Thursday, July 11, 2019

"A Matter of Trust" by Billy Joel

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2826
Date:  08/09/1986
Debut:  71
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Joel's tenth studio album, The Bridge, got off to a good start with the first single "Modern Woman" just barely cracking the Top 10 (#10). He would follow up that hit with this more rock-oriented track. The piano man set aside his keyboard and picked up an electric guitar for this song, which would do pretty well at Rock getting to #14. It would do nearly the same at AC reaching #17. At Pop the tune would make a slow climb and like Joel's previous single it would just eke out a Top 10 showing. The back-to-back #10's helped the album get to #7 and go double-platinum, which were the exact same results of his 1982 LP The Nylon Curtain, but it was a drop from his previous hit LP An Innocent Man, which would go on to sell over seven million copies.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure, but I think the most famous/popular part of this song is the count off from the top. I've heard it referenced before even without playing the rest of the song. Just last week they used the count off on a radio show for a comedic bit. Other than that, this song has kind of disappeared further down in Joel's catalog. I rarely hear it anymore. It's probably the best track on The Bridge. I like that Joel rocks it out instead of repeating the synthpop of his previous two hits. The song sounds beefy and strong enough to trample his lighter fare like "Modern Woman." A definite highlight from one of Joe's weakest albums.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The video for this song has Joel and his band rehearsing at a near-ground floor space of a building in New York. They start to play, but stop and open windows on the street side of the room because it was hot. They begin the song again and the music blares across the neighborhood attracting a crowd. The place the video was film was on St. Mark's Place in the East Village of New York. The building had some musical history as it once housed a discotheque called the Electric Circus. It was developed in 1967 by Andy Warhol and film director Paul Morrissey. The Velvet Underground was initially the house band there with Warhol designing their stage shows. Other bands on the rise played there including The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and Sly & the Family Stone. It would close in 1971. When Joel filmed his video, the building had become a counseling center for those with drug and alcohol issues. The opening of the windows with the band's music attracting a crowd was in a way an homage to the famous Beatles rooftop concert in London in 1969. Joel's video also seems to feature two Beatles. There are a couple blink-and-you-miss them moments where it seems like Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney make cameos. However, it has never been confirmed if the pair actually appeared of if the men seen were just lookalikes to go with the Beatles theme.


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