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The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on September 29, 1977, by Columbia Records. While his four previous albums had been moderately successful, The Stranger became Joel’s true critical and commercial breakthrough, spending six weeks at number 2 on the US albums chart. Considered his magnum opus, it remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and was ranked number 70 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Joel describes the sessions for the album as “a blast” and as the breakthrough album with four hit singles. The Stranger contains nine songs. Lyrically, the album’s approach is decidedly narrative; each song tells a story. Four singles from the LP charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the following order: “Just the Way You Are” (#3), “Movin’ Out” (#17), “Only the Good Die Young” (#24), and “She’s Always a Woman” (#17). Many of its songs are now staples on classic rock and adult contemporary FM radio stations. According to Joel, George Martin wrote him a letter and it read, “You were right; I was wrong. I should have considered working with your band. Congratulations.”

Track Listing

Side One
1. “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”
2. “The Stranger”
3. “Just The Way You Are”
4. “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”

Side Two
1. “Vienna”
2. “Only The Good Die Young”
3. “She’s Always A Woman”
4. “Get It Right The First Time”
5. “Everybody Has A Dream”