Thanks to @Jc9ers for recommending this to me (8 of 10).

*Consistently impressive, I swear*

The Stranger marked as Billy Joel's 5th album which released in September 1977. It was recorded over the last 2 months prior in A&R Recording, Inc. in New York.

Joel was almost dropped by Columbia Records due to the underperformance of his last album Turnstiles, which prompted him to feature his touring band during the making.
He also got the help of Phil Ramone, whose worked for other artists like Paul Simon (one half of Simon & Garfunkel).

The Stranger was both a critical & commercial breakthrough for Joel, peaking at No. 2 in the Billboard 200.

If there's one thing that instantly stands out with this album, it has to Billy Joel's talent as a songwriter. His lyricism is personal, passionate and full of emotion.

Musically, there's a great balance between melancholic ballads and lively Pop Rock pieces that effectively contrast Joel's storytelling.
The inclusion of gospel influences add some powerful emotion to the track "Everybody Has a Dream"

Hearing Vienna again for the first time in years really shook me as I had always thought it was a Simon & Garfunkel track since it carries a heavily powerful composition that rings influential.

I don't have much else I can really say. It's just a short, but powerful record that showcases Billy Joel at his magnum opus form, which I was taken aback by and I'm glad to have heard it.

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