–1986
StudioThe Power Station, Chelsea Sound (North), RCA Studios, New York City and Evergreen Studios, Burbank, California
GenreRock
Length40:06
LabelFamily Productions/Columbia
ProducerPhil Ramone
Billy Joel chronology
Greatest Hits, Vols. 1 & 2
(1985)
The Bridge
(1986)
КОНЦЕРТ
(1987)
Singles from The Bridge
  1. "Modern Woman"
    Released: 1986
  2. "A Matter of Trust"
    Released: 1986
  3. "This Is the Time"
    Released: 1986
  4. "Baby Grand"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Chicago Tribune(Mixed)[2]
Christgau's Record GuideB[3]
Los Angeles Times(Not favorable)[4]
Rolling Stone(Favorable)[5]

Joel began work on the album—on which two of his major influences (Ray Charles and Steve Winwood) made guest appearances—in 1985. Charles sang a duet with Joel on the song "Baby Grand", and Winwood played Hammond organ on the song "Getting Closer"; Charles and Winwood later covered "Baby Grand" and "Getting Closer" respectively in concert. Other notable musicians who made guest appearances on the album include jazz musicians Ron Carter and Michael Brecker, who both played on the jazzy track "Big Man on Mulberry Street".

The album also had some New wave influences. For instance, the first song, "Running on Ice", is heavily influenced by the music of the Police, and "Modern Woman" borrows heavily from the styles of Huey Lewis and the News. The final song recorded for the album, "Code of Silence", featured Cyndi Lauper who contributed backing vocals and received co-writing credit for the lyrics; she later covered that song herself in concert. Joel would return the favor by contributing backing vocals on Lauper's song "Maybe He'll Know" for her 1986 album True Colors.

The Bridge was Joel's last album to carry the "Family Productions" logo which had appeared on all of Joel's albums up to that time as part of a deal that Columbia Records made to get Joel out of his first recording contract with Artie Ripp's Family Productions. In the closing song of the album—"Getting Closer"—Joel makes several of what are clearly attacks and observations on the iron-clad contract with Ripp, with references to "my stolen youth", "all the conmen and their acrobats who stomped me in the ground", and "I must live up to contracts".


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