The album in question is "52nd Street" by Billy Joel, released in 1978. The title track of the album opens with a sound effect that is indeed appropriate to its title. The sound effect is a recording of the traffic sounds of New York City's 52nd Street, which sets the stage for the fast-paced, urban vibe of the album.
"52nd Street" was Billy Joel's fifth studio album and marked a departure from his previous work. It was his first album to be recorded and produced outside of New York, in Florida. Despite this change of location, the album's themes remained firmly rooted in the city, capturing the energy and excitement of New York in the 1970s.
The album was well received by critics and was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart. It was also the first album by Billy Joel to be certified Platinum by the RIAA, indicating sales of over one million units in the United States.
One of the standout tracks on "52nd Street" is the title track, which features the aforementioned sound effect of the traffic on New York's 52nd Street. The sound effect serves as an introduction to the fast-paced, upbeat nature of the song, which was inspired by the jazz and swing music of the 1930s and 1940s.
The sound effect was created by recording the traffic sounds on 52nd Street and then manipulating the recording in the studio to create the desired effect. This was a unique and innovative approach at the time and helped to set "52nd Street" apart from other albums of its era.
In conclusion, the album "52nd Street" by Billy Joel opens with a sound effect that is appropriate to its title. The sound effect, a recording of the traffic sounds of New York's 52nd Street, sets the stage for the fast-paced, urban vibe of the album and helps to create a unique and memorable introduction to the title track. This innovative approach to album production was a contributing factor to the commercial success of "52nd Street" and remains one of the defining moments in Billy Joel's musical career.
Source: "Billy Joel: The Life and Work of a Pop Music Legend" by Mark Bego (2011)