Billy Joel's 'The Stranger' at 40: A Track-by-Track Guide

The Piano Man was on the verge of getting dropped by his label when he unleashed the biggest album of his career

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"Just the Way You Are"

Billy Joel originally didn't want "Just the Way You Are" on The Stranger. He felt it was a "gloppy ballad" destined to be played at weddings. It didn't sound like the rest of the album and he thought it would bring it to a crashing halt. Phil Ramone, however, thought it was essential. To convince Joel that he was right, he brought Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow into the studio. "They heard the song, and Linda Ronstadt goes, 'Are you crazy? That's a great song!'" Joel said. "And Phoebe says, 'You gotta put that on the album!' I was like, 'Really?' I hadn't really had a woman's input. And Linda Ronstadt was pretty cute. I said, 'Oh, Linda Ronstadt likes it? OK!'"

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