One of the side effects of getting a record player is that I've taken to digging back through my family's old vinyl. Which brings me to The Nylon Curtain, Billy Joel's 1982 album, the one he's most proud of in terms of material and recording. (He has clearly forgotten he made The Stranger.)
The Nylon Curtain was clearly Joel's attempt to make a Reagan-era record: Everything is bitter and paranoid and disconsolate. And because Joel loves the Beatles, there are also a lot of Lennon/McCartney touches throughout. Two of the non-hits have caught my ear: the ballad "Surprises" and the angry "Laura," where he goes off on a needy lover with the sort of punk-like anger he tried to bring to 1980's Glass Houses. Love those "ahhhh-ahhhhs" in the background.