Tag: Billy Joel

Friday 8/5/22 1am ET: Feature Live LP: Billy Joel – Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert (2011)

Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert is the fifth live album as well as a CD and DVD music compilation of songs performed by American singer/songwriter Billy Joel during two concerts at Shea Stadium in New York City on July 16 and 18 of 2008. It was released on March 8, 2011. The film was produced by Jon Small, Joel’s former bandmate in the 1960s groups The Hassles and Attila. The film aired on PBS as part of Great Performances.

The two concerts were the last performed at Shea Stadium before it was demolished to make way for Citi Field. It features guest appearances by Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey, John Mellencamp, Mark Wood, and Paul McCartney.

Pete Flynn was a Shea groundskeeper who did the improbable by driving the Beatles from the stage to a centerfield gate in 1965, then driving Paul McCartney from the stadium’s rear entrance to the stage to perform at Billy Joel’s “Last Play at Shea” concert 43 years later.

“Prelude/Angry Young Man” 5:45
“My Life” 5:30
“Summer, Highland Falls” 3:42
“Everybody Loves You Now” 3:05
“Zanzibar” 5:36
“New York State of Mind” (with Tony Bennett) 6:49
“Allentown” 3:51
“The Ballad of Billy the Kid” 5:41
“She’s Always a Woman” 3:45
“Goodnight Saigon” 7:23
“Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” 4:20
“Shameless” (with Garth Brooks) 4:54
“This Is the Time” (with John Mayer) 6:16
“Keeping the Faith” 5:06
“Captain Jack” 7:20
“Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” 3:43
“The River Of Dreams”/ “A Hard Day’s Night” 7:43
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” 5:14
“You May Be Right” 4:53
“Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” 7:40
“Only The Good Die Young” 4:13
“I Saw Her Standing There” (with Sir Paul McCartney) 4:06
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” 0:45
“Piano Man” 5:53
“Let It Be” (with Sir Paul McCartney) 5:11

Tuesday 7/12/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – The Bridge (1986)

The Bridge is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on July 9, 1986. It was Joel’s last studio album produced by Phil Ramone as well as the last to feature Joel’s long-time bassist Doug Stegmeyer and rhythm guitarist Russell Javors. The album yielded several successful singles, including “A Matter of Trust” (peaking at No. 10), “Modern Woman” (which also appeared on the Ruthless People soundtrack, peaking at No. 10), and “This Is the Time” (peaking at No. 18).

Joel began work on the album—on which two of his major influences (Ray Charles and Steve Winwood) made guest appearances—in 1985. Charles sang a duet with Joel on the song “Baby Grand”, and Winwood played Hammond organ on the song “Getting Closer”; Charles and Winwood later covered “Baby Grand” and “Getting Closer” respectively in concert. Other notable musicians who made guest appearances on the album include jazz musicians Ron Carter and Michael Brecker, who both played on the jazzy track “Big Man on Mulberry Street”.

The album also had some New wave influences. For instance, the first song, “Running on Ice”, is heavily influenced by the music of the Police, and “Modern Woman” borrows heavily from the styles of Huey Lewis and the News. The final song recorded for the album, “Code of Silence”, featured Cyndi Lauper who contributed backing vocals and received co-writing credit for the lyrics; she later covered that song herself in concert. Joel would return the favor by contributing backing vocals on Lauper’s song “Maybe He’ll Know” for her 1986 album True Colors.

The Bridge was Joel’s last album to carry the “Family Productions” logo which had appeared on all of Joel’s albums up to that time as part of a deal that Columbia Records made to get Joel out of his first recording contract with Artie Ripp’s Family Productions. In the closing song of the album—”Getting Closer”—Joel makes several of what are clearly attacks and observations on the iron-clad contract with Ripp, with references to “my stolen youth”, “all the conmen and their acrobats who stomped me in the ground”, and “I must live up to contracts”.

