If you were alive at the tail end of the seventies, chances are this album has been indelibly stamped on your psyche.
As much as Boston's debut or the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, this album was the soundtrack of the late seventies and managed to help catapault Joel from mere popularity to superstardom.
With all of Joel's music there's an emotional honesty there that most of us are able to relate to on some level or another. While Sir Elton was the big name across the pond-- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road his name-making smash hit, over on our side of the pond, Billy was our piano man and The Stranger was our Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
There's a familiarity to the characters he sings of-- whether it be Anthony from Movin' Out or Brenda & Eddie from Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, Joel sang of them with a familiarity that made them our friends as much as they were his. And with that familiarity comes the popularity of this album. Billy Joel seemingly effortlessly, wrote and performed an album that many of us could all relate to in our own special ways.
All of the songs on the album are written in such a way that each listener feels the songs are about him or her directly, or peripherally. We may not know of these experiences he sings of personally, but we know "those people." And in that relatability, Billy Joel created an album that is as timeless as it is beautiful.
So pop on your headphones and visit this old friend with a bottle of red, a bottle of white-- it all depends upon your appetite...
Just the Way You Are
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Only the Good Die Young