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November 25, 2006



Around this time of year, Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie is quite popular on radio and it clocks in at 18:36.

Here are a few others you hear on mainstream radio from time to time:
Heroin by Lou Reed (13:12)
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (I-V) by Pink Floyd (13:32)
Rock 'n' Roll by Lou Reed (10:21)
Maggot Brain by Funkadelic (10:19)
Cowgirl in the Sand by Neil Young (10:06)
New York City Serenade by Bruce Springsteen (9:55)
Jungleland by Bruce (9:33)
Down by the River by Neil (9:16)
A Quick One While He's Away by the Who (8:41)
Won't Get Fooled Again by the Who (8:33)
Welcome to the Machine by Pink Floyd (7:33)
Cold Sweat by James Brown (7:26)
Time by Pink Floyd (7:06)
Layla by Derek & the Dominoes (7:05)


Argh. Jeff already said what I was about to say. and much more. nevermind :)


How about Metal Machine Music ? Argualbly 4 sides of the same "song"
Crown of Creation Jefferson Airplane
Interstellar Overdrive Pink Floyd
Revelation Love
Space Hymn Lothar and the Hand People
Dark Star Grateful Dead (live version)

Not to mention the works of Acid Mothers Temple and many of the "Krautrock" guys.

Jim H

Edgar Winters Group - Frankenstein

Nick The Bard

Actually, Wikipedia DID have a list of long songs back around June, they must've gotten tired of it being there and got rid of it. Lord knows a list of songs that mention Hennessy or a list of InuYasha songs are more important.


Trying to keep it within the Larger Lexicon:

'La Femme D'Argent' by Air (7:11)
'Out of Control' by the Chemical Brothers (7:19)
'Born Slippy' by Underworld (7:34)
'Tender' by Blur (7:40)
'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' by the Beatles (7:47)
'Being a Girl' by Mansun (7:59)
'The Width of a Circle' by David Bowie (8:08)
'Eric the Gardener' by the Divine Comedy (8:26)
'Roundabout' by Yes (8:32)
'Starship Trooper' by Yes (9:26)
'Babe, I'm On Fire' by Nick Cave (14:45)

I'd love to include 'Refractions in the Plastic Pulse' by Stereolab (17:32) and 'The Sun' by the Microphones (17:11), both of which are certainly songs, but neither of which will ever be played on the radio.


Where's this 10.40 version of War Pigs? I have 8.49 on vinyl and 7.56 on the greatest hits CD...

how about 1:03:01 for Dopesmoker by Sleep - must have been played on at some point?


More long songs by Led Zeppelin:
"No Quarter" (7:01)
"When The Levee Breaks" (7:07)
"Since I've Been Loving You" (7:24)
"The Rain Song" (7:39)
"In The Light" (8:46)
"Achilles Last Stand" (10:23)
"In My Time Of Dying" (11:05)

Don't forget "Hallowed Be Thy Name" by Iron Maiden (7:10)


What about Yes's Tales of Topographical Oceans? Is that one song on 4 LP sides, or 4 songs?

Jack Flack

I didn't see it listed up there, but it's one of my favorites: Echoes, by Pink Floyd which clocks at 23:28, the entire side of their Meddle album.


U2 "Bad" (live)(7:59): radio programmers often played the 8 minute live version off of Wide Awake in America instead of the album version. Especially in Boston.


How about back to back albums that were each 2 sides of one long song?

Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick & A Passion Play


Faithless - Salva Mea (10:47)
Faithless - Insomnia (8:39)
Donna Summer - I Feel Love (8:15)
The KLF - Justified & Ancient (7:49)
Daft Punk - Around The World (7:09)


On a related note, I bought the Sony CD collection (Time Has Come Today: The Best of The Chambers Brothers) just for that song and was not disappointed, as the disc contains both the edit and the full-length version.

What I was not prepared for however, was how DAMN good the rest of it was. I was expecting a lot of hit-or-miss dated flower child stuff. No way: it's pretty much all great, gospel and Stax/Volt drenched hard soul, sort of like the Temptations "Ball of Confusion"-era sound with some very sweet soulful moments right out of the Impressions. I love every cut on this collection. My absolute favorite is their version of "People Get Ready," which I consider the best ever.