“Running on Ice” 3:15
“This Is the Time” 4:59
“A Matter of Trust” 4:09
“Modern Woman” 3:48
“Baby Grand” (duet with Ray Charles) 4:02
“Big Man on Mulberry Street” 5:26
“Temptation” 4:12
“Code of Silence” (backing vocals by Cyndi Lauper) 5:15
“Getting Closer” 5:00

Billy Joel – lead and backing vocals, acoustic piano (1-3, 5–9), synthesizers (1–4, 6–8), electric guitar (3), Fender Rhodes (9)
David Brown – guitar (1–4, 6, 8, 9), 12-string acoustic guitar (8)
Russell Javors – guitar (1–4, 6, 8, 9)
Liberty DeVitto – drums (1–4, 6–9), percussion (9)
Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar (1–4, 6, 7, 8)
Mark Rivera – tenor saxophone (4), alto saxophone (7)
Rob Mounsey – synthesizer (1), orchestration (2, 4, 6)
Jeff Bova – synthesizer (3, 8), orchestration (7)
Ray Charles – acoustic piano (5), lead vocals (5)
Steve Winwood – Hammond B3 organ (9)
Dean Parks – guitar (5)
John McCurry – guitar (9)
Neil Stubenhaus – bass guitar (5)
Ron Carter – acoustic bass (6)
Neil Jason – bass guitar (9)
Vinnie Colaiuta – drums (5)
Jimmy Bralower – percussion (4)
Eddie Daniels – alto saxophone (6)
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone (6)
Ronnie Cuber – baritone saxophone (6)
Dave Bargeron – trombone (6)
Marvin Stamm – trumpet (6)
Alan Rubin – trumpet (6)
Don Brooks – harmonica (8)
Patrick Williams – arrangements (5)
Philippe Saisse – orchestration (7)
Peter Hewlett – backing vocals (1)
Cyndi Lauper – harmony vocals (8)

Friday 7/1/22 1am ET: Live Track Show

Tonight we feature:

Paul McCartney & Wings, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Mariah Carey, Three Dog Night, Paul Young, Elton John, John Mellencamp, REM, Billy Joel, Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, Santana, UFO, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz


Sunday 6/26/22 4pm ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – Streetlife Serenade (1974)

Streetlife Serenade is the third studio album by American recording artist Billy Joel, released on October 11, 1974, by Columbia Records.

The follow-up to Piano Man (1973), the album was recorded mostly with session musicians—the last such release until 1993’s River of Dreams. Joel sang and played piano and other keyboards, including his first work with the Moog synthesizer. Backing musicians included guitarists Don Evans and Al Hertzberg and banjo/pedal steel guitarist Tom Whitehorse.

The album peaked at No. 35 on the charts, eventually selling more than one million copies. That was less than its predecessor, and marked the beginning of Joel’s frosty relationship with critics and the music industry in general. Joel’s live shows in the 1970s frequently featured the instrumental “Root Beer Rag” and the short song “Souvenir”, which was often used as the final encore.

Live versions of “Streetlife Serenader” and “Los Angelenos” appeared on Joel’s first live album, Songs in the Attic (1981). A live version of “The Entertainer” appeared on Joel’s 2006 album 12 Gardens Live.

Joel said that he had been touring in clubs and theatres and opening for big acts such as The Beach Boys, thus leaving him little time to write new songs, but he was under pressure to put out a new album after Piano Man. He also says that he did not have many new songs, hence the inclusion of the instrumentals “Root Beer Rag” and “The Mexican Connection”. The back cover features a barefooted Joel sitting in a chair looking cross; Joel says that he had had his wisdom teeth extracted two days before the shoot. The front cover is a painting by Brian Hagiwara of a hotel and cafe located at 651 South Centre Street in Los Angeles, California.

In a retrospective interview Joel said of the album: “Interesting musical ideas, but nothing to say lyrically. I was trying to be Debussy in the title track — it didn’t work.”

“Streetlife Serenader” – 5:17
“Los Angelenos” – 3:41
“The Great Suburban Showdown” – 3:44
“Root Beer Rag” (Instrumental) – 2:59
“Roberta” – 4:32
“The Entertainer” – 3:48
“Last of the Big Time Spenders” – 4:34
“Weekend Song” – 3:29
“Souvenir” – 2:00
“The Mexican Connection” (Instrumental) – 3:37

Billy Joel – vocals, acoustic piano, keyboards, Moog synthesizer, arrangements
William “Smitty” Smith – organ
Richard Bennett – guitars
Gary Dalton – guitars
Mike Deasy – guitars
Don Evans – guitars
Al Hertzberg – guitars
Art Munson – guitars
Raj Rathor – guitars
Michael Stewart – guitars, arrangements
Tom Whitehorse – banjo, pedal steel guitar
Wilton Felder – bass
Emory Gordy Jr. – bass
Larry Knechtel – bass
Ron Tutt – drums
Joe Clayton – congas, percussion

Monday 3/28/22 8am ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – Innocent Man (1983)

