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Featured Album - THE STRANGER
Featured Album - THE STRANGER PhotoFeatured Album - THE STRANGER Photo

Year of release - 1977

The Stranger by Billy Joel - 

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on September 29, 1977. While his four previous albums had been moderately successful, The Stranger became Joel's true critical and commercial breakthrough, spending six weeks at #2 on the U.S. album charts. Considered his magnum opus, it remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and was ranked number 70 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The Stranger contains nine songs: Songwriting on "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "She's Always a Woman," "Just the Way You Are," "Everybody Has a Dream," and "Only the Good Die Young" was completed before recording, while "Vienna," "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," "The Stranger," and "Get It Right the First Time," which originated as short tunes or musical fragments, were completed in the studio. Lyrically, the album's approach is decidedly narrative; each song tells a story. The seven-and-a-half-minute epic "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" began as a shorter song entitled "The Ballad of Brenda and Eddie," which became the third section of "Italian Restaurant." While composing "The Stranger," Joel whistled the track's signature theme for producer Phil Ramone, claiming that he (Joel) needed to find an instrument to play it. Ramone replied: "No, you don't. That's 'The Stranger,' the whistling."[citation needed]

Four singles from the LP charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the following order: "Just the Way You Are" (#3), "Movin' Out" (#17), "Only the Good Die Young" (#24), and "She's Always a Woman" (#17). Many of its songs are now staples on classic rock and adult contemporary FM radio stations.

Much of the album's success is attributed to Joel's collaboration with producer Phil Ramone, whose innovative production methods complemented the album's listing; this fruitful partnership would continue for a decade. Singles released from the album include "Just the Way You Are" (which won the Grammy for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year), the acoustic ballad "She's Always A Woman," the mildly controversial "Only the Good Die Young," and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," which later lent its title to Movin' Out, an acclaimed hit Broadway musical based on Billy Joel's work. This album overtook Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water to become the best-selling album on the Columbia Records imprint at the time.

Side 1
  1. "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" – 3:30
  2. "The Stranger" – 5:10
  3. "Just the Way You Are" – 4:52
  4. "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" – 7:37
Side 2
  1. "Vienna" – 3:34
  2. "Only the Good Die Young" – 3:55
  3. "She's Always a Woman" – 3:21
  4. "Get It Right the First Time" – 3:57
  5. "Everybody Has a Dream / The Stranger (Reprise)" – 6:38
| Closed on 02/23/14 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
12 Fans 
75%a. Great Album
8%b. Liked a few songs
17%c. Not interest or never heard these songs
0%d. This album sucks!

5 Comments | Sorted by Most Recent First | Red = You Disagreed
Vote for your favorite comments. Fans decide the Top Comment (3+ votes) and also hide poor quality comments (4+ votes).
#1 | 241 days ago

I liked it, bought it in vinyl and wore the grooves off of it. Probably my favorite album by him.
Great Album  
#2 | 241 days ago

What Beans said. Except for the "buying it on vinyl and wearing the grooves off of it" part.
Great Album  
#3 | 241 days ago

The Stranger, where you lay on your hand till it falls asleep, then it feels like someone else is doing it to you!
Not interest or never heard these songs  
#4 | 240 days ago

Great Album  
#5 | 240 days ago

Listened to this album before every baseball game I played in 1978....we won the league that year, but I was also too busy playing wiffle ball every day with my brother, so I couldn't hit a real baseball to save my life....I think I batted around the Mendoza line that year (.200 for you non-baseball fans)....after hitting well over .500 in all previous years of playing baseball
Great Album  

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