The Stranger

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The Stranger

Billy Joel - Stranger, The - Vinyl - Small Lettering, Gray.jpg

Vinyl - USA - 1st edition.

Artist Billy Joel
Published 1977-09-29
Type Studio
Genre Rock, Pop rock
Themes Relationships, love, self-reflection

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by Billy Joel released on 1977-09-29. It was produced by Phil Ramone and mostly features piano pop rock music. Joel's publisher, Columbia Records was considering ending Joel's contract due to poor sales of his previous album, but The Stranger ended up becoming massively successful, becoming Joel's best-selling album, and even the publisher's best selling album of all time up until that point.



I knew of a couple of the songs from this album from hearing them on the radio as a child. In the 1990s, my mother bought the CD version of Greatest Hits: Volume I & Volume II which I loved and listened to on repeat for weeks. I ended up buying the album for myself somewhere around 2000. Greatest Hits includes the bulk of the songs from this album, but, in the mid-2000s, my friend Jackie introduced me to the song Vienna, which isn't on Greatest Hits. She explained how the song was very important to her because it spoke a necessary message to her during a time of depression in her life; I listened to it and loved it. Since I already have most of the songs from the Greatest Hits album, I haven't bothered to buy The Stranger, but it's still my favorite Billy Joel album.

Track Listing

All songs composed by and sung by Billy Joel.

Track Title Rank Rating
A1 Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) 7 Rating-2.svg
A2 The Stranger 4 Rating-7.svg
A3 Just the Way You Are 6 Rating-6.svg
A4 Scenes from an Italian Restaurant 2 Rating-8.svg
B1 Vienna 3 Rating-8.svg
B2 Only the Good Die Young 1 Rating-8.svg
B3 She's Always a Woman 5 Rating-6.svg
B4 Get It Right the First Time 8 Rating-0.svg
B5 Everybody Has a Dream 9 Rating-0.svg

The album's total score is 514.


The album cover features Billy Joel in a suit sitting on a bed looking down at a mask. I like the photo and think it nicely portrays the album's theme. Although all formats and regions use the same photo, there are variations in the size and placement of the lettering and the degree of sepia versus grayscale in the photo. These variations even occur in the same region, format, and publisher. Here are a couple examples:


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