Glass Houses is the seventh studio album by Americansinger-songwriterBilly Joel, released on March 10, 1980. 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 was ranked number 4 on Billboard's 1980 year-end album chart. The album is the 41st best selling album of the 1980s, with sales of 7.1 million copies in the US alone. In 1981, Joel won a Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" for his work on Glass Houses.
Opening with the sound of glass shattering, Glass Houses has more of a hard rock feel than Joel's previous albums. The cover shows Joel poised to throw a rock through the two-story window of his real-life waterfront glass house in Oyster Bay. On some versions, the back cover shows Billy looking through the hole that the rock made in the glass. This alludes to the adage that "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
Some reviewers, like Stephen Thomas Erlewine, believe that the album was Joel's response to New Wave and punk rock (Joel does reference both New Wave and punk rock in the lyrics of the song "It's Still Rock & Roll To Me"). Erlewine concludes, "[The album] may not be punk -- then again, it may be his concept of punk -- but Glass Houses is the closest Joel ever got to a pure rock album."
In 2004, the pop-culture journalist and rock critic Chuck Klosterman praised the album in an essay on Joel titled "Every Dog Must Have His Every Day, Every Drunk Must Have His Drink" from his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs (the title of the essay refers to a line from the Glass Houses song "Don't Ask Me Why") In particular, Klosterman praised some of the more obscure tracks from the album including "All for Leyna", "I Don't Want to Be Alone", "Sleeping with the Television On", and "Close to The Borderline."