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Author Topic: Best long songs
Speed
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We haven't had a music thread for a while. Or at least not one that I've seen... but then, I finally have a full-time job, so I've been missing some stuff around here. Anyway, it's the weekend, and I thought I'd pick your brains once again.

Making long songs is like making long movies. When it's done right it can give themes room to breathe, and be so hypnotic and engrossing that you don't even notice the time pass. But for every Lord of the Rings there are 10 Alexanders and Heavens Gates, whose artists don't know when to shut up. So when people can make long movies or long songs that justify their lengths, it's uniquely sweet.

So, just as an arbitrary cut-off, let's say what's your favorite song over 7 minutes long, and why? Of course, you get more points for longer songs, but it's got to be at least 7 minutes long to be considered (by my made-up statistics) a standard deviation above the mean. I'm going to put together a few of my own, but I'm going to start the thread in case any of you would like to beat me to some of the obvious ones.

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Dagonee
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The super-obvious:

Stairway to Heaven
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

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Alcon
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Do symphonies and such count?

In which case: Adagio for String - Samual Barber

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Pelegius
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Hmm,
American Pie and Vincent would seem uber-obvious.

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breyerchic04
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Alice's Restaraunt, does it get any longer?
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erosomniac
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Moby - God Moving Over the Face of the Waters
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Dagonee
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Is Vincent 7 minutes? I know there's a single-length (3:10 or so) version I've heard many times on the radio.
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hugh57
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Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield
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dantesparadigm
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Layla, or for that matter most of Eric Clapton's longer songs.

The Beatles - Hey Jude

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breyerchic04
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Dags, Vincent is 5:19, at least on my cd.
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Evie3217
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I agree with breyerchic. Alice's Restuarant is a classic. I also enjoy a lot of long Phish songs, but I don't think I could pick just one.
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breyerchic04
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I'm now listening to American Pie. Ooh fantastic song.

I wouldn't consider Hey Jude a long song, but I haven't looked up how long it is.

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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Juanita/Kiteless
by Underworld.

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Amilia
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Apparently Hey Jude is 7:07.
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Jon Boy
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"Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" by Counting Crows. "Goodbye Sky Harbor" by Jimmy Eat World is also good, but it has to be background music. It's too repetitive to just sit and listen to.
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T_Smith
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Achilles Last Stand- over 10 minutes.
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Speed
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Okay, I was looking through my collection and I came up with way, way too many. So I'm going to deal with them in categories.

First off, including jazz songs was way too easy, so I left most of them out, but I had to mention All Blues (11:33) and Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (14:03), just because they're some of the greatest and most influential pieces of any genre.

Other than that, I think I can put most of the long songs I like into three categories:

Songs with killer jams
**The Doors: Light My Fire (7:08) [The doors used Coltrane as an inspiration, and notoriously proved that songs didn't have to be short to sell.]
**Rush: Working Man (7:10)
**The Allman Brothers: Jessica (7:30) [I always think this song is much shorter because I never want it to end]
**Creedence: Keep On Chooglin’ (7:40) [Some of the most smoking harmonica work ever laid down]
**Dire Straits: Money For Nothing (8:14)
**Curtis Mayfield: Move On Up (8:54)
**Phish: Tweezer (8:42)
**Frank Zappa: Watermelon in Easter Hay (9:05) [one of the most lyrical and gorgeous jams you'll ever hear, Frank can make you weep without saying a word.]
**Frank Zappa: Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk (9:15) [Not as good a song musically, but tell me you've ever heard a better name for a song about Jimmy Swaggart]
**Neil Young: Down By the River (9:16), Cowgirl In the Sand (10:06)
**Television: Marquee Moon (10:41)
**Creedence: I Heard It Through the Grapevine (11:07)
**Led Zeppelin: When the Levee Breaks (7:08)
**Stone Roses: I Am the Resurrection (8:14), Fools Gold (9:55)
**Moe: Plane Crash (8:54)
**Propellerheads: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (9:20) [A smoking techno jam on John Barry's theme from the movie of the same name. One of those songs that, for all its length, is always over before you're ready for the end.]

