The Longest Time
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|"The Longest Time"|
|Single by Billy Joel|
|from the album An Innocent Man|
|Genre||Doo-wop, a capella|
|Billy Joel singles chronology|
"The Longest Time" is a doo-wop single by Billy Joel. The song was released as a single in 1984 as the fourth single from the 1983 album An Innocent Man. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. In the United Kingdom the song reached number 25 on the UK Singles Chart.
The song features Joel on lead vocals and all backing vocals. Joel recorded 14 different background tracks which were mixed into the song. Only one musical instrument, a bass guitar, is present in the song. All other sounds in the song are Joel's vocals, along with percussive sounds such as finger snaps and hand claps.  It was originally recorded as the demo "the Prime of Your Life". 
The music video starts with a man (played by Joel) in a gym after his 25th high school reunion party. Looking around at posters of several class awards, he breaks into song as his band, apparently portrayed as his high school friends, enters the gym. As they sing, they alternate between their high school and current (or even older) selves. The video was entirely filmed at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
|Australian Singles Chart||15|
|RPM Top Singles||36|
|Irish Singles Chart||18|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||24|
|UK Singles Chart||25|
|US Billboard Hot 100||14|
|US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||1|
In 1984, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes covered the song for the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "Operation Theodore". Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, a punk cover band, covered the song on their 2004 album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah. In 2009, Only Men Aloud covered the song on the album Band of Brothers, and in 2010, The Overtones covered the song on their Good Ol' Fashioned Love album, which reached #4 on the UK albums chart.
In 2013, the members of Glee's New Directions glee club performed an a cappella version of the song in the episode "Lights Out". That same year, the song was also performed by Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris in the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Time Travelers".
"Hello" by Lionel Richie
|Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
May 19, 1984 – May 26, 1984
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 127.
- An Innocent Man. http://www.avaxhome.ws/. Retrieved on March 15, 2011.
- "GLEE Will Rock You! All The NEW MUSIC From Lights Out HERE!". perezhilton.com. April 22, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "The Longest Time" Music Video on YouTube / ⒞1984 VEVO channel
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics