Sunday, November 20, 2005

How Madonna Copied Billy Joel

As a followup to the 2nd biggest album of his career, Glass Houses, Billy Joel in 1982 released Nylon Curtain, a concept album about the Cold War, Reaganomics, Vietnam and the usual relationship stuff. But the record got tagged as his "serious" one, and contained no smash singles. It got to #7 and Joel's "take me serious" phase was given a shrug by the public. As a followup to her highest charting record in 11 years, Madonna in 2003, right in the middle of the start of the Iraq War II, released American Girl, which included a serious title track/video but wasn't really that serious of a record at all. The record got tagged as Madonna's "serious" record and quickly disappeared. A year after Nylon Curtain, Joel put out Innocent Man, a return to his Pop hooks and smart craftsmanship. No deep-thinking here. Every song meant to sing-a-long with. The public ate up every single, and Joel was rewarded with a big hit. In 2005 Madonna released Confessions On A Dance Floor, a sing-a-long with collection of dance tracks that was dubbed a return to form (just like Joel's was). And she was rewarded with chart success. Madonna did a Billy Joel. And two Pop craftspeople were welcomed back into the bosom of the record buying public.
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