Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Billy Joel - The Stranger (1977)

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...

Related Links

Movin' Out





The Stranger


Just the Way You Are


Scenes From An Italian Restaurant


Only the Good Die Young

4 comments:

BarBarA said...

Yes, a true classic! But...I have to admit that I never owned it! I did however have Yellow Brick Road and had almost every song on their memorized I played it so much.

(i graduated from HS in '77 - but I graduated early, therefore I am really much younger than a normal person who graduated way back then in the dark ages......)

David Amulet said...

This might be Joel's best album, although I have a soft spot for Glass Houses and even An Innocent Man. There are several really solid songs on here that are better than almost anything he's done since.

-- david

Lee Ann said...

I love Billy Joel....saw him in concert...very very good!
Excellent choice of albums!

blogtimizer said...

offtopic: just want to let you know that this blog is cool! ;)