Essential Listening: This record made Joel no `Stranger’ to success

Billy Joel's fifth album,

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Billy Joel’s fifth album, “The Stranger,” produced many of his biggest hits.

Caden Harsh, Staff Writer

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One of the biggest hitmakers in ’70s music initially took up his instrument very reluctantly.

When he was only 4 years old, Billy Joel’s mother insisted that he take up the piano. He grudgingly accepted, and the rest is history.

Joel’s fifth studio album, The Stranger, is his biggest success. 

Songs like “Just the Way You Are” and “She’s Always a Woman” offer melodic ballads, while “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” and “Only the Good Die Young” provide a faster, more upbeat sound. 

The fan favorite “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” combined the two by starting out slower, then speeding up later in the epic story song.

The Stranger includes Joel’s best-written songs. His “down to earth” lyrics and his pop/rock and roll blend make it the perfect album for fans of classic rock and roll.