Saturday, September 02, 2006

Number 849 - Billy Joel

Number 849

Billy Joel

"The Stranger"

Piano Man
This man, is a bloody legend to me, anyone who gets poobahed from the critics like this man has, for the last 30 years, has to be, Legend that is. I could never understand [still don't] that they did. He wrote, he sang and to boot, was a brilliant performer live. Not to mention, making groundbreaking provocative music in the 1970's. You can see why i struggle with the likes of Rolling Stone Magazine sometimes and who they worship, leaves a lot to be desired. Now as you know, i do trust the good site at, their writers/critics are at least unbiased and not owned by the recording artists like some other publications i know. (I hope). Lets see what they say about our friend The Stranger.
Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar in the late '70s and '80s, as he racked an impressive string of multi-platinum albums and hit singles. Born in the Bronx, Joel was raised in the Long Island suburb of Hicksville, where he learned to play piano as a child. As he approached his adolescence, Joel started to rebel, joining teenage street gangs and boxing as welterweight. He fought a total of 22 fights as a teenager, and during one of the fights, he broke his nose. For the early years of his adolescence, he divided his time between studying piano and fighting. Upon seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Joel decided to pursue a full-time musical career and set about finding a local Long Island band to join. Eventually, he found the Echoes, a group that specialized in British Invasion covers. The Echoes became a popular New York attraction, convincing him to quit high school to become a professional musician. ""By the end of 1973, Billy Joel's first album for Columbia Records, Piano Man, had been released. The record slowly worked its way up the charts, peaking at number 27 in the spring of 1974. The title track -- culled from experiences he had while singing at the Executive Room -- became a Top 40 hit single. At the end of the summer, Joel assembled a touring band and undertook a national tour, opening for acts like the J. Geils Band and the Doobie Brothers"

"The Stranger, catapulted him into superstardom. The Stranger was released in the fall of 1977. By the end of the year, it peaked at number two and had gone platinum, and within the course of a year, it would spawn the Top 40 singles "Just the Way You Are" -- which would win the 1978 Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year -- "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "She's Always a Woman," and "Only the Good Die Young." Over the next two decades, the album would sell over seven million copies." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Click here for the non edited version of Billy Joel story (well worth a read indeed),,449519,00.html#bio

For the Beatles see Number 947 & Number 894
For J Geils Band see Number 761
For Doobie Brothers see Number 868 & Number 776

Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We only like one song & it aint this one) and the Album ranked at Number 67 (So shut the $%@^@^& up Crowbarred)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 61.1 out of 108
Billy Joel - The Stranger
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