“You have hits and you have artistry at the same time, it wasn’t just writing a dumb pop song. Although, you know, theres nothing wrong with a dumb pop song. I’ve written my share of dumb pop songs.” -Diane Warren
The Story – Exploring The Influence of a Commercial Breakthrough:
- The songs on The Stranger need no introduction. Our job here was to explore the story of a songwriter coming into his stride on through the stories of his peers, and recollections from those that were influenced by him. Keeping the tone personal and heartfelt builds a connection with the listener, developing a deeper appreciation for the work.
The Cast – Fellow Songwriters and Performers:
- Billy Joel (Archival interview & New Interview)
- Gavin DeGraw – Current pop star, huge Billy Joel fan
- Diane Warren – Writer of huge pop hits
- Duncan Sheik – Pop songwriter, carving his own path on Broadway (Spring Awakening)
- Sting – Songwriter who started around the same time as Billy
- Jimmy Webb – Songwriter of classic pop hits.
- Phil Ramone (New Interview) – Producer of The Stranger
Production Notes – Combining Old and New:
- Sourced an original interview with Billy from the time of the album’s release
- Re-purposed new interviews the marketing department did with Billy and producer Phil Ramone.
- Interviewed Sting backstage before The Police show at PNC Bank Arts Center.
- The Strangercast, a Billy Joel podcast was launched around the release date of The Stranger‘s reissue, and episodes were downloaded 40,000 times.
- The 30th anniversary edition of The Stranger has sold over 75,000 copies in the three months since the podcast was released.
- Executive Producer, Project Lead, Casting: Jeremy Meyers
- Interviewer, Editor, Co-Producer: Joseph Vella, Vella Interactive