Songs with a hypnotic, ambient quality
**Stevie Wonder: Black Man (8:29) [funkily hypnotic, that bass line with the horns will suck you in and won't let you go until they're done with you.]
**Sade: No Ordinary Love (7:22) [Sade is a master of brilliant songs like this, but this is the only one that goes over 7 minutes]
**DJ Shadow: What Does Your Soul Look Like IV (7:12)
**The Cure: Pictures of You (7:28)
**New Order: Blue Monday (7:29)
**Supertramp: Child of Vision (7:25)
**Steely Dan: Deacon Blues (7:37)
**Donald Fagen: On the Dunes (8:07)
**Loreena McKennitt: The Bonny Swans (7:21)
**Philip Glass: The Grid (21:23)
**BT: Flaming June (8:36)
**Orbital: Halcyon+on+on (9:27) [These last two tracks put the "trance" in trance music, and almost justify an often worthless genre]
**Led Zeppelin: Kashmir (8:28)
**Pink Floyd: Dogs (17:08)
**Vangelis: Processional (9:33)
**The Crystal Method: Trip Like I Do (7:34)


Songs with deliberate musical progression
**Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick (43:42)
**Yes: Roundabout (8:35)
**Guns ‘N Roses: November Rain (8:57)
**Deep Purple: Lazy (7:22) [I almost put this in the jam category, but this is a jam with an agenda]
**Weird Al: Albuquerque (11:23)
**King Crimson: 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:23)

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Verily the Younger
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"Telegraph Road", Dire Straits. 14:18, and not a second of it that feels superfluous.

"It's a Long Way There", Little River Band. 8:38 in its original album version.

"Why Worry", Dire Straits. 8:31.

"Paradise by the Dashboard Light", Meat Loaf. 8:29.

"Like a Hurricane", Neil Young. 8:20. Lyrically brilliant, and if the guitar gets a little too grunge-like toward the end for my tastes, well, a lot of people like that sort of thing. And it was a great ride anyway.

"Tunnel of Love", Dire Straits. 8:11. Anyone noticing a pattern? Mark Knopfler can write truly great long songs; unlike, say, Iron Butterfly, he never descends into useless repetition that extends the song without adding to it.

"Scenes From an Italian Restaurant", Billy Joel. 7:38.

"Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", Crosby, Stills & Nash. 7:25.

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Tinros
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"Song of Scheherazade" by Renaissance. 24:39. It's absolutely incredible. It's like time flies when I listen to it, and I don't realize it's been a half an hour when it's done.
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Tinros
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Add to that: "Home by the Sea," "Fading Lights," and "Driving the Last Spike" by Genesis. Home by the Sea is 12:14, Fading Lights is 10:54, and Driving the Last Spike is 10:17.
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Uprooted
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Renaissance! Wow, I remember listening to them as a kid. I'll have to find Scheherezade again and see if I still like it.
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Jeni
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Rush's 2112 at about 20 minutes. Great story, great music... I love it.
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ambyr
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"The Charity of Night," Bruce Cockburn (8:05). A lot of his more spoken word pieces run long, but this is one of my favorites. I think "You've Never Seen Everything" (9:16) is a better song, but it's not one I can stand to listen to very often.

"Yes, Anastasia," Tori Amos (9:33). Dreamy and sad.

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Orincoro
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The Doors: "The End"

The Verve Pipe: "Bittersweet Symphony"

Radiohead: "Underworld"

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JTruant711
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Well, everyone covered all the safe ones (Led Zep, Rush, CCR, etc...)

What about 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica? That song is easily one of the greatest songs... ever.

Oh, and let's not forget 'Tin Pan Alley' by Stevie Ray Vaughn, 'Won't Get Fooled Again' by The Who, or 'Champagne Supernova' by Oasis.

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Goldenstar
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May favorite song would have to be "Fruitcakes" by Jimmy Buffet. [Smile] Great song
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Elizabeth
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Speed, I would have these categories:

Songs that are long because they contain lots of "jams," or improvisation,

and ballads.

My favorite long song/ballad is Crow Greenspun's "Blood and Decision," though no one except a few will have heard of him.

We see a lot of live music, and our favorite bands are in the "jam band" category, so pretty much any song they play is long.

