When it comes to Billy Joel’s most successful run of albums, you can’t talk about the man behind the piano without also talking about the man behind the board: Phil Ramone.
By the time Phil and Billy teamed up, Ramone was already a renowned engineer and innovator in the recording studio. His discography included landmark albums by Stan Getz, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Paul Simon and Elton John, along with soundtracks, musicals, and live recordings.
Working primarily at Ramone’s own A&R Recording in New York, Phil and Billy put out a string of best-selling and award-winning albums. Beginning with 1977’s The Stranger through The Bridge in 1986.
After the one-off song “Why Should I Worry” from Disney’s “Oliver and Company,” in 1988, nearly two decades would pass before they worked together again. But, Ramone returned to the control room for All My Life, Billy’s last single, released in 2006. It was a fitting end to their partnership.
In this episode, we’re exploring the life and work of Phil Ramone. We’ll talk about his work with Billy Joel, and so much more. Along the way, we’ll speak with Bradshaw Leigh, an engineer who worked alongside Ramone on many classic albums. And, we have a special message from Russell Javors, Billy’s former guitarist and current member of the Lords of 52nd Street.
There’s too much to cover in one episode. And we recommend reading Phil’s Book, Making Records, if you’d like to learn more. But for now, let’s dive deep into the works of Phil Ramone.
The Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children
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