The Way It Is is Bruce Hornsby and the Range's debut album, released in 1986. Led by its hit title track, the album went on to achieve multi-platinum status and helped the group to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Other hits from the album include "Mandolin Rain" and "Every Little Kiss". Fellow musician Huey Lewis is also featured on the album, lending his harmonica and vocal talents to the track, "Down the Road Tonight". Lewis also helped produce the song, along with the track, "The Long Race" and "The River Runs Low".
The original album cover featured an impressionistic photograph of Bruce Hornsby playing an accordion, and was originally targeted at the New Age music market and featured slightly different versions of the songs "Down the Road Tonight" and "The River Runs Low."
Once the album's tracks started to receive regular airplay on Pop Music stations in late 1986, the album was remixed and was re-released with a new cover featuring a segment of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
The opening of "Every Little Kiss" features an extended quotation of Charles Ives's second piano sonata. The original release featured a different mix of the entire album with slightly altered track timings. In recent interviews Hornsby said he found this album and the followup "difficult to listen to."
Live: The Way It Is Tour 1986-87 track listing