With his 1977 album the Stranger putting Billy Joel on the map, expectations was definitely high for the follow up. And with that, comes the album 52nd Street.
Released in October 1978, and named after one of the most famous streets of New York City (as well as the location of his label Columbia), 52nd Street became Joel’s first number one album, where it stayed for eight nonconsecutive weeks. It also went to number one in three other countries including Canada. The album was lauded for displaying according to allmusic.com, a “more sophisticated and jazzy” sound, which was also considered to be an expansion on the styles of The Stranger.
52nd Street yielded three top forty hits. The album’s biggest hit was “My Life”, which peaked at number three, while “Big Shot” and “Honesty” were in the top thirty. Other notable tracks on the album include “Zanzibar” (which featured jazz artist Freedie Hubbard), and “Until the Night”. The album sold over eight million copies worldwide, and went to win three Grammys including Album of the Year. It would be later be the first to be released on compact disc in 1982, thanks to Sony Music Entertainment, when it went on sale in Japan, and Rolling Stone named the album one of the top 500, in their list of the greatest albums of all time.