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The Stranger Original recording remastered, Enhanced

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 10 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000DCHC
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
2. The Stranger
3. Just The Way You Are
4. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
5. Vienna
6. Only The Good Die Young
7. She's Always A Woman
8. Get It Right The First Time
9. Everybody Has A Dream

Product Description

Product Description

His 1977 #2 smash, with Just the Way You Are , and more.

Amazon.ca

This, pop superstar Joel's breakout LP, came years after he first hit the charts with the novelty-ish "Piano Man." In the meantime, the New York-based songwriter released two lackluster and stylistically confused platters that blunted interesting songs with a sound that was neither Elton mellow nor Elton attitude. Produced by Phil Ramone, The Stranger took those who had written Joel off as a one-hit wonder by surprise ("Just the Way You Are" was among the biggest hits of 1977) and it remains a solid introduction to Joel's restless muse at a crucial point in his career. It invited a few comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, with its prominent sax breaks, hard-edged rebel-rockers ("Only the Good Die Young"), and slice-of-life dramatics ("Scenes From an Italian Restaurant"), recounting life in a lower middle-class (Eastern Urban) setting; but Joel's chameleonic, formalist approach to pop wasn't to be so easily pigeonholed (Glass Houses, The Nylon Curtain, An Innocent Man...). --Don Harrison


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Until this point in 1977, Billy Joel had been a one-hit wonder, with "Piano Man" as his lasting contribution to popular music. "The Stranger" changed it all for Billy, introducing the world to his hook-laden songwriting skills while showing his musical versatility.

The album's opener, the energetic "Movin' Out", shows flavors of edgy jazz mixed with Spanish and Caribbean touches. The title track is a very personal number, all about finding out who we are and who the people we love are. "Just The Way You Are" is the light jazz ballad that introduced this album to the world at large and became a wedding standard for decades. The next track, "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant", shows Billy at his best, starting with a heartfelt ballad section that gives way to a bright pop beat with a hopeful verse, and peaks with a story about "Brenda and Eddie" and the hard road they faced as they moved in together, all set to a torrid, jazzy pace that reminds us greatly of Springsteen as Richie Cannata (Billy's highly underrated sax player) launches into a dynamite sax solo. "Scenes", to me, might be Billy's greatest accomplishment in song construction.

The second half of the disc is less ambitious but hardly unsatisfying. "Vienna" is a smooth tune that calls to the wandering heart in all of us; "Only The Good Die Young", which horrified the Catholic church, is impossible to resist and remains one of the signatures of this album. How can anyone resist a lyric like "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints"? But on the heels of all this fun comes "She's Always A Woman", a love song that is more passionate than "Just The Way You Are".
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Format: Audio CD
This is indeed one of rare albums that is a must have for any serious collector of today's music! Joel's brilliance and talent shines throughout the entire CD. He has a very talented band, too! Not only are these great songs with entertaining lyrics and melodies, Joel uses these songs to portray common life experiences for people in today's world: Anger, disillusionment, the struggle to be truly vulnerable with a lover, despair, love for another, the temptation of drugs, raw sexuality and hope for the future. (In "Movin' Out," "The Stranger," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Just The Way You Are," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Only The Good Die Young," and "Everybody Has A Dream," respectively.) It is Joel's treatment of these natural human emotions and experiences coupled with great music and lyrics that makes this a stellar album.
Billy Joel gained much status as a result of this album-deservedly so! I recommend this for ANYBODY who wants an excellent instant classic addition to their collection! A BUY! GRIN
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Format: Audio CD
This is indeed one of rare albums that is a must have for any serious collector of today's music! Joel's brilliance and talent shines throughout the entire CD. He has a very talented band, too! Not only are these great songs with entertaining lyrics and melodies, Joel uses these songs to portray common life experiences for people in today's world: Anger, disillusionment, the struggle to be truly vulnerable with a lover, despair, love for another, the temptation of drugs, raw sexuality and hope for the future. (In "Movin' Out," "The Stranger," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Just The Way You Are," "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant," "Only The Good Die Young," and "Everybody Has A Dream," respectively.) It is Joel's treatment of these natural human emotions and experiences coupled with great music and lyrics that makes this a stellar album.
Billy Joel gained much status as a result of this album-deservedly so! I recommend this for ANYBODY who wants an excellent instant classic addition to their collection! A BUY! GRIN
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Format: Audio CD
Wow, this album blows you away. Those rare albums you can find where every song or every song except 1 or 2, is great are hard to find. This is one of them. Some people will argue that this was not when he was at his best. I'd like to hear how they can justify that, but anyway. It starts off with a classic, Movin Out (Anthony's Song), then, one of my favorites, a haunting melody, The Stranger. Joel proves his extreme talent in this album. Then it moves to beautiful songs like, "Just The Way You Are," and "Scenes From An Italian Restaraunt," many people's favorite song of all time. The next song, Vienna, is also beautiful. And with megahit, Song #6, Only The Good Die Young, he basically proves that his music can go many ways and still be great. That fast moving tune, has some of the best lyrics anywhere. This album is a must have for everyone who likes any form of Rock. Not just Billy Joel.
His next two songs, "She's Always A Woman" and "Get It Right The First Time" don't let you down. With Shes Always A Woman's powerful lyrics, and Get It Right The First Time's" fast moving beat, there were two more incredible songs on this album.
The only song that is not great is the next one, in my opinion, "Everybody Has A Dream." A decent song, that is not near the first 8, it is a good way to end the album.
This album here, contains 8 songs that would be in my Top 20 Billy Joel songs of all time. Not that his other works were not excellent, like "Piano Man," or "52nd Street," but "The Stranger" is superior. No question in my mind.
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