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The Way It Is

41 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 18.77
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
  • ASIN: B000002W93
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,812 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. BaOn The Western Skyline
2. Every Little Kiss
3. Mandolin Rain
4. The Long Race
5. The Way It Is
6. Down The Road Tonight
7. The Wild Frontier
8. The River Runs Low
9. The Red Plains

Product Description

Product Description

Japanese only 2009 remastered paper sleeve pressing. Includes two bonus tracks. Sony.

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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By oldschooler1981 on Feb. 7 2004
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.
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Format: Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to pick up copies of both The Way It Is and Scenes From The Southside sealed through the Amazon US marketplace a few years ago. These pressings, despite being very thin (120g?), are immaculate! They are whisper quiet and sibilance is perfect even on the last tracks of each side. I still have my original German BMG Music CD copies of both of these albums and there is no comparison, the vinyl opens up the performance and allows it to breathe. CD mastering wasn't poor by 1988 and the loudness war wasn't ruining much music, particularly in this genre of adult contemporary pop, but seriously folks if you have a nice turntable set up these sealed pressings aren't in demand and can be found for less than $10 each. The ASIN for this one on the Amazon US site is B00126B80W.

This debut album features two of Hornsby's most popular songs, The Way It Is and Mandolin Rain, and is the album that made him a household name in the late 80's. Those tracks are still on the radio today, but the rest of the album is just as good and if you want to hear more of The Range's material check out the first two albums. The piano work is excellent and always at the forefront, while The Range adds competent rhythm and guitar work.

You can hear Bruce's knack for introducing songs that would become more prevalent on Scenes From The Southside in tracks like "Every Little Kiss", where a simple few chords traverses down into a wonderfully grand entrance into a funky piano driven love song, this intro style was perfected later in songs like The Show Goes On.

If you're just getting into vinyl and wondering whether some of your old favourite CD's like The Way It Is are worth picking up, don't hesitate.

EDIT March 2015 - Exhibit Records are reissuing The Way It Is on 180g vinyl on May 12th, 2015, remastered from the original analogue tapes by Kevin Gray @ Cohearant...should be the go to definitive edition of this excelent debut album.
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By Feed Back on Dec 21 2001
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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By P Magnum on Oct. 24 2000
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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