Glass Houses

Glass Houses

[glas-hous, glahs-]

Glass Houses is the seventh album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released in 1980 (see 1980 in music). It features Joel's first song to peak at #1 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me." The album itself topped the Pop Albums chart for six weeks and became the fourth best-selling album in the United States in the year of its release.

Opening with the sound of glass shattering, Glass Houses has more of a hard rock feel than Joel's prior albums. Accordingly, the response to this album was quite mixed. Glass Houses alienated many long-time fans, while at the same time, attracted many new fans to his music. The album was conceived as a reply to punk in general, and The Jam's second album This Is the Modern World in particular.


The album cover consists of Joel poised to throw a rock through the big two story window of his real life modern water front glass house in Oyster Bay. He moved into it in 1977, after getting turned down for an apartment at The Dakota.

It was the third collaboration between Joel and producer Phil Ramone, following The Stranger and 52nd Street.

Track listing

All songs written by Billy Joel.

  1. "You May Be Right" – 4:15
  2. "Sometimes a Fantasy" – 3:40
  3. "Don't Ask Me Why" – 2:59
  4. "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" – 2:57
  5. "All for Leyna" – 4:15
  6. "I Don't Want to Be Alone" – 3:57
  7. "Sleeping With the Television On" – 3:02
  8. "C'Était Toi (You Were the One)" – 3:25
  9. "Close to the Borderline" – 3:47
  10. "Through the Long Night" – 2:43



  • Producers: Phil Ramone
  • Engineer: Jim Boyer
  • Assistant engineer: Bradshaw Leigh
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen
  • Photography: Jim Houghton

Chart positions


Year Country Chart Position Weeks Sales/shipments Cetification (if any)
1980 United States The Billboard Pop Albums 1 (x6) 73 7,000,000+ 7x Multi-Platinum
Norway VG-lista Albums Chart (top 40) 2 31
Japan Oricon Weekly LP Albums Chart (top 100) 6 45 310,000+
Oricon Weekly CT Albums Chart (top 100) 12 35
United Kingdom UK Albums Chart (top 75) 9 24 100,000+ Gold
Austria Albums Chart (top 20) 4 20
Sweden Albums Chart (top 50) 6 10


Year Single Country Chart Position
1980 "All for Leyna" United Kingdom UK Singles Chart 40
"You May Be Right" United States Billboard Hot 100 7
Billboard AC 48
Japan Oricon Weekly 60
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" United States Billboard Hot 100 1
Billboard AC 40
United Kingdom UK Singles Chart 14
"Don't Ask Me Why" United States Billboard AC 1
Billboard Hot 100 19
"Sometimes a Fantasy" 36


Grammy Awards
Year Winner Category
1980 Glass Houses Best Male Rock Vocal Performance


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