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Billy Joel - The Longest Time (1984)

  • Video Views 58,949,864
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.38
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“The Longest Time” is a doo-wop single by Billy Joel. The song was released as a single in 1984 as the ...

“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, all backing vocals, and percussive sounds such as finger snaps and hand claps. The only two instruments in the song are 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. Phil Ramone and Joel had intended to feature a vocal group but Joel recorded each of the parts himself.

Music video
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, ending with their high school selves walking out of the restroom and interacting with a puzzled janitor. The video was entirely filmed at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and was directed by Jay Dubin.

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