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 Records
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 cover
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". Huey Lewis is featured on the album, lending his harmonica and vocal talents to "Down the Road Tonight". Lewis also co-produced the song, along with the tracks "The Long Race" and "The River Runs Low".


The original release of the album featured an impressionistic photograph on the cover of Bruce Hornsby playing an accordion.[3] It 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 sepia-toned cover featuring a photo of the band superimposed over a photo of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "On the Western Skyline"   4:42
2. "Every Little Kiss"   5:47
3. "Mandolin Rain"   5:18
4. "The Long Race"   4:22
5. "The Way It Is"   4:56
6. "Down the Road Tonight"   4:25
7. "The Wild Frontier"   4:02
8. "The River Runs Low"   4:26
9. "The Red Plains"   5:00

Tracks 2 and 5 written by Bruce Hornsby; all other songs written by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby. Track times are for the current release of the album. Note: the opening of "Every Little Kiss" features an extended quotation of Charles Ives's Piano Sonata No. 2.

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, 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.