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The Stranger

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Editors’ Notes

Years of often bleak lounge and club gigs had given "Piano Man" enough first-person edge to become his first significant hit, but Billy Joel finally crashed the big time in 1977 with this muscular commercial breakthrough, an album that still stands among his most confident and accomplished. If the collection's uber-slick signature ballad "Just the Way You Are" made him anathema to the nascent punk revolution, it nonetheless scored the ultimate Grammy honor as both Song and Record of the Year. Producer Phil Ramone brings out the latent '50s roots of songs like "Only the Good Die Young," while burnishing "Movin' Out" and the neo-classical melodicism of "She's Always a Woman to Me" to elegant perfection. There's a palpable edge to many of Joel's performances here; coupled with an ability to forge strong personas in his work that rivaled Randy Newman's, it's a collection whose best songs often blur the line between observation and autobiography.

Customer Reviews

I Remeber This!!

This album is sweet. I remeber being little (around 5), and just today I say it listened to the clips and it brought back memories from many long car rides to CA! This is a great album, from a great artist and you should totally buy it!!

Musical Genius is Joel

I am a huge Billy Joel fan, and this is his best album to date. Every song is unique in its own way. "The Stranger" is one of Joel's best writings, but it is not one of his most well-known works unfortunately. "Vienna" and "Scenes from an Italian Restauraunt" are also two excellent works. This is just another PERFECT album in Billy Joel's PERFECT career. If you love music in general, Billy Joel is the perfect singer. He has clearly tackled every type of music except crap (excuse me rap). Anyway, Buy this album!

My Favorite Billy Joel Album

This is a remarkably complete album, phenomenal in nearly every aspect. It is filled with popular hits, but it has a special mystifying quality that can only be discovered when listened to from start to finish. So I would recommend buying the entire album, or at least the songs you don’t have already so you can listen to the collection as an entity. This flawless album is, in my opinion, Joel’s best. Buy “Piano Man” if you loved this one. That is a close second.


Born: May 9, 1949 in Bronx, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar...
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