The Bridge is Billy Joel's 10th studio album released by Columbia Records in 1986 and was his final album to be produced by Phil Ramone. This album had several successful singles, including "A Matter of Trust" (peaking at #10), "Modern Woman" (from the Ruthless People soundtrack, peaking at #10), and "This Is the Time" (peaking at #18).
Joel began work on the album in 1985 and it would become The Bridge in early 1986. Ray Charles, one of Joel's heroes, sang a duet with Joel on the song "Baby Grand" and Steve Winwood played Hammond organ on the song "Getting Closer." The first song on the disc, "Running on Ice" is heavily influenced by the music of The Police. The final song recorded for the album was "Code Of Silence," featuring Cyndi Lauper contributing backing vocals and getting co-writing credit for the lyrics. It is the only song for which Joel shared a writing credit but Lauper actually did not write any of it. Joel was going through a writer's block and Lauper talked him out of it. He wrote the song and gave her a writer's credit as a gesture of thanks.
Though it broke into the Top Ten, The Bridge was not a success in relation to some of Joel's other albums, but it yielded the hit "A Matter Of Trust." In a departure from his "piano man" persona, Joel is shown in its video as playing a Les Paul-autographed Gibson guitar, despite his limited ability to play the guitar (mainly using the guitar for songwriting purposes). The ballad "This Is the Time" also charted, and has been a favorite on the prom circuit ever since. "Modern Woman" was also released as a single and was quite successful, but Joel has since said in interviews he does not care for the song, and subsequently it has been left off most of his compilation sets (the exceptions appear to be My Lives and The Ultimate Collection).
The Bridge was Joel's last album to carry the "Family Productions" logo, as he later dropped the logo altogether.