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The Way It Is CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: HORNSBY,BRUCE & THE RANGE
Title: WAY IT IS
Street Release Date: 07/07/1987
Domestic
Genre: ROCK/POP

Amazon.com

Bruce Hornsby is now best known for his stints playing keyboards with the Grateful Dead and for his involvement in such post-Dead projects as the Further Festival. An incomparable keyboard wizard whose skills are widely admired while his albums are consistently underrated, Hornsby's greatest commercial success is slipping rapidly into the past. His 1986 debut, The Way It Is (recorded with his band, the Range) is the high watermark of his career commercially, having sold several million copies and spawned a trio of hit singles, including "Mandolin Rain," "Every Little Kiss," and of course, the No. 1 smash, "The Way It Is." Overall, it's Hornsby's most tuneful album, though not necessarily his most accomplished work. His is a catalog that is long overdue for reevaluation. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 1986)
  • Original Release Date: June 2, 1986
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 43 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002W93
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,686 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I was a junior high schooler watching NBC's music video show "Friday Night Videos" (if I remember the name correctly) back in 1986 when I heard "The Way It Is." It wasn't until the early 90s when I finally picked-up this CD; used. I almost traded it in about five years ago for something else. Needless to say, I still have it, and suprisingly (to me) it has become one of my favorite albums today.
The Amazon.com review was right on the mark, by stating that Bruce Hornsby and the (venerable) Range are "long overdue for reevaluation." The piano work is suberb, Hornsby's vocals are so smooth, and the writing reflects subtle notes of sociological problems, and life's wonderful moments ("The Way It Is" and "Mandolin Rain" respectively). His backup band rounded out the sound of this album very well, making it one of the most complete and cherished recordings of the 1980s.
It's been out of the limelight for years, but for those who dig this album up, a wonderful listening experience will become their's for a long time to come.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1986, Bruce Hornsby somehow managed to mix southern rock, pop/rock, country, and soft rock into one, with great results. If you've only heard the 3 hits, don't stop there. Some of the best tracks are the non-hits.
1. On the Western Skyline -- The perfect album opener with a mid tempo, happy yet restrained pop beat, and lyrics about trying to find love. Even though it wasn't a hit, believe me that it was good enough to be.
2. Every Little Kiss -- The lesser known hit here also happens to be my favorite. Starting with a quiet piano and soon becoming a somewhat rocking, happy pop tune with a slight country sound. Another tune about love and missing it.
3. Mandolin Rain -- A slightly uptempo, very pleasant romantic ballad. Despite its more soft rock sound (even at the time) it's still not wimpy and boring. If I enjoyed it back in 1986/87 at 5 years old, it can't be total adult contemporary, right?
4. The Long Race -- Yet another underrated masterpiece. The southern/country sound returns here with a fun pop/rocker about winning, well, the long race (of life).
5. The Way it is -- This is the still fairly popular song here. I never liked it as much as the others, for whaever reason, but it's still great. A medium pop tune with clever yet serious lyrics, dealing with social issues.
6. Down the Road Tonight -- Even though Bruce is softer than many artists associated with the power ballad genre, it could be the PB of this album. A more lighthearted (possibly autobiographical) look at being younger, meeting a girl and falling in love. A melodic mix of lite southern rock and a pop ballad, which I'm absolutely amazed didn't become a hit.
7. The Wild Frontier -- Probably the most 'rocking' song as well as the most country influenced, which is good but not great.
8.
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce Hornsby exploded onto the pop music scene from out of nowhere with 1986's "The Way it Is." Fittingly, since he had a great sound and was capable of writing songs with strong melodic hooks. Hornsby's voice and keyboard playing are excellent, but it's the songwriting that makes the first half of this album particularly memorable. "On the Western Skyline," "Every Little Kiss" "Mandolin Rain," and the title track all sparkle. The second half of the album is not nearly as good, containing some filler material, but it holds its own well enough to make "The Way it Is" one of the better rock albums released during the 1980s.
Overall, an excellent mainstream rock album that sounds as good today as when it was first released.
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Format: Audio CD
There aren't too many albums which have no bum singles, with every single song being perfect. THRILLER by Michael Jackson, SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE by Stevie Wonder, and RAPTURE by Anita Baker are three. THE WAY IT IS by Bruce Hornsby is one more.
The piano players of the world look up to Hornsby as much as they do Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, or Elton John. Few have his technique, and fewer still have displayed it to such good effect as he did on this album. His backing band, the Range, perfectly complement his silky-smooth piano lines; his right-hand trills, comparable in breadth and finesse as any vocal line by Anita or Mariah, hold you spellbound. True, he may not have the best singing voice in pop music -- but with this kind of piano-playing and songwriting skill, who cares?
From "The Way It Is" (a song that was used by the Tupac Shakur as the backing track for his posthumously-released single "Changes", and one which deals similarly with racism & intolerance) to the gentle "Mandolin Rain" to the kicky "Every Little Kiss", Bruce & the boys hardly put a foot wrong.
To sum up: if you want to have one of the best albums of the 1980s, then BUY THIS CD. You will know why the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences honored Bruce Hornsby with a Best New Artist Grammy.
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce Hornsby is not only an accomplished keyboard player, but he is a sharp songwriter. He co-penned with his brother most of the songs on this album as well as a #1 song for Huey Lewis & The News in "Jacob's Ladder". In fact Mr. Lewis shows up playing harmonica and producing two songs on the album. Mr. Hornsby wasn't blessed with the best voice in the world, but he more than compensates for that with snappy arrangements and a cohesive band. Songs like "On The Western Skyline", "The Wild Frontier" and "The Red Plains" have strong lyrical images and the title track (which was a surprise #1 hit in late '86) is one of the best songs to come in the late 80's with Mr. Hornsby's keyboard work really shining. Mr. Hornsby has toured with the Grateful Dead and more recently played with a Dead offshoot The Other Ones. But don't be throw by that association as this album has more in common with artists like Springsteen, Petty & Mellencamp than the Dead.
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