The Nylon Curtain

The Nylon Curtain

With this powerful song cycle, Billy Joel turned his attention to what was happening with baby boomers and their world in the ’80s. On “Allentown,” he addressed the death of manufacturing and its effect on the working class, using the sounds of factory machinery as a rhythm to push his stomping piano and anthemic melody. The songwriting and production are ambitious throughout, especially on “Goodnight Saigon,” a dramatic seven-minute tour de force about Vietnam vets, bookended by the sound of helicopters.

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