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Charted: March 22, 1980

Rating: 3.667 (average of 6 ratings)

Genre: pop/rock singer/songwriter

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. You May Be Right
  2. Sometimes a Fantasy
  3. Don’t Ask Me Why
  4. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
  5. All for Leyna
  6. I Don’t Want to Be Alone
  7. Sleeping with the Television On
  8. C’Etait Toi (You Were the One)
  9. Close to the Borderline
  10. Through the Long Night

All songs written by Billy Joel.

Total Running Time: 34:35

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 7.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.1
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 11.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 6
peak on U.K. album chart 9

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • You May Be Right (3/15/80) #7 US, #48 AC
  • All for Leyna (4/12/80) #40 UK
  • It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (5/13/80) #1 US, #14 UK, #45 AC. Platinum single.
  • Don’t Ask Me Why (8/2/80) #36 US, #1 AC



Glass Houses
Billy Joel
“The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn’t bring him critical respect, and it didn’t dull his anger. If anything, being classified as a mainstream rocker – a soft rocker – infuriated him, especially since a generation of punks and new wave kids were getting the praise that eluded him.” STE

“He didn’t take this lying down – he recorded Glass Houses. Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, with a distinctly bitter edge, Glass Houses still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman and Phil Ramone the world-class hitmaker. Even its hardest songs – the terrifically paranoid Sometimes a Fantasy, Sleepin’ with the Television On, Close to the Borderline, the hit You May Be Right – have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements, ideal for radio play.” STE

“Instead of turning out to be a fiery rebuttal to his detractors, the album is a remarkable catalog of contemporary pop styles, from McCartney-esque whimsy (Don’t Ask Me Why) and arena rock (All for Leyna) to soft rock (C’etait Toi [You Were the One]) and stylish new wave pop (It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, which ironically is closer to new wave pop than rock).” STE

“That’s not a detriment; that’s the album’s strength. The Stranger and 52nd Street were fine albums in their own right, but it’s nice to hear Joel scale back his showman tendencies and deliver a solid pop/rock record… [that is] the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album.” STE

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: 52nd Street (1978) Billy Joel’s DMDB page Next Album: The Nylon Curtain (1982)

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Last updated March 6, 2011.