Legendary music producer Phil Ramone passed away on Saturday, and now one of his most famous collaborators, Billy Joel, has revealed the story behind "Just the Way You Are" in Rolling Stone explaining just how much Ramone contributed to his music and his success. ."
As Billy recalls, when he wrote "Just the Way You Are," he thought it was a "gloppy ballad." "I didn't believe in it," he writes, saying that Ramone "had to talk me into putting [it] on the album."
First, Ramone convinced Billy to change the rhythm and tempo of the song, and then he brought in a legendary jazz sax player to play the song's famous solo. But Billy still wasn't convinced:
"One day we were in the studio and [Ramone] goes out and comes back in with Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow, They heard the song, and Linda Ronstadt goes, 'Are you crazy? That's a great song!'...I was like, 'Really?'
"Just the Way You Are" restarted Billy's career. It became his first top 10 hit and his first gold single, and eventually won Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.