Impex - IMP6016 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 2500 Numbered Limited Edition
AAA 100% Analogue - Mastered by Kevin Gray - Pressed at RTI
TAS Rated 4/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the October 2011 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Billy Joel’s 52nd Street was huge—a certified- platinum monster that’s logged over ten million sales since its 1978 release. While The Stranger, which debuted a year earlier, cemented Joel’s status as a global star, 52nd Street became the balladeer’s first Billboard Number One album, spawning hits like “Big Shot,” “My Life,” and “Honesty,” and ultimately taking Album of the Year honors at the Grammys.
Not bad for the Bronx-born Joel who was playing in piano bars even before he dropped out of high school. Loosely conceived as a collection of New York episodes and packed with Latin and jazz influences, Joel’s song- smithing and machine gun keyboards have never been tighter—a foreshadowing of the harder-edged social commentary of his 80s albums Glass Houses and The Nylon Curtain.
The Impex 180-gram remastering by Kevin Gray (with pressing courtesy of RTI) is superb. It replaces the spongy timing and dull top of the original Columbia LP with expansive space and sharp details. Its vivid and brightened treble is welcome compared to the warm but smothered original. Listen for Joel’s doubled harmonies, the pennywhistle in “Rosalinda’s Eyes,” and the burning horn section in “Half a Mile Away,” and you’ll hear what a difference a great remastering makes.
Neil Gader - The Absolute Sound Nov 2012
Mainstream Perfection: Melodic Devices, Passionate Singing, Sophisticated Arrangements, Jazzy Backdrop Walk Down 52nd Street Commanding Sonics: Mobile Fidelity Edition Sets the New Standard in How Joel’s 1978 Classic Should—and Does—Sound Chart-Topper Certified Seven-Times Platinum: Includes “Big Shot,” “Honesty,” “My Life” 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.
Teaming again with producer Phil Ramone, Joel capitalizes 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 colors on several pieces—even 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. More than three decades later, it’s finally available in fidelity that rivals that of those Columbia Records’ mas
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. More than three decades later, it’s finally available in fidelity that rivals that of those Columbia Records’ master tapes produced right on 52nd Street.
Bass – Doug Stegmeyer
Drums – Liberty DeVitto
Guitar – Steve Khan
Piano, Vocals – Billy Joel
Producer – Phil Ramone
Saxophone – Richie Cannata
Billy Joel 52nd Street Track Listing:
1. Big Shot
3. My Life
6. Roaslinda’s Eyes
7. Half a Mile Away
8. Until the Night
9. 52nd Street
Impex Records is the exciting audiophile label from the team that brought you Cisco Music. With more than 20 years experience and 150 titles released, Cisco Music developed many of the techniques used by other labels to make higher quality 180-gram LPs, SACDs and Gold and aluminum CDs.
We brought definitive editions Jennifer Warnes' The Well, The Hunter and Famous Blue Raincoat in multiple formats, including a 45 rpm box set that Absolute Sound magazine declared "defines the state-of-the--art in vinyl playback." Other classic reissues we nurtured to fantastic rebirths include the jazz-rock perfection of Steely Dan's Aja, Joan Baez' Farewell Angelina, NathanMilstein's poetic interpretation of Dvorak's Violin Concerto and four exquisite 45-rpm Three Blind Mice LPs.
Even in our humbler origins we were trusted with the distribution and production of The Super Analogue Disc, the original audiophile 180-gram LPs. King Records recognized, from the very beginning, that Cisco Music brought unflinching passion to the music and unflailing dedication to the process of bringing that music to the most discerning listeners in the world.
Now as Impex Records some of the original Cisco staff (Abey Fonn, Robert Pincus and Robert Sliger), along with Robert Donnelly, will follow and expand our own high standards for a new generation of audiophile products. Analog products will always be cut using analog tapes and analog mastering at the finest mastering facilities like Sterling, Cohearent and Bernie Grundman--just as it should be. Gold CD's will always be cut with high-definition digital or analog tape transfers from original sources. We will introduce America to Sony's revolutionary Blu-Spec CD, which redefines production excellence in 16-bit digital playback.
With a singular vision for making the best records anywhere, Impex Records is poised to expand Cisco Music's peerless legacy well into the 21st century. It's going to be quite a journey and we look forward to your joining us. We have committed ourselves, with every new release, to your complete satisfaction.
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.