Billy Joel’s first album as a solo artist, Cold Spring Harbor, came out in 1971. Over the course of six years, several subsequent albums, lineup changes, botched tours and other promotional misfires, he struggled to find his voice as an artist or achieve any real commercial success. Even with classic songs like "Piano Man" and “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” in his pocket, Joel received little airplay and no real chart success.
Then in 1977 he teamed with producer Phil Ramone and released The Stranger. Words have been written around the world for 30 years about this album and its legacy, but all you really need to know is that it contains no less than seven all-time, hall-of-fame classic recordings.