The Longest Time
|"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. 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 by a human. 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 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.
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.
The song has been covered by many a cappella groups, and has also been featured in episodes of the American TV series How I Met Your Mother and Glee. The song is also featured in the 2008 film Step Brothers, in which a fictional Billy Joel cover band named "Uptown Girl" plays the song, then are subsequently booed off the stage.
|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|
"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.
- Duchan, Joshua S. (2012). Powerful Voices: The Musical and Social World of Collegiate A Cappella. University of Michigan Press. p. 39. ISBN 9780472118250.
- Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel. Crown Publishing Group. p. 199. ISBN 9780804140201.
- "Step Brothers Soundtracks". Internet movie Database.
- "The Longest Time" Music Video on YouTube / ⒞1984 VEVO channel
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics