July 8th’s Musical Must Buy

The Stranger might just be Billy Joel’s most successful album, both critically and commercially. It won him a Grammy, and many of the songs you know him best for came off that album — “Movin’ Out,” “Just The Way You Are,” “The Stranger,” “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” “Only The Good Die Young,” “She’s Always a Woman” amongst them. “Vienna” has become a favorite in concert in recent years, too.

Phil Ramone has remastered the album and there are two editions available of it now for pre-order. The first is a two CD set. The first disc is the remastered album. The second is a Carnegie Hall concert recording from just before the release of the CD.

The second release is a deluxe edition that comes with both of those CDs, another CD recording of a concert from that time, a DVD of BBC’s “Old Grey Whistle” recording from the time (I think I have an audio bootleg of this somewhere), and a 48 page booklet featuring pics from a photo shot from the album and liner notes from a Rolling Stone Magazine editor. That “Old Grey Whistle” video includes favorites like “Ain’t No Crime” and “Root Beer Rag,” which is an incredible little piano ditty that you’ve likely never seen before.

It’s $40 for the latter, $17 for the former at Amazon for pre-order today.

Billy Joel will be appearing on Oprah Monday for the first time to promote it.

I am very excited. This is a great case of an edition you don’t want to just download off Amazon or iTunes.

2 thoughts on “July 8th’s Musical Must Buy

  1. I think “52nd Street” won more awards, but “The Stranger” is clearly Billy’s best album. The $40 option sounds like overkill to me, but the $17 one is intriguing.

  2. … dang. I didn’t see him in concert earlier this year (I couldn’t work the high ticket prices in the budget), but I might be able to budget the $40 version of the album….

    And as much as it pains me to say this… I might have to record Oprah.

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