WIlliam Martin Joel had released three solo albums by the beginning of 1976. In many ways, however, that was the year he became the Billy we all know today.
It was the year he recorded and released Turnstiles, finally winning his battle with CBS records to cut an album with his touring band. That band, of course, was now almost entirely the classic Lord of 52nd Street lineup.
By then, Billy and his wife Elizabeth had moved from California back to New York. In the process he jettisoned any lingering west coast singer-songwriter stylings for East Coast grit.
There were more changes behind the scenes, too. While not as well-known, these business moves and strategies played huge roles in his upcoming accomplishments..
True stardom wouldn’t come until the following year. But for now, we’re diving deep into 1976, and the 12 months that primed Billy Joel for the decades of success to come.
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