Puneet Varma

The Longest Time

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B-side  "Christie Lee"
Format  12", CD
Genre  Doo-wop, a cappella
Released  March 1984
Recorded  1983
Length  3:40

"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 Lyman and the Teenagers. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one 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 and all backing vocals. Two musical instruments are present in the song: 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. All other sounds in the song are Joel's vocals, along with percussive sounds such as finger snaps and hand claps. 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. The video was entirely filmed at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

Cover versions

The Chipmunks used an abbreviated version of the song on their cartoon series for a scene where they are trying to cheer up a hospitsl patient. Oddly, the patient who had his tonsils removed is shown singing along with the group.

In popular culture

The song is featured in the 2008 film Step Brothers, in which a fictional Billy Joel cover band named "Uptown Girl" plays the song, then is subsequently booed off the stage.

The How I Met Your Mother episode "The Time Travelers" concludes with Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson, and the future versions of themselves singing an a cappella version of the song.


The Longest Time Wikipedia

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