An Innocent Man is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 8, 1983. The concept album is a tribute to the American popular music of Joel’s adolescent years with Joel paying homage to a number of different and popular American musical styles from the late 1950s and early 1960s, most notably doo-wop and soul music. The album cover artwork was taken on the front steps of 142 Mercer Street, just north of the intersection of Mercer and Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

  1. “Easy Money” (Homage to James Brown and Wilson Pickett]) 4:04
  2. “An Innocent Man” (Homage to Ben E. King and The Drifters) 5:17
  3. “The Longest Time” (Homage to doo-wop groups like Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) 3:42
  4. “This Night” (Homage to Little Anthony and the Imperials; chorus tune is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata) 4:17
  5. “Tell Her About It” (Homage to Motown groups like The Supremes and The Temptations) 3:52
  6. “Uptown Girl” (Homage to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons[9]) 3:17
  7. “Careless Talk” (Homage to Sam Cooke) 3:48
  8. “Christie Lee” (Homage to Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis) 3:31
  9. “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” (Homage to Smokey Robinson) 3:56
  10. “Keeping the Faith” (Homage to Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman”. Lyrical homage to Pre-British Invasion Rock n Roll) 4:41

Billy Joel – Baldwin SF-10 acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B3 organ, lead and background vocals
Liberty DeVitto – drums

Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
David Brown – lead electric and acoustic guitars
Russell Javors – rhythm electric and acoustic guitars
Mark Rivera – alto saxophone on “Keeping the Faith”, “This Night” and “Christie Lee”; tenor saxophone, percussion, backing vocals
Ralph MacDonald – percussion on “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” and “Careless Talk”
Leon Pendarvis – Hammond B3 organ on “Easy Money”
Richard Tee – acoustic piano on “Tell Her About It”
Eric Gale – electric guitar on “Easy Money”
Toots Thielemans – harmonica on “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”
“String Fever” – strings
Ronnie Cuber – baritone saxophone on “Easy Money”, “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Jon Faddis – trumpet on “Easy Money”
David Sanborn – alto saxophone on “Easy Money”
Joe Shepley – trumpet on “Easy Money”, “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone on “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
John Gatchell – trumpet on “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Tom Bahler – background vocals
Rory Dodd – background vocals
Frank Floyd – background vocals
Lani Groves – background vocals
Ullanda McCullough – background vocals
Ron Taylor – background vocals
Terry Textor – background vocals
Eric Troyer – background vocals
Mike Alexander – background vocals

Friday 3/18/22 11pm ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – Glass Houses (1980)

Glass Houses is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on March 12, 1980. It features Joel’s first song to peak at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”. The album itself topped the Pop Albums chart for six weeks and was ranked No. 4 on Billboard’s 1980 year-end album chart. The album is the 41st best selling album of the 1980s, with sales of 7.1 million copies in the U.S. alone. In 1981, Joel won a Grammy Award for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” for his work on Glass Houses. According to music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the album featured “a harder-edged sound” compared to Joel’s other work, in response to the punk and new wave movements. This was also the final studio album to feature the original incarnation (Joel, Richie Cannata, Doug Stegmeyer, Russell Javors and Liberty DeVitto) of the Billy Joel Band, augmented by new lead guitarist David Brown. Multi-instrumentalist Cannata left the band just before the sessions began for Joel’s next studio album, 1982’s The Nylon Curtain.

  1. “You May Be Right” 4:15
  2. “Sometimes a Fantasy” 3:40
  3. Don’t Ask Me Why” 2:59
  4. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” 2:57
  5. “All for Leyna” 4:15
  6. “I Don’t Want to Be Alone” 3:57
  7. “Sleeping with the Television On” 3:02
  8. “C’était Toi (You Were the One)” 3:25
  9. “Close to the Borderline” 3:47
  10. “Through the Long Night” 2:43

Billy Joel – acoustic piano, synthesizers, harmonica, electric pianos, accordion, vocals
Richie Cannata – organs, saxophones, flute
David Brown – acoustic and electric guitars (lead)
Russell Javors – acoustic and electric guitars (rhythm)
Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
Liberty DeVitto – drums and percussion

Tuesday 1/11/22 8pm ET: RadioMaxMusic Special: The Music of 1981 A to Z – Part 6

This RadioMax special features our Library of music from 1981 A2Z.

