On This Day in 1980: Billy Joel Scored His Second No. 1 Album on the ‘Billboard’ 200 with ‘Glass Houses’

In 1978, Billy Joel’s scored his first chart-topping album on the Billboard 200 with his sixth studio effort, 52nd Street, and the Piano Man found continued success with his follow-up record, Glass Houses.

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Released in March of 1980, Glass Houses ascended to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on June 14 of that year. The album knocked Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s Against the Wind from the top of the chart and then spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1. It was bumped from the top spot by The Rolling Stones’ Emotional Rescue.

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The 10-track collection found Joel adding a grittier, harder-rocking edge to his usual melodic pop sound, in the wake of the emergence of punk and New Wave. Like 52nd Street and its 1977 predecessor, The Stranger, Glass Houses was produced by Phil Ramone.

Glass Houses featured four Top-40 singles, including “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” which became Joel’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” spent two weeks atop the Hot 100 in July of 1980.

[RELATED: Behind the Album: Turnstiles, Billy Joel’s Artistic Leap in His Return Home]

The album’s other hits were “You May Be Right” (No. 7), “Don’t Ask Me Why” (No. 19), and “Sometimes a Fantasy” (No. 36).

Honors and Achievements

In 1981, Joel won a Grammy in the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male category for “You May Be Right.” In addition, Glass Houses won the Favorite Album, Pop/Rock honor at the American Music Awards.

Glass Houses went on to be certified seven-times platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than 7 million in the U.S.

The Album Cover

The cover of Glass Houses features a photo of Joel holding up a rock he’s about to throw at a house with large glass windows. The house actually was Joel’s own home in Cove Neck, New York. The image is play on the old adage, “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

The back cover features a photo of Joel peering out the hole in a window supposedly made by the rock he threw.

The album itself kicks off with the sound of glass shattering, leading into the first track, “You May Be Right.”

Joel’s 2024 Tour Plans

As previously reported, Joel will play the final show of his long-running monthly Madison Square Garden residency in New York City on July 25.

Joel’s next concert is a June 21 co-headlining show with Stevie Nicks at Soldier Field in Chicago. His 2024 itinerary also includes three joint concerts with Sting, and one with Rod Stewart. In addition, Joel has headlining shows scheduled in Denver; Cardiff, U.K.; and the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California. Check out Joel’s full schedule at BillyJoel.com.

Tickets for Joel’s concerts can be purchased now via a variety of outlets, including StubHub.

Glass Houses Track List:

Side One

  1. “You May Be Right”
  2. “Sometimes a Fantasy”
  3. “Don’t Ask Me Why”
  4. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”
  5. “All for Leyna”

Side Two

  1. “I Don’t Want to Be Alone”
  2. “Sleeping with the Television On”
  3. “C’était Toi (You Were the One)”
  4. “Close to the Borderline”
  5. “Through the Long Night”

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