“A Matter of Trust” is a song by Billy Joel released as the second single from his album The Bridge.
The Bridge is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on July 28, 1986. It was the last studio album produced by Phil Ramone as well as the last to feature Joel’s long-time bassist Doug Stegmeyer and rhythm guitarist Russell Javors. The album yielded several successful singles, including “A Matter of Trust” (peaking at No. 10), “Modern Woman” (which also appeared on the Ruthless People soundtrack, peaking at No. 10), and “This Is the Time” (peaking at No. 18).
Joel began work on the album — on which two of his major influences (Ray Charles and Steve Winwood) made guest appearances — in 1985. Charles sang a duet with Joel on the song “Baby Grand”, and Winwood played Hammond organ on the song “Getting Closer”. Other notable musicians who made guest appearances on the album include jazz musicians Ron Carter and Michael Brecker, who both played on the jazzy track “Big Man on Mulberry Street.”
The album also had some New wave influences. For instance, the first song, “Running on Ice,” is heavily influenced by the music of The Police, and “Modern Woman” borrows heavily from the styles of Huey Lewis and the News. The final song recorded for the album, “Code of Silence,” featured Cyndi Lauper who contributed backing vocals and received co-writing credit for the lyrics; Joel would return the favor by contributing backing vocals on Lauper’s song “Maybe He’ll Know” for her 1986 album True Colors.
The Bridge was Joel’s last album to carry the “Family Productions” logo which had appeared on all of Joel’s albums up to that time as part of a deal that Columbia Records made to get Joel out of his first recording contract with Artie Ripp’s Family Productions. In the closing song of the album — “Getting Closer” — Joel makes several of what are clearly attacks and observations on the iron-clad contract with Ripp, with references to “my stolen youth”, “all the conmen and their acrobats who stomped me in the ground,” and “I must live up to contracts.”
The song was the second top 10 single from the album, after the previous single “Modern Woman.” The song’s music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy and produced and conceived by Paul Flattery, features Joel and his band performing in the basement of a building on St. Mark’s Place in New York City’s East Village and also features shots of various people in the city who eventually gather round the building’s windows to see Joel perform. Most appear to be enjoying the concert except one woman on a fire escape who yells at them to “Shut Up!”, however she is ignored and even members of the NYPD don’t mind. His then-wife Christie Brinkley appears in the video holding their baby daughter, Alexa. The song differs from most Joel songs in that it is based on electric guitar rather than piano, which gives it a hard rock edge compared to his usual soft rock balladry. It is the only Billy Joel music video that features him on guitar – a factor he cited for saying it was his favorite of all his videos. The song gained major traction in the Soviet Union as part of a state-sponsored television promotion of Joel’s songs in preparation for his 1987 USSR concerts, recorded on Kontsert.