“Longer” is one of Dan Fogelberg’s most enduring love songs. The unabashedly sentimental ballad, which describes a devotion that exists “longer than there have been fishes in the ocean,” spent two weeks at No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in March 1980.
For the upcoming collection A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg, husband and wife Vince Gill and Amy Grant turn it into sweet, unadorned duet, trading off verses and sharing lovely harmonies.
The long-gestating album comes out Nov. 17 via BMG and also features Garth Brooks, Eagles, Zac Brown, Train, Michael McDonald and Donna Summer, among others, performing songs from Fogelberg’s beloved catalog. The singer/songwriter died of prostate cancer in December 2007 at 56.
Fogelberg’s widow, Jean, produced the album, along with producer Norbert Putnam, Irving Azoff and Chuck Morris, all of whom played seminal roles in Fogelberg’s career.
Gill and Grant’s rendition of “Longer” embraces the flugelhorn solo from the original, while trading off the strings for a slight country twang with a shuffling drum beat and strumming guitars. The song originally appeared on Fogelberg’s 1979 album, Phoenix.
Gill and Fogelberg have history together, with Gill singing on Fogelberg’s bluegrass-tinged High Country Snows album. “I always loved Dan’s music and getting the opportunity to sing on the High Country Snows record, over 30 years ago, is still a great memory for me,” Gill said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Grant has a history with their chosen song: “Back in the early ’80s, a college friend and I did a fairly average version of ‘Longer’ for a friend’s wedding. So glad to have the chance, all the years later, for a redo with my extraordinarily gifted husband,” she said.
The pair also performed the song this summer at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame ceremony concert event, during which Fogelberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The album comes during a resurgence in Fogelberg and his music. In September, Part of the Plan, a musical based on Fogelberg’s songs, opened at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to strong reviews.
A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg track listing:
1. Phoenix performed by Garth Brooks
2. Nether Lands performed by Donna Summer
3. Better Change performed by Michael McDonald
4. Longer performed by Amy Grant/Vince Gill
5. Same Old Lang Syne performed by Train
6. Don’t Lose Heart performed by Dobie Gray
7. Old Tennessee performed by Fool’s Gold/Denny Henson and Tom Kelly
8. As the Raven Flies performed by Casey James
9. Sutters Mill performed by Randy Owen
10. Run for the Roses performed by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Richie Furay
11. Hard to Say performed by Boz Scaggs
12. Part of the Plan performed by Eagles
13. There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler performed by Jimmy Buffett
14. Leader of the Band performed by Zac Brown