Billy Joel – The Stranger – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

More Billy Joel

The Strangere


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

THE BEST SOUNDING COPY OF THE STRANGER THAT WE’VE EVER HEARD! We just finished a major shootout for this album, and no copy came close to this bad boy. Side one has incredibly lively, MASTER TAPE quality sound, and side two isn’t far behind.

After playing about a huge stack of mediocre Strangers, we are completely confident in saying that you’ll have a VERY hard time finding a copy that sounds as good as this one does on BOTH sides.  

Side One comes out swinging BIG BOTTOM END! The note-like bass is so tight — unlike the average pressing which is mud. Billy’s piano almost never has extention up top as well as the WEIGHT of his hands pounding on the keys — this copy has the best of both worlds. The dynamics found here are only possible with the presence being dialed in correctly. Side one has the best energy and life we have ever heard on any copy and is super clean and clear.

The transparency found on Side Two is so open and spacious we were hard pressed to find a copy with more. You will find super tight bass and tons of extension up top. We gave this side a grade of A++ a very high mark but just shy of the best which had just a touch more tubey magic.

Most Copies Don’t Deliver The Goods

We tried to shootout this record last year with mediocre results. I can’t even begin to tell you how sleepy and veiled the sound is on the average copy. What good is Billy Joel’s music when you can’t tell he’s really beltin’ out these heartfelt numbers? How boring is piano-based rock when the piano has no weight?

One mistake that we had made last year was assuming the earliest pressings cut by Robert Ludwig would be the best. They can be wonderful, but most of them ain’t — especially on side one, where they tend to lack extension up top. (For whatever reason, he seemed to do a much better job on side two.)

One Of Billy’s Best

The Stranger is chock full of some of Joel’s biggest hits, including Just The Way You Are, Movin’ Out, Only The Good Die Young and She’s Always A Woman. AMG raves about this one (4 1/2 stars) and it’s easy to see why — we love this music!