22. The Stranger, Billy Joel (1977)
There were signs that Joel was ready to break out and enjoy true international stardom. Each of his previous four albums saw promise, but it all truly came together on The Stranger. The record is still the perfect mix of light rock (“Just the Way You Are”) and up-tempo favorites (“Only the Good Die Young” and “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”). Then there’s the poignantly theatric “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” and sweet “She’s Always a Woman.” It’s Billy Joel at his collective finest, and put together, makes for an exceptional analog listening experience.
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