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The Longest Time


Billy Joel

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song would be considered "next-to" a cappella - it contains only one actual instrument, that being a bass guitar. Everything else is voice, snaps and claps.

The song is a tribute to the Doo-Wop sounds of the '50s that Joel loved, complete with lyrics about being crazy in love with a girl. The song began, however, as a classical piano piece Joel was working on, which is also how is song "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" came about.
On the TV show Family Guy, this song was used in a flashback to discuss the invention of singing. It showed several cavemen sitting around grunting, until they all spontaneously break out into this song. (thanks, Bert - Pueblo, NM)
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Comments (11):

Billy Joel sang the entire song himself. He recorded and mixed 14 tracks of himself singing. The only instrument on the track is a bass guitar.

To David Newman, The Beatles didn't right Devil in Her Heart. It was a single released by the girl group, The Donays. The Beatles changed "His to Her" and George Harrison sang lead on it. The Donays' version never had almost no chart success. The Beatles loved to find little known records by little known black artists, and cover them. many of the songs they covered were originally B-Sides.
- Jim, Lady lake, FL
Possibly my favorite song of Billy's. He does the multitracked harmonies so well, even if I miss the piano. I first heard this song from a Rockapella parody at the end of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, which got me interested in it. Truly a soulful 80's classic. In fact, it's cool that it's followed on the Greatest Hits album by You're Only Human, another uplifting song (matter of fact, I think I'll put it on now). Also, a clarification for David from Chicago, George was the one that sang "Devil In Her Heart". That song was a cover of the one-single wonder The Donays.
- Miles, Vancouver, Canada
All the vocal tracks are by Billy Joel just Billy!
- Mindy, Miami, FL
In the music video. The band members are the mock election winners. Liberty DeVitto being most handsome, Mark Rivera being most popular, *possibly Doug Stegmeyer as best athlete, *possibly David Brown as most likely to succeed, and Russell Javors as best dressed.
When the music begins and the camera pans to Billy Joel, you can see on the adjacent wall that Joel was Class President.

* - Pretty sure Stegmeyer is best athlete, but it is hard to tell with that one and most likely to succeed.
- Teagan, Grand Rapids, MI
She also says "Uptown Girl" is about her.
- Edward, Henderson, NV
The song is about Christie, or at least she says so in an interview.
- Yitz, Wilmington, DE
Billy Joel rhymes "chances" and "romance is" as did the Beatles in "She's Got the Devil in Her Heart". Kieth Richards says "steal anything that's good" (or something to that effect). My question is, "Who did Lennon/McCartney steal this rhyme from?"
- David Newman, Chicago, IL
The do-wop backing vocals were done by Billy and some of his band members.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
no Hall and Oates were two of the guys singing in this song
- Nate, A-town, VA
actually some teachers at my school sang this a cappella. honestly it wasn't that bad but not nearly as good as billy joel could ever do
- Olivia, Webster Gro ves, MO
Aren't all the vocals by multi-tracked by Billy Joel himself? Sure sounds like it..
- DC, Hilo, HI
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