” The Longest Time ” is by Billy Joel ( William Martin ” Billy ” Joel ), the American singer-songwriter and pianist. Billy was born on the 9th of May 1949 in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. The area in the U.S. state of New York is named after Jonas Bronck, an immigrant to the Dutch colony, New Netherland in 1639.
It was his 1973 song ” Piano Man ” that launched Billy’s career, since then he has gone on to be the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States.
His Album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2, is one of the best-selling Albums in the United States. Billy is a 6x Grammy Award-winning artist with twenty-three Grammy Awards nominations to his name. His sales have exceeded 150 Million, which makes him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
” The Longest Time ” was written by Billy Joel, production for the single by Phil Ramone. Phil was a South African-born American record producer, engineer, violinist and composer. At the age of just three, Phil began playing the violin and when he was ten years old performed for the then Princess Elizabeth, future Queen of England.
In 1958 he co-founded, with business partner Jack Arnold, A & R Recording, Inc., which quickly gained an excellent reputation amongst musicians across the genres. Phil worked with a variety of artists including Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Karen Carpenter, Chicago, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder. Phil Ramone died at the age of 79 on the 30th of March 2013.
” The Longest Time ” was released in March 1984 by record label Columbia Records ( Sony Music Entertainment ) and taken as the fourth single from Billy’s ninth Album, An Innocent Man. It was designed as a concept Album to pay homage to music from the 50s doo-wop and soul music from the 60s.
The Album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 26th Grammy Awards only to be beaten by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for ” Uptown Girl ” but was again was defeated by Thriller. The Album was a commercial success for Billy. In the United States the Album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 Chart, and in the United Kingdom, it reached number two on the UK Albums Chart.
The doo-wop single features Billy on both lead and backing vocals. Billy and producer Phil initially planned for a vocal group to provide the backing vocals on the track. However, it was decided that Billy would perform all parts himself.
The track also features a bass guitar and a snare drum, which is played with brushes and percussive sounds like finger snaps and hand claps.
Following the theme of the Album’s homage to the 50s doo-wop, the song is presented in the style of American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter Frankie Lymon and his backing group the Teenagers.
Their first single, released in 1956, was ” Why Do Fools Fall in Love “. The song was to be their most successful single. Frankie Lymon split from the group in 1957 and pursued a solo career. At the age of 25, he was found dead on the floor of his grandmother’s bathroom. A heroin overdose was the cause of his death.
The accompanying music video was directed by Jay Dubin, the American director. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he has directed for television as well as music videos. He worked on three episodes of Dinosaurs, which was a sitcom comedy about a family of puppet dinosaurs. The original series was aired on the ABC network from the 26th of April 1991 to the 20th of July 1994.
Jay also directed one episode of Beakman’s World, the American educational children’s television show and Dice Rules, the 1991 Andrew Dice concert film. As a music video director, he has worked with the likes of Kenny Rogers, John Cougar Mellencamp, Chicago, Styx, Robin Gibb, REO Speedwagon and Hall & Oates.
The video was filmed at Pratt Institute in the Clinton Hill neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York, United States. Made up of six schools, the Institute is known for its programs in architecture, interior design and industrial design.
” The Longest Time ” was a commercial success for Billy. In the United States, the song reached a peak of number fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, spending eighteen weeks on the chart there. It also reached Number One on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks Chart.
In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart on the 21st of April 1984 and reached a peak of number twenty-five. It spent four weeks in the Top Forty and a total of nine weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Hot 100 Highest Chart Position: 14
UK Highest Chart Position: 25
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 15, Irish Singles Chart 18, New Zealand Singles Chart 24
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