The Stranger

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Billy Joel teamed with Phil Ramone, a famed engineer who had just scored his first producing hits with Art Garfunkel's Breakaway and Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years for The Stranger, his follow-up to Turnstiles. Joel still favored big, sweeping melodies, but Ramone convinced him to streamline his arrangements and clean up the production. The results aren't necessarily revelatory, since he covered so much ground on Turnstiles, but the commercialism of The Stranger is a bit of a surprise. None of his ballads have been as sweet or slick as "Just the Way You Are"; he never had created a rocker as bouncy or infectious as "Only the Good Die Young"; and ...
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May have light surface scratches. Jewel case condition may vary. May or may not include liner notes. Digital copy may or may not be present, one time use code may or may not be ... used Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Billy Joel teamed with Phil Ramone, a famed engineer who had just scored his first producing hits with Art Garfunkel's Breakaway and Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years for The Stranger, his follow-up to Turnstiles. Joel still favored big, sweeping melodies, but Ramone convinced him to streamline his arrangements and clean up the production. The results aren't necessarily revelatory, since he covered so much ground on Turnstiles, but the commercialism of The Stranger is a bit of a surprise. None of his ballads have been as sweet or slick as "Just the Way You Are"; he never had created a rocker as bouncy or infectious as "Only the Good Die Young"; and the glossy production of "She's Always a Woman" disguises its latent misogynist streak. Joel balanced such radio-ready material with a series of New York vignettes, seemingly inspired by Springsteen's working-class fables and clearly intended to be the artistic centerpieces of the album. They do provide The Stranger with the feel of a concept album, yet there is no true thematic connection between the pieces, and his lyrics are often vague or mean-spirited. His lyrical shortcomings are overshadowed by his musical strengths. Even if his melodies sound more Broadway than Beatles -- the epic suite "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" feels like a show-stopping closer -- there's no denying that the melodies of each song on The Stranger are memorable, so much so that they strengthen the weaker portions of the album. Joel rarely wrote a set of songs better than those on The Stranger, nor did he often deliver an album as consistently listenable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/1998
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646938423
  • Catalog Number: 69384

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Billy Joel Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Harmonica, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Patti Austin Vocals, Background Vocals
Gwen Guthrie Vocals, Background Vocals
Phoebe Snow Vocals, Background Vocals
Hiram Bullock Guitar, Electric Guitar
Steve Khan Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, 12-string Guitar
Ralph MacDonald Percussion
Dominic Cortese Accordion
Steve Burgh Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Richie Cannata Organ, Clarinet, Fiddle, Flute, Keyboards, Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Wind
Liberty DeVitto Percussion, Drums
Lani Groves Vocals, Background Vocals
Hugh McCracken Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Doug Stegmeyer Bass
Richard Tee Organ
Phil Woods Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Dave Brown Guitar
Hugh Macdonald Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
Billy Joel Composer, Producer
Patrick Williams Orchestration
Jim Boyer Engineer
Ted Jensen Remastering
Phil Ramone Producer, Engineer
John Naatjes Tape Research
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    So Billy's pretty much my hero....

    Definately one of my favorite albums of all time. This is an amazing album for both new and old fans alike. I saw Billy live this past January and played a good 2/3 of the songs on this album! If you ever get a chance to see him live..DO IT! He's phenomenal!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I love Billie

    Im thirteen and i've been listening to Billy Joel with my mom since i was a little kid. I love his music it is so much better than all of the music coming out today. Viena is such a good song I listen to it all the time. I remember listening to We Didnt STart the fire when i was little and singing it with my friends . All of Billie Joel's song are amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I just keep getting into older music...

    And Billy Joel's The Stranger is just a great album to listen to, whatever mood you happen to be in. I, myself do not have the album, but my parents do and I have had a few listens and I can't get enough of some of the songs such as "Only The Good Die Young" and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)". These songs just never get boring and I have now become a fan of Billy Joel. Something I told my mom would never happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    New Found Fan!!

    I'm a new found fan, I'm also 14, and I came across this album in a kind of weird way. I had heard of Billy Joel before and absolutley loved his song 'Only The Good Die Young' and played it in the juke box all the time!! The way a found this album was from the movie 13 Going On 30. I was watching and a song came on and I really liked it! I later found out that it was called Vienna and Billy Joel sung it!! I was cleaning my room and listening, rewinding, and re-listening to the same song over and over again and I learned all the words to the song and finally desided that it was time to get one of his album's but Vienna had to be on it!! And I found this one online and went shopping with my friend and bought it! Boy am I glad that I did that!! I LOVE his song Movin' Out!! What a tune that has!! I thought it was funny cuz I also memerize Only The Good Die Young the same whey!! I listened to the sond over and over again on my way home from a school trip to Montreal!! I memerized the whole thing on the ride home!! Billy Joel Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews