The Longest Time
|"The Longest Time"|
|Single by Billy Joel|
|from the album An Innocent Man|
|Genre||Doo-wop, a cappella|
|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. Following the theme of the album in paying tribute to Joel's musical influences, the song is presented in the style of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 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. Two musical instruments are present in the song: a bass guitar and a snare drum being played with brushes. When the song is covered by vocal groups, the bass part is typically sung. All other sounds in the song are Joel's vocals, along with percussive sounds such as finger snaps and hand claps. Phil Ramone and Joel had intended to feature a vocal group but Joel recorded each of the parts himself.
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 selves. The video was entirely filmed at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.
|Australia (Kent Music Report) ||15|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||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 popular culture
In the S2E19 episode of The Office, "Michael's Birthday", employee Dwight Schrute plays "The Longest Time" on his recorder for Michael Scott, as it is Michael's favorite song. Dwight identifies the artist as "William Joel".
On Family Guy, in the episode "The Fat Man Strangler" this song was used in a flashback to discuss the invention of singing. It showed several cavemen sitting around grunting, until they all spontaneously break out into this song.
In the S8E20 episode of How I Met Your Mother, The Time Travelers, the episode concludes with Ted, Barney, and the future versions of themselves singing an a cappella version of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time".
In the S2E1 episode of Madam Secretary, The Show Must Go On, the episode concludes with Blake, Daisy, and Nadine singing an a cappella remix of Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” for a transpacific partnership conference.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 127.
- Duchan, Joshua S. (2012). Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella. University of Michigan Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780472118250.
- "The Longest Time by Billy Joel Songfacts". songfacts.com.
- Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel. Crown Publishing Group. p. 199. ISBN 9780804140201.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.