The Top 10 Reissues of 2008

It’s time to rank the best of what went around and came around again.

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BILLY JOEL

The Stranger

(Columbia/Legacy)

As punk and disco exploded, the Piano Man’s deeply unhip 1978 breakthrough proved that top-shelf Broadway/Brill Building songwriting could still sell – and, occasionally, rock. “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” and “Anthony’s Song (Movin’ Out)” remain priceless snapshots of Annie Hall-era NYC, the title track bares real teeth, and the Kenny Chesney fave “Only the Good Die Young” – banned from several college-radio stations for its unseemly insinuations about Catholic schoolgirls – is still a corker.

Extras: Complete June 1977 Carnegie Hall concert; DVD of Joel’s March 1978 appearance on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test; thirty-minute making-of doc and facsimile of his lyric sketchbook, scratch-outs and all.

Categories: Music