Just the Way You Are (Billy Joel song)

September 1977 (Album)

Just the Way You Are ( "Just the way you are ") is a soft rock ballad of the U.S. singer-songwriter Billy Joel. Joel composed and wrote the lyrics for the song; produced the recording by Phil Ramone. The song first appeared on the LP The Stranger and was coupled out by Columbia Records as a single. B-side was the song also written by Joel Get It Right the First Time in the unabridged The- Stranger - LP version.


The melody of Just the Way You Are had occurred to him in a dream, says Joel; he had more musical ideas about during a business meeting. The lyrics of the song about his then wife and manager Elizabeth Weber he had then written in two to three hours. After recording, Joel and the men were not convinced of the song in the studio. There was a chick song, a song for girls, was the general opinion. Only after Phoebe Snow and Linda Ronstadt had heard the song by chance and pleaded for him, it was decided to leave him on the album. Joel Weber and divorced in 1982, five years after the recording of the romantic love song.


Joel makes the sung with Just the Way You Are a declaration of love: He loved her just as she was, with all their faults. He tells her that she should " not try to change yourself to please me, since you have so far never disappointed me " ( "Do not go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before" ). You do not need a new fashion and a new hair color, because - as the summary in the last repetition of the chorus -

" I said I love you, and that goes for ever; I promise with all my heart. I could not love you more: I love you just the way you are. I said I love you, and that's forever, And this I promise from the heart. I could not love you any better I love you just the way you are. "

Chuck Klosterman calls the lyrics of the song a " musical love letter that tells everyone what he wants to hear. You're not without flaw, but you are what I want"

Chart success

In November 1977, the single release came on the Billboard Hot 100 The piece was Joel's first Top Ten hit in the United States; highest placing was three position. In the adult contemporary charts, it reached number one. In January 1978, CBS released the single in the UK, the catalog number CBS was in Europe 5872. Joel was thus its UK chart debut on February 11, 1978; Just the Way You Are stayed for nine weeks in the charts, reaching number 19 in 1986, the song was re-released as a double A-side with Joel's piece She's Always a Woman with the catalog number CBS A 6862 and stood for another week at No. 53 the British charts. A re- release in the U.S. in August 1988 on CD together with the number -one hit It's Still Rock ' n ' Roll to Me did not reach the charts.


Just the Way You Are has been honored at the Grammy awards in 1979 with two awards: The Award for Single of the Year and for Song of the Year. Joel said this later:

"I was completely surprised that the song won a Grammy. He was not even rock ' n ' roll, it was more like a lot of mock standard title with a bit of rhythm and blues in it. He reminded me of old recordings by Stevie Wonder. "

The single received in the United States on March 6, 1978 more than one million copies sold a gold record.

Cover versions

Just the Way You Are has been covered by numerous other artists. The most successful version published Barry White in the year 1978. In. They also appeared on a long-playing record, White's The Man, and was published in December 1978 as the second single from the album. In the UK they rose before Christmas in the charts and remained listed twelve weeks; the highest position was twelfth. In the U.S., it reached position 102 of the U.S. charts.

More versions sang and played, among others, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Diana Krall, Grover Washington, Jr., Harry Connick, Jr., Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Kenny Rogers, Howard Keel and Richard Clayderman.