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A Question About Songs


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Can you stomach long songs? I'm not talking like 7 minute songs, I'm talking like 20+ minute songs.

The reason I ask is I was talking to Veg last night on MSN, and he said he couldn't stand to listen to 7 minute songs because he gets bored with them, where as I love these long songs.

I especially love live versions of short songs when they make them long. I'm listening to Mars Volta, and they turned Cicatriz ESP (orignally clocked in at 11+), and they turned it into a 35+ minute song live. It's full of jam sessions and whatnot. It's awesome.

Basically, my question is can you stand to listen to long songs? If not, why? If so, where is your breaking point (IE: where do you draw the line at time length).

The longest song I've ever listened to is this very song I was just speaking about. It's 35+ minutes live. I think that's amazing. But others think it's just repetitive and boring.


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Some of Metallica's long songs bug me, because I don't have the patience to listen to 10 minute songs. I draw my line at about 6 minutes. But there's still some that I like that are over that (Metallica's Am I Evil and Master Of Puppets, and Korn's cover of Another Brick In The Wall.)

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I like songs that are around 5-10 minutes at the most, as I dont like to listen to the same song too much as it bores me. If the song doesnt sound like the same thing then maybe, most most of the time, I dont like long songs.

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Guest Bluesman

Definately. I don't know that I could be an Allman Brothers fan and not be a fan of long songs. My only problem is when the song really doesn't 'go anywhere' and you have 10 minutes of music with a couple of different rhythms and licks.

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There's nothing inherently wrong with long songs, but I don't listen to as many due to the kinds of genres I normally listen to. The five longest songs I regularly listen to are:

1) The Sugarhill Gang - Rappers' Delight (14:45)

2) Million Dead - The Rise and the Fall (14:03)

3) Bob Dylan - Desolation Row (11:18)

4) Jane's Addiction - Three Days (10:47)

5) Public Image, Ltd. - Albatross (10:33)

All good songs, but The Rise and the Fall's last ten minutes are just the same five seconds of music repeated in various speeds and styles, with a slight variation towards the end.

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Bob Dylan - Highlands (16:30) sometimes I like it sometimes I hate it. I think it depends on who's singing it. Sometimes I can get bored by a long song sometimes I like them alot of Meat Loaf's best songs are in or around the 10 minute mark same goes for Leonard Cohen.

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Guest Locutus of Borg

I love long songs with jams in them. I've got a Grateful Dead show I've been listening to that they do a jam of Scarlet Begonias --> Fire on the Mountain and the whole thing lasts close to 40-45 minutes.

Then studiowise there's always Phish's "You Enjoy Myself" at a nice 9:50 or moe.'s "Rebubula" at 11:27.

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I just found a song called "Suburbia" by Matthew Good, and it's about 16:49, only problem is, when I look it's only supposed to be 5:?? minutes, quick question to any Matt Good fans, is this some loop that i'm not picking up on, or some directors cut type thing, I would usually know, but I can't pick out whether or not it's a loop.

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Long songs are fine. They are just like shorter songs, but you add some time on. I've got a good attention span, so it is fine.

Some of my favorite long songs:

Harold of the Rocks by Primus [live at the Roseland Ballroom] - 12:38

The End by the Doors - 11:46

The Moor by Opeth - 11:26

Homecoming by Green Day - 9:18

Willie the Pimp by Frank Zappa - 9:14

Jesus of Suburbia by Green Day - 9:06

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin - 8:32

Fuck Yourself by Steve Vai - 8:27

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Dillinger Escape Plan - 8:13

Empty Cans by the Streets - 8:13

Tannhauser/Derive by Refused - 8:07

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin - 8:02

What Are You Waiting For {Jacques Lu Cont Twd Mix) by Gwen Stefani - 8:01

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As always, it depends on the nature of the song. If it's overly pretentious prog rock that's just long for the sake of it, then no. If it's experimental and allows for differentiation, then I love it. For example, Tim Buckley used to perform freeform jazz versions of his songs, so whilst on the album, and at some live shows, Song To The Siren clocks in at around 4 minutes, at live shows he'd stretch it out to up to half an hour.

Also, I just bought a Sunn O))) album that has three tracks. The first is 14 minutes, the second 23, the third 25. I love it.

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