Album of the Week: 'The Way It Is'

Nearly 30 years ago on April 1, 1986, the debut album of Bruce Hornsby and the Range was released. The Way It Is became a huge commercial success, peaking at #3 on the US album chart and featuring the title track which became an international hit.

The album's original release actually featured a different cover and was geared toward New Age style. Once singles began getting airplay in late 1986, the album was released with a new cover and two new remixed tracks. Three singles made the top 15 on the Billboard pop chart: "The Way It Is" (#1), "Every Little Kiss" (#14), and "Mandolin Rain" (#4). The album would also earn the band Best New Artist at the 1987 Grammy Awards.

I first encountered this album in the early '90s during the Columbia House/BMG era. I always enjoyed the hit singles but had never heard the entire album. I quickly recognized a familiar voice on the "Down the Road Tonight" track (Huey Lewis) which made me love the album even more. It became one of my go-to albums for long homework sessions in college and the 11-hour road trips I endured. I was also enticed to purchase Bruce Hornsby's solo album Harbor Lights soon after which I feel remains greatly under-appreciated.

My 5 favorite tracks from The Way It Is are:

  1. "The Way It Is"
  2. "Mandolin Rain"
  3. "Down the Road Tonight"
  4. "The Red Plains"
  5. "Every Little Kiss"

Rediscover The Way It Is this week via YouTube below or subscribers can listen for free through Amazon Prime music. You can also join me by posting your personal Top 5 tracks from the album in the comments.

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