Ira Robbins
August 28, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Many pop stars serve their time in the minors before finding the on ramp to success. Billy Joel, for instance, initially labored in an obscure Long Island club band, the Hassles, whose 1967 debut album, a mediocre ”blue-eyed soul” effort, should interest only those who worship — or despise — the piano man. An Allman Brothers predecessor dating from that same year, the ”Hour Glass” offers summery Southern pop-funk with horns and precious little Duane Allman guitar. Although the band was an irrelevant artistic footnote, the disc is enjoyable enough on its own dated merits. ”Hassles”: C; ”Hour Glass”: B-

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