We complete letter F and start G. We feature music from: Cliff Richard, Odyssey, Whispers, Blackfoot, Imagination, Rita Coolidge, Saga, Alan Parsons Project, Rick James. Siouxsie & The Banshees, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Billy Joel, Humble Pie, Duran Duran and many more. . .

4pm to 7pm ET

Tuesday 1/4/2022 8pm ET: RadioMaxMusic Special: The Music of 1981 (by title) A to Z – Part 1

This RadioMax special features our Library of music from 1981 A2Z.

We start a new series starting characters and numbers and get into letter A. We feature music from: Outlaws, Ronnie Milsap, Dr. Hook, Thelma Houston, Cliff Richard, Harry Chapin, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Knack, Billy Joel, Andy Gibb & Victoria Principal, Billy Ocean and more…..

8pm to 12am ET

Thursday 12/30/21 6pm ET: RadioMaxMusic Special: The Music of 1980 A to Z – Part 25

This RadioMax special features our Library of music from 1980 A2Z.

We complete our review of the RadioMaxMusic Library of 1980 music. This installment features music from Electric Light Orchestra, Pat Benatar, Dr. Hook, Billy Joel, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Tommy James, Eddy Raven, Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, Ambrosia, Bonnie Raitt and many more. We start our travel into the next segment 1981 next Tuesday.

6pm – 9:30pm ET

Tuesday 12/28/21 2pm ET: RadioMaxMusic Special: The Music of 1973 A to Z – Part 1

This RadioMax special features our Library of music from 1973 A2Z.

We start this feature with the numbers or characters and then move through letter B. Artists featured in the segment: Abba, BW Stevenson, Gunhill Road, Elton John, Art Garfunkel, Who, Billy Joel, Ronnie Milsap, Gram Parsons, Loggins & Messina, Cher and many others.

2pm to 6pm ET

Monday 11/22/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – Storm Front (1989)

Storm Front is the eleventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on October 17, 1989. It was Joel’s third album to reach No. 1 in the U.S. and features “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, a fast-paced song that cataloged a list of historical events, trends, and cultural icons from 1949 (when Joel was born) until 1989, which was Joel’s third Billboard No. 1 hit.

“I Go to Extremes”, a song describing the ups and downs of his emotional life, placed at No. 6. Other songs that placed in the top 100 were “And So It Goes” (No. 37), “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” (No. 57), and “That’s Not Her Style” (No. 77). The album was also nominated for five Grammy Awards.[8] The album’s cover depicts the maritime storm warning flag indicating wind forces 10–12, the highest intensity on the Beaufort scale. Joel has stated in recent Sirius XM segments, that he was inspired by Peter Gabriel’s 1986 track “Slegdehammer”, as an inspiration for the “Driving Rhythm Section”, when he was writing the title track. https://www.onefinalserenade.com/storm-front.html

“That’s Not Her Style” – 5:10
“We Didn’t Start the Fire” – 4:50
The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” – 3:44
“I Go to Extremes” – 4:23
“Shameless” – 4:26
“Storm Front” – 5:17
“Leningrad” – 4:06
“State of Grace” – 4:30
“When in Rome” – 4:44
And So It Goes” – 3:38

Billy Joel – vocals, acoustic piano (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10), clavinet (2, 3, 6), percussion (2), accordion (3), Hammond organ (4, 6, 9), harpsichord (5), organ (8), synthesizers (10)
Jeff Jacobs – synthesizers (1–9), backing vocals (1), horn arrangements (6)
David Brown – lead guitar (1–9), MIDI guitar solo (6)
Joey Hunting – rhythm guitar (2)
Schuyler Deale – bass guitar (1–9)
Liberty DeVitto – drums (1–9), percussion (2)
Crystal Taliefero – backing vocals (1, 2, 5, 6, 9), percussion (2)

Don Brooks – harmonica (1)
Kevin Jones – keyboard programming (2)
John Mahoney – keyboards (2), keyboard programming (7)
Doug Kleeger – sounds effects (2), arrangements (2)
Sammy Merendino – electronic percussion (2)
Dominic Cortese – accordion (3, 7)
Itzhak Perlman – violin (3)
Lenny Pickett – saxophone (6, 9)
The Memphis Horns (6):
Andrew Love – saxophone
Wayne Jackson – trombone, trumpet
Arif Mardin – orchestral arrangement (7)

