The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby album)

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The Way It Is
The way it is hornsby.jpg
Studio album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Released April 1, 1986
Recorded 1985-86 Rumbo Recorders, Canoga Park; Ocean Way Recording and Capitol Recording Studios, Hollywood; Studio D Recording, Sausalito; King Sound Studios, Hollywood Hills; Village Recorders, Los Angeles.
Genre Rock, soft rock
Length 43:12
Label RCA
Producer Bruce Hornsby, Huey Lewis, Elliot Scheiner
Bruce Hornsby chronology
The Way It Is
Scenes from the Southside
Alternative cover art
First U. S. release
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B–[2]

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 on "Every Little Kiss" and vocal talents to the track, "Down the Road Tonight". Lewis also helped produce the song, along with the tracks, "The Long Race" and "The River Runs Low".

The original album cover featured an impressionistic photograph of Bruce Hornsby playing an accordion,[3] 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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby, except as noted. Note the timings reflect the currently available second release of the album.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "On the Western Skyline"     4:43
2. "Every Little Kiss"   Bruce Hornsby 5:49
3. "Mandolin Rain"     5:19
4. "The Long Race"     4:26
5. "The Way It Is"   Bruce Hornsby 4:58
6. "Down the Road Tonight"     4:26
7. "The Wild Frontier"     4:04
8. "The River Runs Low"     4:28
9. "The Red Plains"     5:01

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[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Every Little Kiss"   6:27
2. "The Long Race"   6:02
3. "The Way It Is (Solo Piano Intro)"   7:07
4. "The Way It Is"   6:25
5. "Mandolin Rain"   6:31
6. "The Red Plains"   6:44
7. "On the Western Skyline"   6:19

Produced by DIR Broadcasting for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Recorded live at The Ritz, New York City, February 2, 1987 by Effanel Music.


Bruce Hornsby & The Range[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Huey Lewis – harmonica on "Every Little Kiss", backing vocals on "Down the Road Tonight"
  • John Gilutin, Sean Hopper – additional keyboards


  • Executive Producer: Paul Atkinson
  • Produced by Bruce Hornsby, Elliot Scheiner (for Trackman) and Huey Lewis
  • Recorded & Engineered by Elliot Scheiner & Jim Gaines
  • Assistant Engineers: Jim "Watts" Vereecke, Lenette Viegas
  • Mixed by David Luke, Don Smith, Eddie King & Elliot Scheiner
  • Mastered by Stephen Marcussen


Chart (1986) Peak
The Billboard 200 3
Year Single Chart Position
1986 "The Way It Is" The Billboard Hot 100 1
Billboard Album Rock Tracks 3
Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
"On the Western Skyline" Billboard Album Rock Tracks 6
"Every Little Kiss" The Billboard Hot 100 14
Billboard Album Rock Tracks 18
1987 Billboard Adult Contemporary 3
"Mandolin Rain" The Billboard Hot 100 4
Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
Billboard Album Rock Tracks 2
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 38


  1. ^
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 31, 1987). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The first U.S. CD issue of Bruce Hornsby and The Range The Way It Is". Keith Hirsch's CD Resource. Retrieved 3 February 2015.