500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Billy Joel, 'The Stranger'

70. Billy Joel, 'The Stranger'

Columbia, 1977

Billy Joel had been on the verge throughout the mid-Seventies. But his fifth album had the recipe for success: a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a sharp eye for the local color of New York street life. The piano man hones his storytelling gifts with a Scorsese-style sense of humor and compassion, whether he's singing about a down-and-out Little Italy hustler in "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," the femme fatale in "She's Always a Woman to Me" or the doomed Long Island greaser couple Brenda and Eddie in "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant." Meanwhile, he hit the pop charts with the Grammy-winning "Just the Way You Are" (written for his first wife and manager, Elizabeth), which became a wedding-band standard.

Back to Top