Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, July 18th

On this day in 1980: Billy Joel held the top position on both the U.S. album and singles charts. His album Glass Houses contained his first and biggest #1 hit, ‘It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me.’

The song spent 11 weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 7th biggest hit of 1980 according to American Top 40. The song is an examination of the themes of a musician’s declining fame and changing public tastes that were expressed in his 1975 hit ‘The Entertainer.’

Glass Houses was the seventh studio album released by Billy Joel on March 12, 1980. This album was the third collaboration between Joel and producer Phil Ramone  following The Stranger and 52nd Street and the final such collaboration in association with Home Run.

Opening with the sound of glass shattering, Glass Houses has more of a hard rock  feel than Joel’s previous albums. The cover shows Joel poised to throw a rock through the two-story window of his real-life waterfront glass house in Cove Neck, New York. On some versions, the back cover shows Joel looking through the hole that the rock made in the glass. This alludes to the adage that “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

Here is the complete Top 10 on the U.S. singles chart from this day in 1980:

1 2 IT’S STILL ROCK AND ROLL TO ME –•– Billy Joel (Columbia)-9 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 1 COMING UP (Live At Glasgow) / COMING UP –•– Paul McCartney and Wings (Columbia)-13 (1)
3 4 LITTLE JEANNIE –•– Elton John (MCA)-12 (3)
4 5 CUPID / I’VE LOVED YOU FOR A LONG TIME (Medley) –•– The Spinners (Atlantic)-10 (4)
5 11 SHINING STAR –•– The Manhattans (Columbia)-13 (5)
6 6 STEAL AWAY –•– Robbie Dupree (Elektra)-15 (6)
7 8 MAGIC –•– Olivia Newton-John (MCA)-9 (7)
8 3 THE ROSE –•– Bette Midler (Atlantic)-18 (3)
9 9 LET’S GET SERIOUS –•– Jermaine Jackson (Motown)-17 (9)
10 10 LET ME LOVE YOU TONIGHT –•– The Pure Prairie League (Casablanca)-11 (10)

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