Music

Young men bring old school harmonies to life with Billy Joel classic

March 25th, 2020

We don’t always upload videos to YouTube because we think they’re perfect. In fact, that’s the beauty of the Internet – we don’t have to wait to be “discovered” before we share our talents with the world.

For the young men who performed a fantastic a cappella cover of the Billy Joel hit “The Longest Time,” putting it online was simply about sharing their love of music.

Chris Bandy, Cory Blackmon, Cooper Case, Mark Denman, John Frederick, and JP Stephens performed the song and uploaded it to YouTube in 2016. Since then, it’s been viewed over 1.9 MILLION times.

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

That sounds like a good performance to us!

Nearly three years after it went viral, Bandy, whose account the video lives on, updated viewers on just how the performance came to be.

He said:

“The idea to do this originated in May 2016, when some of the guys got ahold of the arrangement and wanted to sing it for fun. I suggested that we record it since I had all the gear. We met up at my house and had 4 hours to learn and perform it from scratch. All the vocals are our actual voices. The audio is a mix of live singing and re-tracks. In post, I added snaps and claps, and did the best that I could to make everything line up, which wasn’t an easy task.”

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

Despite his efforts, plenty of people found things to criticize – because that’s what Internet commenters do. But he assured people that it wasn’t meant to be the pinnacle of perfection:

“I knew that the timing was a little off even before I read 500+ comments telling me that it was off,” he said.

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

It’s amazing that people would find things to criticize about such a great performance!

And while we don’t think anything about the performance itself is off (despite the audio and video not being perfectly matched up), Bandy defended his fellow singers:

“If it sounds like one of the soloists is out of time, it is NOT his fault. All of us are able to keep rhythm, but our time constraints kept us from learning this to the point where we could perform it straight through live.”

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

But ignore the haters, this a cappella version would make Billy Joel himself proud!

“I posted this video, not because I thought it was perfect, but because we all enjoy music, and I wanted these hard-working and talented guys to see the fruits of their labor.”

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

On top of that, the performers all appear to be teenagers – and ones that can sing better than most of us!

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Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube Source: Screenshot via Chris Bandy/YouTube

The music legend’s doo-wop single was released in 1984 on the album “An Innocent Man.” Since then, it’s become a popular a cappella piece and arrangements are readily available online.

While the original sounds like the singer himself has vocal backup, Joel recorded all parts of the song with his own voice. And the original itself is practically a cappella to begin with. According to Song Facts: “…it contains only one actual instrument – a bass guitar. Everything else is voice, finger snaps and claps.”

Even though this is an amateur version of the song, we salute the teenage boys willing to take it on and put themselves out there for the inevitable Internet lashing.

Be sure to scroll down below to see the boys’ excellent performance.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Chris Bandy via YouTube, Song Facts

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