On this day in music history: August 9, 1983 – “An Innocent Man”, the ninth album by Billy Joel is released. Produced by Phil Ramone, it is recorded at Chelsea Sound and A&R Studios in New York City from March – June 1983. Coming off of the critically acclaimed “The Nylon Curtain”, musician Billy Joel turns his creative interests to lighter fare after the more serious and darker themes explored on the previous album. Recorded as a tribute to the music of his youth, many of the albums songs are inspired by his relationships with supermodels Elle Macpherson and Christie Brinkley, the latter of whom he marries in 1985. Feeling creatively inspired by the new romance, Joel writes all of the albums songs within a period of six weeks. It spins off six top 40 singles including “Tell Her About It” (#1 Pop), “Uptown Girl” (#3 Pop), “Leave A Tender Moment Alone” (#27 Pop) and the title track (#10 Pop). The record makes Billboard chart history as as being one of only a small group, to chart hit singles in three separate calendar years (1983, 1984 and 1985). Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Janet Jackson, are the only other artists in the rock era to have pulled off this feat. A huge critical and commercial success, “Innocent” becomes one of the four largest selling studio albums of Billy Joel’s career (tying with “52nd Street” and “Glass Houses”). The album also receives two Grammy nominations including one for Album Of The Year in 1984. Originally released on CD in the early 80’s, the album remastered and reissued in 1998 as an enhanced CD, featuring the music videos for “Tell Her About It”, “Keeping The Faith”, “The Longest Time” and “Leave A Tender Moment Alone”. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Music On Vinyl in 2012. It is also released as a single layer SACD, with Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab reissuing the title as a hybrid SACD and as a 180 gram double vinyl LP (mastered at 45 RPM) in 2013. “An Innocent Man” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 7x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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