The song, which Joel had written for his first wife (and also his business manager at the time) Elizabeth Weber, was not liked by either Joel or his band, and Joel had originally decided against making the track a part of the album. But Joel has stated that, at the request of both Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow (both were recording in other studios in the same building at the time), Joel agreed to put the song on the final mix. However, the album’s producer, Phil Ramone, later contradicted Joel’s claim, stating in an interview that they could not afford to exclude the song because Joel did not have that much material to choose from for the album.
“Just the Way You Are” is the third track from his 1977 album, The Stranger. It was Joel’s first US Top 10 (reaching #3) and UK Top 20 single, as well as Joel’s first gold single in the US. “Just the Way You Are”, which won the 1979 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, turned Joel’s chart career, which had largely stalled out by early 1975, into long-lasting success. “Just The Way You Are” also coincidentally tied another of his #3 hits, his last US Top 10 single, “The River of Dreams”, for most weeks on the Hot 100 of any of his singles, at 27.