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The album was listed by ''Magazine/RollingStone'' as among the 500 greatest albums of all time (#70 in the original, #169 in [[UsefulNotes/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime2020 the 2020 update]]).

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The album was listed by ''Magazine/RollingStone'' as among the 500 greatest albums of all time (#70 in the original, #169 in [[UsefulNotes/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime2020 the 2020 update]]).


-->--'''"Only the Good Die Young"'''

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-->--'''"Only -->--"Only the Good Die Young"'''
Young"



Reviews for the album were nigh-universally positive, with ''Magazine/RollingStone'' giving it 4 out of 5 stars. [=AllMusic=] rates it 4.5 out of 5 stars. ''The Village Voice'', however, went the DamnedByFaintPraise route, grading it a B- and lamenting that he had "more or less grown up", implying that Billy had sold out.



''The Stranger'' opened at #67 on ''Rolling Stone's'' original "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list in 2003, #70 [[UsefulNotes/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime on the 2012 list]], and #169 [[UsefulNotes/RollingStone500GreatestAlbumsOfAllTime on the 2020 list]].


[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/billy_joel_the_stranger.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:''And if that's what you have in mind''\\
''Yeah, if that's what you're all about''\\
''Good luck moving up, 'cause I'm movin' out!'']]



[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/billy_joel_the_stranger.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:''And if that's what you have in mind''\\
''Yeah, if that's what you're all about''\\
''Good luck moving up, 'cause I'm movin' out!'']]


The album was his highest peak yet on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, hitting #2, and was ultimately certified Diamond by the RIAA. It would hit #4 on the Billboard Year-End chart for 1978, and #18 for 1979.

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The album was his highest peak yet on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, hitting #2, and was ultimately certified Diamond by the RIAA. It would hit #4 on the Billboard Year-End chart for 1978, and #18 for 1979.


* ShadowArchetype: "The Stranger", though it also notes that DarkIsNotEvil (necessarily, at least).

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* ShadowArchetype: "The Stranger", though it also notes that DarkIsNotEvil (necessarily, at least). The song is rife with Jungian imagery throughout its lyrics.

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* BeneathTheMask: The title track is all about this, arguing that everyone puts on personae for others. The album cover also makes a literal reference to this trope.


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* ShadowArchetype: "The Stranger", though it also notes that DarkIsNotEvil (necessarily, at least).
--> You may never understand how the stranger is inspired
--> But he is not always evil and he is not always wrong
--> Though you drown in good intentions, you will never quench the fire
--> You'll give into your desire when the stranger comes along


* MusicalPastiche: The arrangement of "Just the Way You Are", by Billy's own admission, is heavily inspired by Music/TenCC's massive hit "I'm Not in Love".

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* MusicalPastiche: The arrangement of "Just the Way You Are", by Billy's own admission, with its prominent Fender Rhodes electric piano and heavily processed background vocals, is heavily inspired by Music/TenCC's massive hit "I'm Not in Love". Love".


# "Get it Right the First Time" (3:57)

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# "Get it It Right the First Time" (3:57)



* AntiLoveSong: "She's Always A Woman" is Billy's rant about the worst things that a woman can be, but somehow he still finds a woman to be appealing.

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* AntiLoveSong: "She's Always A a Woman" is Billy's rant about the worst things that a woman can be, but somehow he still finds a woman to be appealing.appealing.
* CatholicSchoolGirlsRule: "Only the Good Die Young", in which the narrator attempts to seduce a Catholic classmate. This attracted a fair amount of controversy at the time for allegedly being anti-Catholic, which naturally [[StreisandEffect only made the song that much more successful]]. Billy himself said, "the song wasn't so much anti-Catholic as [[IntercourseWithYou pro-lust]]." He also points out that the narrator of the song, despite his efforts, never actually gets anywhere with the girl.
* EpicRocking: "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" (7:37) and "Everybody Has a Dream" (6:28).
* GenreRoulette: The album goes through a rather massive number of styles over its forty-two-minute running time. The most extreme example, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant", goes through about five different musical genres over its seven and a half minutes.
* MusicalPastiche: The arrangement of "Just the Way You Are", by Billy's own admission, is heavily inspired by Music/TenCC's massive hit "I'm Not in Love".
* RecurringRiff: The theme from the beginning and end of the title track reappears at the end of "Everybody Has a Dream".


'''''The Stranger''''' is the fifth studio album released by American singer/songwriter/pianist Music/BillyJoel. It was released through Creator/ColumbiaRecords on September 29, 1977.

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'''''The Stranger''''' ''The Stranger'' is the fifth studio album released by American singer/songwriter/pianist Music/BillyJoel. It was released through Creator/ColumbiaRecords on September 29, 1977.




!!"She tropes like thief, but she's always a woman to me"

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\n----
!!"She tropes like a thief, but she's always a woman to me"



* {{Yandere}}: The subject of "She's Always a Woman" is kinda mean, but the singer loves her in spite of her flaws.

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* {{Yandere}}: The subject of "She's Always a Woman" is kinda mean, but the singer loves her in spite of her flaws.flaws.
----


"Just the Way You Are" would also win the Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year in 1978, giving Billy two of jewels in that year's Triple Crown.

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"Just the Way You Are" would also win the Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year in 1978, giving Billy two of the jewels in that year's Triple Crown.

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* AntiLoveSong: "She's Always A Woman" is Billy's rant about the worst things that a woman can be, but somehow he still finds a woman to be appealing.


"Just the Way You Are" would be his highest-charting single yet, hitting #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and being his first to top the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. His other three singles--"Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", "Only the Good Die Young", and "She's Always a Woman"--would also be Top-40 hits. The TitleTrack, while it didn't chart in the U.S., would become BigInJapan, hitting #2 there, and #8 in New Zealand.

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"Just the Way You Are" would be his highest-charting single yet, hitting #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and being his first to top the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. His other three singles--"Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", "Only the Good Die Young", and "She's Always a Woman"--would also be Top-40 hits. The TitleTrack, while it didn't chart in the U.S., would become BigInJapan, big in Japan, hitting #2 there, and #8 in New Zealand.


After hitting it big with his second album, 1973's ''Piano Man'', and its memorable TitleTrack, Billy struggled through the next two albums. While both went Platinum in the United States, they only yielded one Top-40 hit.

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After hitting it big with his second album, 1973's ''Piano Man'', and its memorable TitleTrack, Billy struggled through the next two albums. While both went Platinum in the United States, they only yielded one Top-40 hit.
hit between them.


* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: "Movin' Out" deconstructs the idea of New Yorkers wanting to get out of blue collar jobs and chasing bourgeois signs of having "made it".

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* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: "Movin' Out" deconstructs the idea of New Yorkers wanting to get out of blue collar jobs and chasing bourgeois signs of having "made it".it", like suburban homes or big cars.

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