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
“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