18 Comments (since 22 Jul 2014)
This was the first single off of "The Stranger" album, which was Billy Joel's sixth album, and both were released in 1977, the inaugural single getting to No. 19 in the UK, but storming the US Billboard chart to No. 3. He wrote this song about his first wife, Elizabeth. A pure expression of unconditional love, he gave it to her as a birthday present. Sadly, after nine years of marriage, Joel and Elizabeth divorced in 1982.
Joel's next two marriages didn't work out either - Christie Brinkley (1985-1994), and Katie Lee (2004-2010). "Every time I wrote a song for a person I was in a relationship with, it didn't last," Joel said. "It was kind of like 'the curse'. 'Here's your song - we might as well say goodbye now'." This won two Grammys in 1979 - "Song Of The Year" and "Record Of The Year". It was a breakthrough for Joel, whose biggest hit up to that point had been "Piano Man", which had reached No. 25 in the USA.
In a 2006 blog for the Australian newspaper "The Herald Sun", Joel said that he dreamt the melody and chord progression and wrote the lyrics over a few days after the dream recurred. He added that the drum pattern was suggested by his producer at the time, Phil Ramone. Joel later expanded, in a 2008 edition of "USA Today": "I dreamt the melody, but not the words. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and going, 'This is a great idea for a song.'
"A couple of weeks later, I'm in a business meeting, and the dream re-occurs to me right at that moment because my mind had drifted off from hearing numbers and legal jargon. And I said, 'I have to go!' I got home and I ended up writing it all in one sitting, pretty much. It took me maybe two or three hours to write the lyrics. I was absolutely surprised it won a Grammy.
"It wasn't even Rock 'n' Roll, it was like a standard with a little bit of R&B in it. It reminded me of an old Stevie Wonder recording." Paul McCartney, of 'The Beatles' fame, has delivered high praise for this song, stating in his "Club Sandwich" newsletter that it's one of the few songs he wished he had written. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_the_Way_You_Are_%28Billy_Joel_song%29
Don't go changing Lee.
Spectacularly brilliant song.
@BertrandRustles, lol, always loved this!
this is lovely,a pleasure. didnt realize BJ did a lot different musical work,heard a couple of tracks on timj.
A timeless gem - very enjoyable
I believe that this song has been played at a wedding or two.
Great tune! Just learned that Billy Joel is the 6th best-selling recording artist of all time.
Timeless~ his lyrics are brilliant