Suggested Music November 1, 2019

Hi everyone, here are our five musical recommendations of the week!

(Click on the Book/eBook/CD/DVD or book cover to request the item)

52nd Street (1978) by Billy Joel (Format: CD)

Overview: Once The Stranger became a hit, Billy Joel quickly re-entered the studio with producer Phil Ramone to record the follow-up, 52nd Street. Instead of breaking from the sound of The Stranger, Joel chose to expand it, making it more sophisticated and somewhat jazzy. Often, his moves sounded as if they were responses to Steely Dan — indeed, his phrasing and melody for “Zanzibar” is a direct homage to Donald Fagen circa The Royal Scam, and it also boasts a solo from jazz great Freddie Hubbard à la Steely Dan — but since Joel is a working-class populist, not an elitist college boy, he never shies away from big gestures and melodies. Consequently, 52nd Street unintentionally embellishes the Broadway overtones of its predecessor, not only on a centerpiece like “Stiletto,” but when he’s rocking out on “Big Shot.” That isn’t necessarily bad, since Joel’s strong suit turns out to be showmanship — he dazzles with his melodic skills and his enthusiastic performances. He also knows how to make a record. Song for song, 52nd Street might not be as strong as The Stranger, but there are no weak songs — indeed, “Honesty,” “My Life,” “Until the Night,” and the three mentioned above are among his best — and they all flow together smoothly, thanks to Ramone’s seamless production and Joel’s melodic craftsmanship. It’s remarkable to think that in a matter of three records, Joel had hit upon a workable, marketable formula — one that not only made him one of the biggest-selling artists of his era, but one of the most enjoyable mainstream hitmakers. 52nd Street is a testament to that achievement.

     Song List:

  1. Big Shot
  2. Honesty
  3. My Life
  4. Zanzibar
  5. Stiletto
  6. Rosalinda’s Eyes
  7. Half a Mile Away
  8. Until the Night
  9. 52nd Street

Bach Cantatas (2007) by Ton Koopman conducting The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (Format: DVD):

Abstract: “Widely accepted as a leading authority on Baroque music, Ton Koopman introduces and conducts five of J.S. Bach’s religious cantatas (composed between 1707 and 1731) and his famous secular Kaffee kantate. Performed by the Amsterdamn Baroque Orchestra and Choir, the ensemble aptly illustrates the enormous skill and diversity in J.S. Bach’s music.”–Container.

The Best of Friends (1976) by Loggins & Messina (Format: CD):

Overview: The Best of Friends contains ten of Loggins & Messina’s best-known songs, not only including all of their big hits (“Vahevala,” “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” “Thinking of You,” “Watching the River Run”), but also key album tracks like “House at Pooh Corner,” “Danny’s Song,” “Peace of Mind” and “Angry Eyes.”

Song List:

  1. Angry Eyes
  2. Be Free
  3. Vahevala
  4. Peace of Mind
  5. My Music
  6. Thinking of You
  7. House at Pooh Corner
  8. Watching the River Run
  9. Danny’s Song

Four Classic Albums Plus Bonus Singles & Live Tracks by Wanda Jackson (Format: CD)

This collection features the first four of Rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson’s vintage albums. Wanda was recently featured in the Ken Burns County Music documentary.

The albums are:

Day Dreaming (aka Wanda Jackson) (1958)

There’s a Party Going on (1959)

Rockin’ with Wanda! (1960)

Right Or Wrong (1961)

This collection features 89 songs including: Songs include Making Believe, Money, Honey, Let’s Have a Party, There’s A Party Going On, Fujiyama Mama, Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad, Baby Loves Him and Right or Wrong.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns (2001) (Format: 10 DVDs):

Abstract: A virtuoso performance by acclaimed flmmaker Ken Burns, Jazz celebrates the music of America – from blues and ragtime to swing, bebop and fusion. If you’ve seen the recently Ken Burns documentary on Country Music – imagine the same great documentary only with Jazz as the focus and you have, in a nutshell, what this series is about!

Videos Of The Week:

Big Shot by Billy Joel

Until The Night by Billy Joel

J S BACH Cantata BWV 147 – The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir

Be Free by Loggins & Messina

Danny’s Song by Loggins & Messina

Hard Headed Woman by Wanda Jackson

Sparklin’ Brown Eyes by Wanda Jackson

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns Trailer

Buddy Bolton’s Blues by Buddy Bolton

Egyptian Fantasy by Sidney Bechet

Maple Leaf Rag by Jelly Roll Morton

Have a great weekend!

Linda Reimer, SSCL


Print References

The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn

Online References


Online Catalog Links:


The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.


You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the Libby and/or the RBDigital app, to check out eBooks, downloadable audiobooks and on-demand magazines, from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at 607-936-3713 and one of our tech coaches will be happy to assist you.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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