5. 'The Nylon Curtain'
The Nylon Curtain is an extremely ambitious work. "I was kind of playing the studio as an instrument, which I had never done before," Joel recently told Rolling Stone. "It took a year to make, and we finished up that album exhausted but very proud of it." The lyrics deal with the Reagan years and the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Album opener "Allentown" is the stark take of a dying town, while "Goodnight Saigon" is an emotionally charged song that Joel wrote after speaking with Vietnam vets. Both songs received a lot of airplay, as did "Pressure," one of the more modern-sounding songs from the LP. The hits are on side one, but hardcore fans love side two, especially the finale, "Where's the Orchestra." Joel hopes to revive that one on his tour later this year.