August 19, 2015 – 12:49 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download jpg artwork.

London 1990 [no label, 2CD]

Live at Wembley Stadium, London, UK; May 26, 1990. Very good FM broadcast.

Storm Front (1989) was Billy Joel’s 11th studio album featuring the hits We Didn’t Start The Fire, Leningrad and I Go To Extremes.

Rolling Stone review:

On Storm Front, Billy Joel throws off pop complacency for an angry, committed - and often moving - exploration of life in modern America. Defining the album’s theme of lost innocence is a core of songs that evokes the desperate disorientation that has suffused American consciousness over the past decade. Storm Front’s aggressive tone is immediately established by the surging slide guitar and growling blues harp that kick off “That’s Not Her Style,” the record’s opening track. But the album gets down to business with its second cut, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

Storm Front’s propulsive first single, “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” sounds the alarm on a society that has lost its moral center and is spinning out of control. The broad cultural sweep of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” finds a personal focus in the record’s next track, “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’.” The song tells a haunting tale about a Long Island fisherman who cannot provide for his family because government regulations have crippled his livelihood. With its slow, martial beat and plaintive, gull-like violin squalls, “Alexa” casts a dreamlike image of a wrecked man “trolling Atlantis,” navigating a lost world. The song reaches an aching climax when, stirred by the memory of his fisherman father, the man cries aloud, lamenting the death of his family legacy. That Joel’s daughter is named Alexa Ray only heightens the song’s resonance.

Joel’s other protagonists experience vague frustrations and longings. The character in the hard-driving “I Go to Extremes” futilely tries to account to his girlfriend for his inconsistent moods and wavering confidence. The lover in “Shameless” sings with perverse pride about his enslavement to his woman’s affections, while his swaggering alter ego in “Storm Front” disowns domestic bliss and sets sail on a sea of temptation… Musically, Storm Front struts with insistent rock & roll authority… And, as the final word on an album that takes a serious look at a troubled world, it reflects the hard-earned wisdom of a no longer innocent man.

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Thanks to laptaper for sharing the show at Lossless Legs.

laptaper noted:

You can hear a very obvious crossfade between Leningrad and My Life. That and redundant material between Shameless and We Didn’t Start the Fire, with fades, indicates this is likely from bootleg CDs. Like most of Dan Haugh’s DATs, the quality is excellent but the documentation somewhat lacking.

Redundant, overlapping material between Shameless and We Didn’t Start the Fire deleted.  Approximately two minutes of crowd noise before encores deleted and smoothed out with crossfades.

FM > ? > likely bootleg CD gen > DAT (48 khz)
Sony DTC-790 > Hucht Copyprocessor MKII > Tascam HD-P2 > WAV > resampled to 44.1 khz in SoX (steep, very high quality, minimum phase, dithering [shibata filter]) > FLAC

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Disc 1
Track 101. Orchestral intro/Storm Front 6:22 (10.7MB)
Track 102. Allentown 4:07 (6.9MB)
Track 103. Prelude/Angry Young Man 8:23 (14.1MB)
Track 104. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant 9:11 (15.4MB)
Track 105. The Downeaster Alexa 5:06 (8.6MB)
Track 106. Goodnight Saigon 7:49 (13.1MB)
Track 107. I Go To Extremes 5:51 (9.8MB)
Track 108. Pressure 6:05 (10.2MB)
Track 109. Leningrad 5:14 (8.8MB)
Track 110. My Life 6:56 (11.7MB)
66 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. An Innocent Man 7:36 (12.8MB)
Track 202. Shameless 5:59 (10.0MB)
Track 203. We Didn’t Start The Fire 5:17 (8.9MB)
Track 204. Shout 5:43 (9.6MB)
Track 205. Uptown Girl 3:25 (5.7MB)
Track 206. It’s Still Rock ‘N’ Roll To Me 4:51 (8.2MB)
Track 207. You May Be Right 5:06 (8.6MB)
Track 208. Only The Good Die Young 4:35 (7.7MB)
Track 209. A Matter Of Trust 5:08 (8.6MB)
Track 210. Big Shot 7:59 (13.4MB)
Track 211. That’s Not Her Style 7:55 (13.3MB)
Track 212. Piano Man 6:03 (10.2MB)
70 mins

Click here to order Storm Front.

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  1. 8 Responses to “BILLY JOEL - LONDON 1990”

  2. Saw him on this tour when he played the Philadelphia Spectrum in December 1989. I proposed to my then girlfriend before the show; we had met at a record convention when she was looking for his first LP, Cold Spring Harbor. Storm Front was not one of his better efforts and has not aged well in the years since, but the man could always put on a good show. And that is what he has relied on to stay relevant the 25 years since, as late as last week when, playing most of these same songs, he played Philadelphia’s 40,000 seat Citizens Bank Park and sold it out. Thanks for the post.

    By Tony Pizza on Aug 19, 2015

  3. Poor Billy Joel what he became compared to what he was is a slight upon the beauty of Baby Jesus! Lets get some 70’s Joel on here please!

    By Darths mother on Aug 19, 2015

  4. If you followed Billy closely during his earlier career, then you will agree he has always been the “ENTERTAINER” but his change really came with “The Nylon Curtain” and subsequent tour. The tour weas my last for the Piano Man. I knew I had seen his best shows.

    Popa C

    By popac on Aug 19, 2015

  5. FUCK OFF, Joel haters. I’ll agree that “We Didn’t Start the Fire” certainly isn’t one of his best, but the rest of Storm Front is a fine album that’s (apart from that one cheesy, outdated song) aged quite well.

    “The Downeaster Alexa” is just one of Billy’s best songs, period, and musically quite different from anything else he’s recorded. He rocks his ass off on “That’s Not Her Style,” “I Go to Extremes,” “Shameless” (far superior to the Garth Brooks cover) and the album’s title song.

    It’s not as good an album as The Nylon Curtain (which may still be Joel’s masterpiece), An Innocent Man (still a timeless album), and his (apparently) final studio effort, River of Dreams, but I think his 80s-90s output easily holds up, and often surpasses, his 70s stuff. He became musically more diverse, and he rarely repeated himself from album to album like so many other artists do. Few artists over the last few decades have shown Billy’s range. Too bad you folks couldn’t accept that.

    Anyhow, thanks BigO! More Billy shows would be great! How about his epic London 1984 show, that was televised globally? Or the audio of his Live From Long Island broadcast from 1982?

    By Guy Smiley on Aug 23, 2015

  6. Thanks so much for this concert. I recorded it on the Saturday it was broadcast onto cassette. Now can listen to in much better quality. Been waiting so long for this.

    By Alan of Wimbledon on Aug 24, 2015

  7. Billy Joel is timeless as fossilized dog shit, Guy Smiley, a schmaltzmeister who never should’ve been let out of the Holiday Inn lobby.

    By Willis on Aug 24, 2015

  8. And Willis should know. Last we saw him he was sweeping the floor at that Holiday Inn, a sad little twerp grumbling this way and that about actual talented people, kicking pebbles at 7 bucks an hour.

    By Instant Karma on Aug 24, 2015

  9. The comments about how he “rocks his ass off” are particularly hilarious.
    Yeah, of course he does. LOL.

    By Willis on Aug 25, 2015

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