“The Longest Time” is a doo-wop single by musician Billy Joel. The song was released as a single in the early 1984 as the fourth single off the album An Innocent Man. It reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart, and #25 on the UK Singles Chart.
In the summer of 1983, when the album was released, oldies station WCBS-FM opted to play “The Longest Time” in regular rotation along with the first single “Tell Her About It“. At that time WCBS-FM mixed in some new songs with the oldies. The song got very favorable reviews and the public wanted “The Longest Time” to be the follow up single.But instead, that fall “Uptown Girl” was released as the second single. Late in November, “The Longest Time” was again passed over for the title song from the album, “An Innocent Man“. “The Longest Time” was finally released in early 1984. The song is a radio staple today on Adult Contemporary stations as well as oldies and Classic hits outlets.
The song features Joel on lead vocals and all backing vocals. Joel recorded 14 different background tracks which were mixed into the song.