The Opus returns this holiday season with a true gift for music fans. Season 19 of the hit music history podcast from Consequence Podcast Network and Sony Legacy is set to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the album that made Billy Joel a world renowned star: The Stranger.
With episode one debuting on December 22nd, The Opus: Billy Joel’s The Stranger will track the entire story of the career-making collection. Long Island’s favorite son had had a handful of hits to his name (“Piano Man,” “New York State of Mind,” “The Entertainer”) at the time, but he’d yet to see an album crack the Top 10. His genius was on the verge of going down as underappreciated, but Joel made a bet on himself when approaching his fifth studio effort. He brought his touring band into the studio, linked up with producer Phil Ramone, and put together a group of songs featuring more classics than some artists have in their entire careers.
“Billy Joel is one of the most celebrated and successful musicians on the planet, and The Stranger is the album that made him a superstar,” says The Opus host Adam Unze. “It’s packed full of some of the most amazing songs in pop history and the story of its creation is just as incredible!”
Helping Unze unravel that tale will be guests including Ben Folds, Regina Spektor, Joel’s The Stranger drummer Liberty DeVito, Andre McMahon and the Wilderness, The Arkells, Rozzi, author Fred Schruers (Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography), and more. Plus, this season will feature archival interviews with Joel himself as well as Ramone, so you’ll get the story of The Stranger straight from the source.
See what else waits for you when The Opus: Billy Joel’s The Stranger premieres on Thursday, December 22nd. New episodes of the four-part season will arrive every Thursday after that, concluding with Episode 4 on January 12th, 2023. In the meantime, stream or download the The Stranger here, and also check out the recently released Live at Yankee Stadium, capturing Joel’s 1990 two-night stand at The House That Ruth Built.
To keep up with The Opus: Dirt, subscribe now to be notified when each new episode drops, and also revisit our 18-season archive. Fans of The Opus podcast can also pick up an official Opus hoodie or T-Shirt at the Consequence Shop or by using the buy-now buttons below.