The Nylon Curtain is the eighth studio album by Billy Joel. It was released by Columbia Records on September 23, 1982 and produced by Phil Ramone.
The Nylon Curtain peaked at number seven in the Billboard album charts, with two million sales in the United States alone. It was one of the first albums to be digitally recorded, mixed and mastered.
The album is perhaps best known for bringing global attention to the plight of Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the song "Allentown", the lead track, Joel sings of the city's resoluteness amidst the demise of industry in this eastern Pennsylvania city. In early 1983, "Allentown" spent an unprecedented six weeks at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was one of the most played radio songs of the early 1980s, along with another Top 20 hit "Pressure".
The album is among the most ambitious of Joel's albums. It is unusual for Joel's work in its direct homage to and influence of the music of The Beatles and John Lennon (in particular "Laura," "Surprises," "Scandinavian Skies," and "Where's the Orchestra?"). "Where's the Orchestra?" ends with a simple instrumental rendition of "Allentown", creating an album bookend.
Pop-culture journalist Chuck Klosterman praised the album, particularly "Laura" and "Where's the Orchestra?," quite heavily in his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.
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