Known for fusing rock, jazz, bluegrass, and other genres, Bruce Hornsby is one of the most adaptable performers in the business. With music spanning from orchestral compositions to band arrangements, the multi-instrumentalist has garnered seven Grammy awards.
Throughout his career, which has lasted over four decades, Hornsby’s style has enabled him to accomplish a lot. The track “Every Little Kiss” from the Virginia native’s debut album, which bore the same name, peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1986.
With song after hit, and his first Grammy for Best New Artist following in 1990, the 1990s were undoubtedly Hornsby’s most successful decade. The performer would maintain his or her concentration on music throughout the ensuing ten years while also pursuing other creative endeavors.
In addition to writing numerous compositions for orchestras, Hornsby also made an appearance as himself on a West Wing episode during President Bartlet’s second term. On this list, we’ll examine the top ten Bruce Hornsby songs ever.
1. The Way It Is (1986)
The song “The Way It Is,” which was written by Bruce Hornsby and included on his debut album of the same name, was published in 1986.
The song “The Way It Is” reached its highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 at number six, and it also topped the charts for several other genres and genre subgenres, such as Adult Contemporary, Mainstream Rock, and Hot Country Songs.
At the Grammy Awards in 1987, this track took home the awards for Song of the Year and Best New Artist. The song “The Way It Is” was re-recorded by Bruce Hornsby and the Range in 2008 for the album titled “The Way It Is.”
2. PREACHER IN THE RING (1998)
The song “Preacher in the Ring” was initially issued on vinyl, but it quickly rose to prominence as one of Bruce Hornsby’s most well-known works.
The record reached its highest position on the Adult Alternative Songs chart at number 13, and it peaked at number 30 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
On the album that Hornsby recorded with the Noisemakers in 2016, titled Rehab Reunion, the live version of the song “Preacher in the Ring” was included.
3. Dreamland (2004)
Halcyon Days are the album that contains the song “Dreamland” by Bruce Hornsby. The song “Dreamland,” which was initially issued as a single in 2004 and has since reached its highest position on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs list at number 21, has seen only limited radio airplay.
A live recording of the song was published in 2009 as a bonus track on the album titled Alive in America. This version of the song also appears on the Halcyon Days CD as a bonus track.
4. Cruise Control (1995)
The second song to be taken from Bruce Hornsby’s album Hot House to be released is titled “Cruise Control.” The song “Cruise Control,” which was released in 1995, reached its highest position on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart at number 32 and garnered considerable airplay on the radio.
In 1996, the Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental” was awarded to the song. During the process of recording the album, Hornsby expressed to the studio engineer his desire for the band to emulate the sound of the Rolling Stones.
5. Fields Of Gray (1993)
Bruce Hornsby and Newt Gingrich collaborated on the song “Fields of Gray,” which was included on the album The Harbor Lights. One of the most well-known songs by Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford’s band Squeeze is titled “Fields of Gray,” and it can be found on the band’s album that was released in 1993.
Rolling Stone magazine included “Fields of Gray” in its list of the top 100 best songs that it compiled in 2012. The song is performed frequently by both Bruce Hornsby and the Range and Squeeze, and it may be found on their respective setlists.
6. Across The River (1990)
In 1990, “Across the River” by Bruce Hornsby was made available to the public. The single spent a total of 25 weeks on the charts, reaching its highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 17.
In 1991, “Across the River” was awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental, making it one of Hornsby’s most commercially successful compositions to this point. The song “Across the River” was re-recorded by Bruce Hornsby and the Range in 2008 for the album titled “The Way It Was.”
7. Jacob’s Ladder (1986)
The sixth song from the fourth studio album by Bruce Hornsby and The Range, “Jacob’s Ladder,” was made available as a single in 1988. Billboard’s Hot 100 chart saw “Jacob’s Ladder” peak at number four, and it also dominated numerous other charts, including Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock.
At the 1989 Grammy Awards, the song won Best Pop Instrumental and Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In an interview, Hornsby described “Jacob’s Ladder” as “less of a song than it is… It’s more of a soloist exercise.
And I find it to be interesting because what we do is assemble an entire band and provide them with a framework and the chance to engage with one another in order to produce a very dynamic performance for the audience.
8. The Valley Road (1988)
The Way It Is, Bruce Hornsby’s second album, was released in 1988, and its title tune reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Originally issued as the single’s B-side, “The Valley Road” ultimately garnered radio exposure.
In 1989, “The Valley Road” won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental and debuted at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart. Given that he intended to continue working with orchestras throughout the 1990s, Hornsby declared in 1988 that The Way It Is would be his final album to include a full band sound.
9. Every Little Kiss (1986)
Bruce Hornsby’s self-titled album’s lead hit, “Every Little Kiss,“ was released in 1986. The song peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was recognized in 1987 with a Grammy for Best New Artist. Additionally, “Every Little Kiss” reached its highest point at the top of the American Adult Contemporary charts.
In addition to his appearance on the PBS special celebrating The Jazz Masters’ 25th anniversary, Hornsby frequently performs the song during live performances. The fact that “Every Little Kiss” is consistently well-received by audiences has led Hornsby to regard to it as one of his favorites.
10. Mandolin Rain (1986)
The year 1986 marked the release of Bruce Hornsby’s self-titled first album, which included the single “Mandolin Rain,” which reached its highest position on the Billboard Hot 100 at number nine.
Additionally, in 1988, the song was awarded the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
The next year, “Mandolin Rain” became one of Hornsby’s hallmark songs, and he has subsequently performed the song with a number of other symphonies throughout the course of his career.
Additionally, “Mandolin Rain” was used in “Gone Quiet,” the second episode of “The West Wing,” which also featured the song.
An American singer, pianist, accordion player, and songwriter by the name of Bruce Randall Hornsby. He has worked with Frank Sinatra, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Sting, and Eric Clapton.
The tracks listed above are all among Bruce Hornsby’s greatest. They rank among his all-time biggest hits and have helped him win honors for his music.