Get it, you won't regret it!

just john

A side project might be to track down songs that got longer in the bands' live albums.

The best example I can think of is "Nantucket Sleighride" by Mountain. It was maybe six or seven minutes on the album of the same name, then it took up one side of a live elpee, and later, TWO sides of a later live album.

(I'm glad people have already mentioned Neil Young and Jethro Tull.)


Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (7:22)


Hell yeah, Fatherflot, that whole Chambers Brothers album really does, if you'll pardon the vernacular, kick ass. My favorite song is Uptown, which is not only a great tribute Harlem, but is the first song from Betty "Nasty Gal" Davis, written years before her recording career (and marriage to Miles) began.

Thanks for all the other songs so far. Keep the suggestions coming and I'll have an updated list posted next week.


The Coldcut remix of Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid In Full," titled "Seven Minutes of Madness," is 7:09.

I know I've heard the version of "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" (13:06) from The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East on the radio before. I think the stations draw the line at the 22:44 version of "Whipping Post" or the 33:58 "Mountain Jam."

The "single" edit of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Isaac Hayes stretched to 7:03, though that's dwarfed by the album version of 18:45. The same album (Hot Buttered Soul) featured his epic 12:04 "Walk On By" as well.

David Porter, sometime collaborator with Hayes, released his "Victim of the Joke?: An Opera" in 1971, and I believe a number of stations spun the 9:41 "The Masquerade Is Over" on the air.

Good call on Maggot Brain - Cleveland's WMMS used to play it every Friday at midnight.


Curtis Mayfield - "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go"
New Order - "Blue Monday"
Apollo Four Forty - "Carrera Rapida" (kept off the British Top 40 due to its 8-minute length!)

Hell's Donut House

"Supper's Ready" by Genesis: 22:58


Ah, yet another useful feature of iTunes:
(some of these are not purely "pop")

(30:26) Black Spider 2- Mogwai
(28:11) Days of Vapors- Comets on Fire
(19:46) Elegy for all the dead rock stars- Thurston Moore
(18:03) Like a possum- Lou Reed (yeah, this song SUCKS)
(17:42) Night falls on Hoboken- Yo La Tengo
(14:56) Little Johnny Jewel- Television
(14:11) World of Blue- Spain
(14:00) Reoccuring Dreams- Husker Du
(11:55) The Everyday world of Bodies- Rodan
(11:48) The story of Yo La Tango- Yo La Tengo
(11:43) When will you die..- Polvo
(10:59) Street Hassle- Lou Reed
(10:57) Truckers Atlas- Modest Mouse
(10:46) Pass the Hatchet- YLT
(10:40) Spec Bebop- YLT
(10:38) Albatross- PiL
(10:38) Silver Solace- Antietam
(10:35) Evil that men do- YLT


How about this pair?
(23:28) Pink Floyd - Echoes
(21:17) Birdman - McDonald and Giles


We were flying along and hit something in the air...
(8:30) Bloodrock - D.O.A.

Norton Zenger

I gotta say I'm a little bit unclear on the criteria here, mostly because of "Sister Ray". I mean, sure, it's a well-known song, but does it really ever get played on the radio? I've certainly never heard it on the radio.

I think to be a prog-rock band you're contractually required to do at least one twenty-minute song. So anything by a prog rock band that gets played on the radio is going to make the cut. This includes Jethro Tull, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Pink Floyd. I think the album version of "Hocus Pocus" by Focus (man, I feel like a dork just typing that) is long enough to qualify, too.

The other main practitioners of the "long song" were pretty much any disco act. Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby", for instance, clocks in at 16:51.

Stackridge's "Slark" occasionally gets radio play. It's 14:07.

The Orb's "Blue Room" single version tops 40 minutes. One could perhaps accuse it of being at least slightly padded.

I think the conclusion here is that there are a whole lot of songs that are _really long_.


Does Classical Music count?

The Bach cantata "I am content in myself" (BWV 204) clocks in at over 35 minutes, and "He Was Despised" from Handel's "Messiah" can be over ten minutes long, depending on the conductor.


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