Billy Joel: The Stranger (1977)

Produced by Phil Ramone

Yesterday, September 29, this album had its 45th anniversary. No doubt, Billy Joel has released a lot of great albums but to me and many others, this is considered his best album. Released in 1977 and need of a hit album, Joel deliver an album full of classic and great songs.

This album is special, there is something to be said about an artist with the pressure of the label to make a hit album. Like Springsteen with Band on the run, the pressure sure got Billy to write amazing songs.

The album begins with the great song Moving Out (Anthony’s song). An upbeat track about Anthony who considers the burdens of moving up in society and decides to just move out. The song The Stranger is about those parts of ourselves that we don’t let anyone see. Followed by the beautiful love song Just the way you are, a true declaration of love. Then comes the masterpiece of the album, Scenes from an Italian restaurant. I heard him explain that he was inspired by the medley on Abbey Road and took different bits and made this song about two friends who meet and talk about Brenda and Eddie. Other songs include She’s always a woman and Only the good die young.

This is a great album and a true masterpiece for Billy Joel.

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