Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Way It Is

First Hit #1: December 13, 1986

Bruce Hornsby is angry. He thought there were things wrong in the ’80s – economic injustice, racism, and people just accepting these things – and he decided to write a song about it. His anger comes through in his performance, which has a certain contained rage going through it, and it comes out in his words. He wants people to rise up and change the world, and parts of his song get his message across. But, weirdly, his anger must have dissipated when it came to writing the melody, because the piano isn’t angry at all, and put above a nifty shuffling beat it’s actually almost delightful. He also leaves time for two piano solos, making it a song that is just as memorable for the way he’s tinkling the ivories as the what the song is about. Sure, there’s the argument that you need sugar to accompany the medicine, and that’s not entirely wrong, but Hornsby accidentally focuses on the sugar a bit too much, making a great song about piano that might have a social message hidden in there somewhere, maybe.

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One Response to Bruce Hornsby and the Range – The Way It Is

  1. RBerman says:

    The other thing about this song besides Hornsy’s dextrous piano playing: The piano is miked very, very well. It sounds great. It’s been a while since an acoustic piano has hit the top of the charts.

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