Legacy Recordings proudly celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Billy Joel's breakout album "The Stranger" with the release of two special editions -- a 2 CD Legacy Edition and a Deluxe Limited Edition including 2 CDs plus a bonus DVD -- of the best-selling multi-platinum collection which catapulted Joel into the upper ranks of pop music superstardom. Each of the 30th Anniversary editions of "The Stranger" will be available online and in stores on Tuesday, July 8, 2008.
Originally released in September 1977, Billy Joel's fifth studio album, "The Stranger," marked the first of Joel's highly successful collaborations with producer Phil Ramone, whose mastery of the recording studio provided a sublime sonic context for Joel's timeless songs and classic performances. "I was very happy that we chose Phil Ramone," said Billy Joel in a recent interview for the 30th Anniversary edition of "The Stranger." "He got it right away."
The resulting collection became one of the top-selling albums of the year (peaking at #2 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart); won two Grammys (Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Just The Way You Are," "The Stranger" was nominated for Album of the Year); overtook Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as Columbia Records Top Selling Album of the time, and generated four indelible singles -- "Just The Way You Are (#1 Adult Contemporary, #3 Pop Singles); "Only The Good Die Young" (#24 Pop Singles); "She's Always A Woman" (#2 Adult Contemporary, #17 Pop Singles); and "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" (#17 Pop Singles) -- that remain radio staples to this day.
"I don't recall particularly feeling 'this is going to be the breakthrough,'" said Billy Joel in an interview for "The Stranger - 30th Anniversary Edition." "We were just happy with the album we were making at the time.... But now, in hindsight, I can see it was a real important album."
Billy Joel's first Top 10 album, "The Stranger" is still the iconic performer's best-selling non-compilation album ever. Ranked at #67 on Rolling Stone's prestigious "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list, "The Stranger" has earned the coveted RIAA Diamond Album certification (presented in recognition of US sales of more than 10 million copies).
"The Stranger - 30th Anniversary" will be available in two configurations from Legacy Recordings.
The limited deluxe edition of "The Stranger" includes a CD of the original album, in its entirety, remastered by producer Phil Ramone; a CD of a previously unreleased concert featuring Billy and his band, "Live At Carnegie Hall 1977," recorded at the historic Manhattan venue on June 3, 1977, one month prior to the sessions for "The Stranger" album and newly restored for the new editions of "The Stranger"; and a DVD showcasing two live promotional videos from "The Stranger" and the long-awaited release of Billy's fabled appearance on the BBC's "Old Grey Whistle Test," a seldom-seen sixty minute cavalcade from 1978 that has aired only once on the UK's BBC2.
Rounding out the limited deluxe edition of "The Stranger - 30th Anniversary" package is a 48 page booklet with liner notes from Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke and a multitude of photos, including never-before-seen images from the original photo shoot for the album.
Also available is "The Stranger - 30th Anniversary" Legacy Edition which includes the CD of the original album, in its entirety, remastered by producer Phil Ramone; the previously unreleased, newly restored "Live At Carnegie Hall 1977" CD; and a 24 page booklet with liner notes by David Fricke and unseen photos from the album's original photo shoot.
Having sold more than 100 million records over the course of a career spanning more than 40 years, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world.
Billy Joel has had 33 Top 40 hits and 23 Grammy nominations since signing his first solo recording contract in 1972. He received the Recording Industry Association of America Diamond Award, presented for albums that have sold more than 10 million copies, for his "Greatest Hits Volume I and Volume II."