The Longest Time

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"The Longest Time"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album An Innocent Man
B-side "Christie Lee"
Released March 1984
Format 12", CD
Genre Doo-wop
Length 3:40
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Billy Joel singles chronology
"An Innocent Man"
(1983)
"The Longest Time"
(1984)
"Leave a Tender Moment Alone"
(1984)

"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.[1] 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. Only one musical instrument, a bass guitar, is present in the song. When the song is covered by vocal groups, the bass part is typically sung by a human.[2] All other sounds in the song are Joel's vocals, along with percussive sounds such as finger snaps and hand claps.[3] Phil Ramone and Joel had intended to feature a vocal group called the Persuasions but when they sang in the studio, they tended to go flat as the song progressed. The Persuasions were dismissed and Joel recorded each of the parts himself.[4]

Music video[edit]

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.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 15
RPM Top Singles[5] 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
Preceded by
"Hello" by Lionel Richie
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
May 19, 1984 – May 26, 1984
Succeeded by
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 127. 
  2. ^ Duchan, Joshua S. (2012). Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella. University of Michigan Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780472118250. 
  3. ^ http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=5512
  4. ^ Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel. Crown Publishing Group. p. 199. ISBN 9780804140201. 
  5. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.6715&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=h1v4bvl7fjso3qmchh2u2si9r3

External links[edit]