Saturday (August 28th) marks the 28th anniversary of Billy Joel's last studio album — River Of Dreams — topping the Billboard 200 album charts. River Of Dreams, the “Piano Man's” 12th album, was released on August 10th, 1993 and spent three weeks at Number One — between August 28th and September 17th — when it was knocked out of the top spot by Garth Brooks' In Pieces. River Of Dreams' cover was painted by Billy's then wife, Christie Brinkley and snagged Rolling Stone's “Top Picks” award for “Best Album Cover Of The Year.” To date, the album has sold over five million copies in the U.S. alone.
For River Of Dreams — despite the success of his teamup with Foreigner's Mick Jones, who was behind the boards for 1989's Storm Front — Billy tapped veteran guitarist/producer Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, best known for his guitar work for the likes of James Taylor, Carole King, Crosby & Nash, Jackson Browne, and Linda Ronstadt, among many others. At that point, Kortchmar was particularly hot following his co-production and songwriting duties on Don Henley's 1984 set Building The Perfect Beast and its 1989 followup, The End Of The Innocence.
River Of Dreams, which was Billy's last work completed during his marriage to Brinkley, touched upon their relationship on “Blonde Over Blue,” their pending split on his song for their daughter Alexa, “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel),” and his contempt for his former brother-in-law and crooked ex-manager Frank Weber on “The Great Wall Of China.”