3. '52nd Street'
The huge success of The Stranger completely changed Billy Joel's career, but when it came time for a follow-up he knew repeating the formula would be a mistake. "We wanted to do something completely different," Billy Joel told Rolling Stone this year. "Phil Ramone had the idea to bring in jazz musicians. I was really enthusiastic about it." 52nd Street didn't quite surpass The Stranger, but it was a huge success. "Big Shot," "Honesty" and "My Life" were enormous radio hits. The latter track had a second life two years later when it was used as the theme to the Tom Hanks/Peter Scolari sitcom Bosom Buddies.