Frank Floyd – backing vocals (1, 5, 6)
Mick Jones – backing vocals (1, 4, 8), guitar (6), guitar solo (8)
Patricia Darcy Jones – backing vocals (1, 5, 6, 9)
Richard Marx – backing vocals (1, 6)
Brian Ruggles – backing vocals (1)
Ian Lloyd – backing vocals (4, 8)
Joe Lynn Turner – backing vocals (4, 8)
Chuck Arnold – backing vocals (7), choral leader (7)
Hicksville High School Chorus – backing vocals (7)
Bill Zampino – choral arrangement (7)
Brenda White King – backing vocals (9)
Curtis King – backing vocals (9)

Saturday 11/13/21 2pm ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – Innocent Man (1983)

An Innocent Man is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on August 8, 1983. The concept album is a tribute to the American popular music of Joel’s adolescent years with Joel paying homage to a number of different and popular American musical styles from the late 1950s and early 1960s, most notably doo-wop and soul music. The album cover artwork was taken on the front steps of 142 Mercer Street, just north of the intersection of Mercer and Prince Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

  1. “Easy Money” (Homage to James Brown and Wilson Pickett]) 4:04
  2. “An Innocent Man” (Homage to Ben E. King and The Drifters) 5:17
  3. “The Longest Time” (Homage to doo-wop groups like Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) 3:42
  4. “This Night” (Homage to Little Anthony and the Imperials; chorus tune is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Pathetique sonata) 4:17
  5. “Tell Her About It” (Homage to Motown groups like The Supremes and The Temptations) 3:52
  6. “Uptown Girl” (Homage to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons[9]) 3:17
  7. “Careless Talk” (Homage to Sam Cooke) 3:48
  8. “Christie Lee” (Homage to Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis) 3:31
  9. “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” (Homage to Smokey Robinson) 3:56
  10. “Keeping the Faith” (Homage to Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman”. Lyrical homage to Pre-British Invasion Rock n Roll) 4:41

Billy Joel – Baldwin SF-10 acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B3 organ, lead and background vocals
Liberty DeVitto – drums

Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
David Brown – lead electric and acoustic guitars
Russell Javors – rhythm electric and acoustic guitars
Mark Rivera – alto saxophone on “Keeping the Faith”, “This Night” and “Christie Lee”; tenor saxophone, percussion, backing vocals
Ralph MacDonald – percussion on “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” and “Careless Talk”
Leon Pendarvis – Hammond B3 organ on “Easy Money”
Richard Tee – acoustic piano on “Tell Her About It”
Eric Gale – electric guitar on “Easy Money”
Toots Thielemans – harmonica on “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”
“String Fever” – strings
Ronnie Cuber – baritone saxophone on “Easy Money”, “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Jon Faddis – trumpet on “Easy Money”
David Sanborn – alto saxophone on “Easy Money”
Joe Shepley – trumpet on “Easy Money”, “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone on “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
John Gatchell – trumpet on “Careless Talk”, “Tell Her About It” and “Keeping the Faith”
Tom Bahler – background vocals
Rory Dodd – background vocals
Frank Floyd – background vocals
Lani Groves – background vocals
Ullanda McCullough – background vocals
Ron Taylor – background vocals
Terry Textor – background vocals
Eric Troyer – background vocals
Mike Alexander – background vocals

Wednesday 11/10/21 6pm ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – 52nd Street (1978)

52nd Street is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on October 11, 1978. The follow-up to his breakthrough success album, The Stranger, Joel tried to give the album a fresh sound, hiring various jazz musicians to differentiate it from his previous albums.

It was the first of four Joel albums to top the Billboard charts, and it earned him two Grammys. Three songs reached the Top 40 in the United States, contributing to the album’s success: “My Life” (number 3), “Big Shot” (number 14), and “Honesty” (number 24). It was similarly well received by critics, earning the 1980 Grammy for Album of the Year. This Grammy was presented to its producer, Phil Ramone. Upon Ramone’s death, 52nd Street’s Album of the Year Grammy was passed on to Joel. Additionally, the album is notable for being among the first albums commercially released on the compact disc format, reaching store shelves on October 1, 1982 in Japan (it was one of fifty CDs released that day, including The Stranger, but bore the first catalogue number in the sequence, 35DP-1, and so is frequently cited as the first to be released). In keeping with this history, it was also the first release when Sony returned to manufacturing vinyl records in 2018.

The title is a reference to 52nd Street, one of New York City’s jazz centers in the middle of the century. Joel’s label was headquartered on 52nd Street (in the CBS Building) at the time of the album’s release. The studio where recording took place was also on 52nd Street, one block away from the CBS Building.