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Radiohead: "Underworld"

I've never heard of that one. Is it a b-side or something?
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Bob_Scopatz
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Handel's Messiah is about 2 hours long.
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Airguitarist
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The Who: won't get fooled again (8:35)
My Morning Jacket: Steam Engine (7:26)
Wilco: Reservations (7:23)

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theCrowsWife
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Personally, I prefer the Low/Dirty Three version of "Down by the River" which is 9:37.

Also by Dirty Three, "I Offered it up to the Stars and the Night Sky" at 13:41. This was the last song they played when I saw them live, and it was amazing. It just builds and builds and skirts the edge of cacophony but never quite falls.

Most Dirty Three songs are long, and most are wonderful, so I won't mention any more by name.

Hmm, the other songs I was thinking of weren't actually long enough to post here, so I guess I'll just leave it at that.

--Mel

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Radiohead: "Underworld"

I've never heard of that one. Is it a b-side or something?
yah its rare, I am not sure where it is available, I downloaded it. I think "The Beach" soundtrack might have "Underworld" on it. Its a great track though.
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xnera
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The Black Mages - "Dancing Mad (Final Fantasy VI)". Twelve minutes of battle-y goodness. I especially love the organ section in the middle.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob_Scopatz:
Handel's Messiah is about 2 hours long.

My pet peeve has been disturbed: The messiah is not a song... its an oratorio, with lots of short songs in it....

other pet peeve: in order to be a song, there has to be singing.... thus the term "instrumental song," is an oxymoron... unless you are Mendelsohn and you want to call an instrumental piece "songs without words," in order to imply that your instruments are singing. This also applies to the "tone poem" genre

But in general: Singing= songs, instrumental= piece

songs= pieces, but pieces do not always = songs

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theCrowsWife
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Hmm. I'll guess you'll have to just ignore my Dirty Three recommendations, then, as they are an instrumental band. Except for the remake of "Down by the River," that is.

However, I suspect that the intent of the thread was to find pieces, not specifically songs. I could easily be wrong, though.

--Mel

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Orincoro
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well my peeve is the thread title then, just like itunes is obscuring the difference between what is a piece and a song
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Speed
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I'm aware of the distinction. However, I've never liked the word "piece" when referring to music, because the word can also be applied to a good majority of everything that exists in the universe. And the phrase "piece of music" sounds ungainly. So, knowing that colloquial American English recognizes instrumental pieces as songs, and knowing that it made a snappier thread title, I used that word. And there have been plenty of instrumental numbers mentioned here, so that's a good indication that the word was understood as it was intended, which is a good acid test for language.

In any case, most long songs are made long by heavy use of instrumentation, so unless you want to start nit-picking about exactly what proportion of a piece of music must be sung in order for it to be considered a song, I suggest you go with the flow and don't stress out too much about it. [Razz]

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Will B
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Bohemian Rapsody
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Architraz Warden
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Dang, post right before mine finally got the first song that came to my mind.

Add to that most Hans Zimmer tracks from scores...

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Icarus
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I don't know if it would appeal to other people as much as it does to me, but I really love "There Only Was One Choice," by Harry Chapin (14:00).
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Eaquae Legit
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The Highwayman - Loreena McKennitt
Reel Around the Sun - Riverdance/Bill Whelan

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jennabean
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Umm, Vanessa Mae's Butterfly Lovers Concerto - Act 1. It would be considered a "piece". But I love it and it is long (10:07).

And there will always be a special place in my heart for Lateralus by TOOL! My first live rock concert ever.

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tmservo
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Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Tori Amos - Yes, Anastasia
Enigma - I Love You... I'll Kill You

There are numerous Deep Forest tracks I'd add here, if I could remember how to spell them [Smile]

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Mintieman
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Ok so Paranoid Android is only 6:23, but it deserves a mention. As does Pink Floyd's Shine on your Crazy Diamond
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Omega M.
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Elton John - Carla Etude/Fanfare/Chloe

(Probably three separate songs/instrumentals, but each one blends into the next. This is in my top 5 of Elton John songs.)

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Elizabeth
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Harry Chapin is a great long song guy, for sure.
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