‘It’s Been a Long Time,’ Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt

The 1991 Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes album, "Better Days."

The 1991 Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes album, “Better Days.”

Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt have, of course, worked together in many different ways over the last four or five decades. But “It’s Been a Long Time,” from the 1991 Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes album, Better Days, is a unique undertaking: A polished studio recording of an unapologetically sentimental, autobiographical Van Zandt-written soul ballad, with shared lead vocals by all three men.

The three made a music video for it (see below), performing for a small, invitation-only crowd at their spiritual home — the Stone Pony in Asbury Park — with the cameras rolling.

No other song sums up the bonds between the three more effectively.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

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