Billy Joel – 52nd Street


The follow-up to the breakthrough The Stranger, 52nd Street further expands on its predecessor’s.

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Billy Joel – 52nd Street


Grammy winning album features sophisticated arrangements and Jazzy backdrops

1/4″ / 15 IPS / Dolby A analogue master to DSD 64 to analogue console to lathe

Some artists embrace their success by repeating the steps that originally granted them fame.

Billy Joel did the opposite, refusing to be contained by prescribed approaches or constrained by a given label.

The follow-up to the breakthrough The Stranger, 52nd Street further expands on its predecessor’s bold production techniques and inventive arrangements, incorporating more sophisticated textures as well as reflecting a jazz edge gleaned from New York City’s thriving club scene.

A key piece of Mobile Fidelity’s Billy Joel catalogue restoration series, 52nd Street is here sourced from the original master tapes and pressed on 45RPM 180g LP at RTI.

The wider and deeper grooves – as well as the meticulous mastering – yield resplendent dynamics, broad soundstages, three-dimensional perspectives, and tonal balances absent from prior editions.

This is how you want to experience the 1978 LP that captured the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Teaming again with producer Phil Ramone, Joel capitalises on his momentum, churning out another direct-sounding affair replete with captivating melodic devices, showmanship accents, and penetrating lyrics.

The singer’s concision and focus is evident via the tune’s lengths, with only “Until the Night” breaking the six-minute mark. Hit singles “Big Shot” and “My Life” rattle forth with an urgency and intensity that Joel had not previously demonstrated, the combination of passionate deliveries, snide overtones, and insistent grooves setting the table for what follows.

Broadening his palette, and drawing from New York’s thriving jazz club scene and the city’s late-70s grit, Joel splashes Latin and jazz colours on several pieces, employing veterans such as Dave Grusin and Freddie Hubbard to contribute along with a cast that includes a team of background vocalists and horn players.

Everything is tastefully appointed, and yet the vocalist’s trademark Broadway gaze and knack for the grand gesture coincide with the straight-ahead swagger.

52nd Street is one of the main reasons why Joel has always been championed for consistency.

Everything here, from the production to the stand-up songs, helped redefine mainstream pop-rock. Decades later, it’s finally available in fidelity that nears that of the Columbia Records’ master tapes produced right on 52nd Street.

Track List: Billy Joel – 52nd Street

Big Shot


My Life



Roaslinda’s Eyes

Half a Mile Away

Until the Night

52nd Street



Mobile Fidelity

Mobile Fidelity Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has been the undisputed pioneer and leader in audiophile recordings since the company's inception in 1977. Established by dedicated audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity's first and foremost goal was to offer faithfully reproduced high fidelity recordings that would compliment the numerous advances occurring in audio delivery systems. Throughout its history, Mobile Fidelity has remained true to this goal, pioneering state-of-the-art technologies and setting audiophile standards that remain in place today. In response to rapid advancements in both recording formats and audio delivery systems over the past several years, Mobile Fidelity has maintained its ongoing commitment to improving industry standards. This has resulted in the introduction of numerous innovations in the audiophile arena: half-speed mastered Original Master Recording™ LPs, Ultra High Quality Records™ (UHQRs), high fidelity cassettes, consumer alignment devices for phono cartridges and audio cassette decks, Original Master Recording™ compact discs, the 24-karat gold plated Ultradisc™ CD and the Ultradisc™ Ultra High Resolution™ (UHR). To this day the independently owned firm continues its commitment to exceeding industry standards.  


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