Music: Billy Joel
30th Anniversary of Billy Joel's 'The Stranger,'
Release of Two Commemorative Editions of Music Legend's Historic Breakout Album
The Stranger - 30th Anniversary' To Be Released As 2 CD Legacy Edition & Deluxe Limited Edition With 'Old Grey Whistle Test' DVD + 48 Page Booklet
Online & In Stores Tuesday, July 8, 2008
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.
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.
The Stranger -- 30th Anniversary Edition CD
Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings
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."
Taking its name from a key track on The Stranger, "Movin' Out," a Broadway musical based on Joel's music, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and took home two including Best Orchestrations -- Billy's first Tony Award win -- and Best Choreography.
Billy Joel received Grammy awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1978 for his song "Just the Way You Are"; Album of the Year in 1979 for "52nd Street"; and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1979 for "52nd Street" and in 1980 for "Glass Houses."
In 1990, he was presented with a Grammy Legend Award. Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992, he was also presented with the Johnny Mercer Award in 2001. In 1999 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His other awards include the ASCAP Founders Award, the BMI Career Achievement Award, the American Music Awards Award of Merit, and the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal.
Billy Joel has donated his time and resources to a variety of charitable causes, and he has recently launched an ongoing educational initiative to provide seed money, musical scholarships, and endowments to a variety of East Coast colleges, universities, and music schools.
For his accomplishments as a musician and as a humanitarian, he was honored as the 2002 MusiCares Person of the Year by the MusiCares Foundation and the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; he has also received a humanitarian award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The net proceeds of Billy Joel's latest composition, "Christmas in Fallujah," inspired by soldiers' letters from Iraq, are being donated to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds specially adapted homes for disabled service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
When it was announced earlier this year that Billy Joel -- who holds the Madison Square Garden record for the longest sequence of sold-out shows by a single artist (12) -- would perform the last concerts at New York's fabled Shea Stadium, more than 110,000 tickets were sold out in 45 minutes. Joel's historic "Last Play At Shea" sold-out concerts are scheduled for July 16 and 18.
Official Billy Joel Web Site: www.billyjoel.com
Legacy Records Web Site: www.legacyrecordings.com
Source: Legacy Recordings
Music Entertainment Magazine