“Big Shot” – 4:03
“Honesty” – 3:52
“My Life” – 4:44
“Zanzibar” – 5:13
“Stiletto” – 4:42
“Rosalinda’s Eyes” – 4:41
“Half a Mile Away” – 4:08
“Until the Night” – 6:35
“52nd Street” – 2:27

Billy Joel – acoustic piano, Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, vocals
Richie Cannata – organ, saxophones, clarinet
Steve Khan – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

David Spinozza – acoustic guitar (2)
David Brown – electric guitar (3)
Russell Javors – acoustic guitar (3)
Hugh McCracken – nylon string guitar (6, 8)
Eric Gale – electric guitar (7)
Doug Stegmeyer – bass, backing vocals
Liberty DeVitto – drums
Mike Mainieri – vibraphone and marimba (4, 6)
Ralph MacDonald – percussion (6, 7)
David Freidman – orchestral chimes and percussion (8)
Freddie Hubbard – flugelhorn and trumpet (4)
George Marge – sopranino recorder (6)
Robert Freedman – horn and string orchestration (2, 8)
Dave Grusin – horn orchestration (7)
David Nadien – concertmaster (2, 7, 8)
Peter Cetera – backing vocals (3)
Donnie Dacus – backing vocals (3)
Frank Floyd – backing vocals (7)
Babi Floyd – backing vocals (7)
Milt Grayson – backing vocals (7)
Zack Sanders – backing vocals (7)
Ray Simpson – backing vocals (7)

Tuesday 9/14/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Billy Joel – The Stranger (1977)

The Stranger is the fifth studio album by American singer Billy Joel, released in September 1977 by Columbia Records. It was the first of Joel’s albums to be produced by Phil Ramone, with whom he would go on to work for all of his albums up until his 1986 album The Bridge.

The Stranger was released a year following Joel’s previous studio effort, Turnstiles, which had sold modestly and peaked low on the US charts, prompting Columbia to consider dropping Joel if his next release did not sell well. Joel wanted the album to feature his newly-formed touring band that had formed during the production of Turnstiles, which consisted of drummer Liberty DeVitto, bassist Doug Stegmeyer, and multi-instrumentalist saxophonist/organist Richie Cannata. Seeking out a new producer, he first turned to veteran Beatles producer George Martin before coming across and settling on Ramone, whose name he had seen on albums by other artists such as Paul Simon. Recording took place across the span of three weeks, with DeVitto, Stegmeyer and Cannata being featured in addition to other studio musicians filling in as guitarists on various songs.

Spending six weeks at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, The Stranger is considered Joel’s critical and commercial breakthrough. Four singles were released in the US, all of which became top-40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, including “Just the Way You Are” (#3), “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”, “She’s Always a Woman” (both #17), and “Only the Good Die Young” (#24). Other songs, such as “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” and “Vienna”, have become staples of his career and are frequently performed in his live shows. The album won two awards at the 1978 Grammy Awards, winning Record of the Year as well as Song of the Year for “Just the Way You Are”. It remains his best-selling non-compilation album to date, and surpassed Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water to become Columbia’s best-selling album release, with more than 10 million units sold worldwide. Rolling Stone later named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

1. “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” 3:30
2. “The Stranger” 5:10
3. “Just the Way You Are” 4:52
4. “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” 7:37
5. “Vienna” 3:34
6. “Only the Good Die Young” 3:55
7. “She’s Always a Woman” 3:21
8. “Get It Right the First Time” 3:57
9. “Everybody Has a Dream” 6:38

Billy Joel – vocals, acoustic piano, keyboards, synthesizers, Fender Rhodes
Richie Cannata – organ, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute, tuba
Dominic Cortese – accordion (4, 5)
Richard Tee – organ (9)
Hiram Bullock – electric guitar
Steve Khan – six and twelve string electric guitars, acoustic rhythm guitar, high string guitar
Hugh McCracken – acoustic guitar (3, 4, 7, 8, 9)
Steve Burgh – acoustic guitar (3, 7), electric guitar (4)
Doug Stegmeyer – bass guitar
Liberty DeVitto – drums
Ralph MacDonald – percussion (2, 3, 8, 9)
Phil Woods – alto saxophone (3)
Patrick Williams – orchestration
Patti Austin – backing vocals (9)
Lani Groves – backing vocals (9)
Gwen Guthrie – backing vocals (9)
Phoebe Snow – backing vocals (9)