Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Just the way you are - Billy Joel

'Just the way you are' is a love song from Billy Joel's 1977 album, 'The Stranger'. It was written as a birthday gift to Joel's first wife Elizabeth Weber. After they divorced, Joel said that when performing the song, he would imagine what he would eat for dinner or what he would do after the show, or even accidentally sing alternate lyrics written by Liberty DeVitto ('She took the dog, the house, the car').

The track features an alto sax solo by jazz artist Phil Woods, who replaced Richie Cannata (who played sax for most of the songs on The Stranger) when the latter's style of playing was deemed unfit for the song. The bossa nova style of the song was strongly encouraged by producer Phil Ramone. Joel has gone on record stating that he personally dislikes the song and was originally going to leave it off the album. However, at the request of both Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow (both were recording in other studios in the same building at the time), Joel and Ramone agreed to leave it on the album.

My collection: 7" single no. 2030
Found: Sounds Familiar, London, October 19, 1998
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Just the way you are' / 'Get it right the first time'

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