This song first appeared on the band's 11th studio album, Secret Messages. Stranger also was the third single from the LP.
The small quiet opening is one of the many messages that takes place in this album. A high pitched backmasked voice is heard during the opening, played in reverse the voice is actually saying "You're playing me backwards."
"Recorded this in Holland, where I was looking through the eyes of a stranger." Jeff Lynne (2001 - Secret Messages Remaster)