Billy Joel The Stranger 45rpm 180g 2LP
Numbered, Limited Edition! 180g 45rpm Edition!
Mastered From Original Master Tapes!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 70/500!
Billy Joel entered 1977 with a great track record but in need of breakthrough.
Pairing with producer Phil Ramone (Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel), who
developed the requisite ingredients missing from Joel’s formula, the
singer-songwriter became a household name and chart-topping success courtesy of
The Stranger. Ranked 67 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of
All Time and certified ten-times platinum, Joel’s artistic and commercial smash
remains a pop-rock benchmark. Better still, it now sounds astonishing.
An integral part of Mobile Fidelity’s Billy Joel catalog restoration series, The
Stranger is mastered from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g LP at
RTI. Far superior to the previous Sony and Simply Vinyl analog reissues, this
edition emphasizes the crucial touches and insightful techniques Ramone brought
to a batch of material that ranks among Joel’s most clever, catchy, and
Whereas a handful of Joel’s preceding efforts feature a near-flawless mix of
melodic arrangements and poignant lyrics, the aspects he sought in order to
graduate into a more serious artist arrive here via Ramone’s more muscular,
fleshed-out, and rock-enabling production. The streamlined approach slightly
strips back the sweeping developments heard on Piano Man and Turnstiles, and on
this edition, lays bare the core of the material, allowing the vocalist’s
bittersweet yearning, rollicking 88 notes, and working-class conviction to
emanate with full-bodied detail, vivid color, and grand-scale dynamics.
A Grammy winner for both Record and Song of the Year, “Just the Way You Are”
epitomizes Joel’s balladic reach, his ability to transfer wistful sentiments and
lovelorn emotions. He also flashes a mean streak. The animated “Only the Good
Die Young” bounces and hops to an updated classic-R&B rhythm and, underneath its
beauty, “She’s Always A Woman” hints at trouble underfoot. And then there’s the
New York-centric, character-rich poetry of the vignettes.
Akin to many of his influences, Joel nails the grit, personality, specificity,
descriptiveness, and behavior of protagonists that populate “Movin’ Out
(Anthony’s Song)” and “Scenes From an Italian Diner,” each equally at home on
The Stranger as well as on a Broadway play or on a golden-era Hollywood film
soundtrack. No wonder that, just months after its original release, Joel was no
longer a stranger to any of the music-loving public. He would never look back.
Don’t pass up this seminal pop-rock work in the best fidelity it’s ever enjoyed.
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• 45rpm Speed Edition
• Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Pressed at RTI
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
1. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
2. The Stranger
3. Just The Way You Are
4. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
6. Only the Good Die Young
7. She's Always A Woman
8. Get It Right the First Time
9. Everybody Has a Dream / The Stranger (reprise)