Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My favorite longer songs

After about four minutes of listening to a song, I'm ready for another song. There are a few exceptions though, and anytime a longer song wins my affections it is a pretty impressive feat and deserves citation. So without further ado here are my favorite songs over six minutes and thirty seconds:

Hotel California Eagles 6:31 When the Eagles do anything for a long period of time there is cocaine joke somewhere.

Filmore Jive Pavement 6:38 Lead singer Steve Malkmus' "I'm Keith Hernandez moment:" He spends 6:38 babbling and free form guitar riffing and it comes out pretty perfect.

Tom Traubert's Blues Tom Waits 6:39 This is how I like to imagine all Tom Waits' songs sound like, and haven't done much to test this theory. At about a minute in, when he wails "no one speaks English and every thing's broken," you feel his boozy pain.

How Soon Is Now Smiths 6:42 In one of the more sonically justifiable cases of mishearing a lyric, until very recently I thought the first line in this song was "I am the sun and the air," not "son and the heir."

Blinded By The Light Manfred Mann 7:05 The shorter Springsteen original has its own charms but, as they like to say these days, Manfred Mann owned it.

Idiot Wind Bob Dylan 7:48 Assuming she still knows how to breath, Ms. Idiot Wind should be proud to have elicited the most caustic, eloquent extended insult in musical history.

L.A. Woman The Doors 7:49 The Doors had a bunch of great long songs, but none begins as perfectly as this one.

Kashmir Led Zeppelin 8:28 The gold standard of classic rock long songs, it earns its distinction.

American Pie Don McLean 8:34 You know every word. Don't deny it.

Goin Against Your Mind Built to Spill 8:42 I think I've mentioned this song before, but it just builds and builds -- like a long song should.

Life's Been Good Joe Walsh 8:56 There is always a place for a sense of humor in music.

Move On Up Curtis Mayfield 8:56 An under-appreciated artist. His music is just starting to get back into circulation.

Coma Guns N' Roses 10:13 An inconsistent effort, but the last three minutes more than makes up for the bloated studio bombast in the middle.

Marquee Moon Television 10:40 Nobody else sounds like Television. And that's why I'm willing to tolerate the oppressive length of their signature epic.

Brownsville Girl Bob Dylan 11:04 Dylan gets recognized twice because this is more of a short story than a song.

Pigs (Three Different Ones) Pink Floyd 11:22 Of the three great massively long songs on Animals, this one is the peppiest. And pep is good when songs start running longer than meals.

Sister Ray The Velvet Underground 17:27 I don't even like this song, but my Itunes claims I've listened to it ten times. Probably the longest song in the canon of modern, popular music.


cpk said...

"Sister Ray" isn't the longest song in the pop rock canon - Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" (which should be on any list of this sort) is 18:32 (the length of the gap on the Nixon tapes, purposeful), and there are probably others.

JT said...

Personally I'm not a big fan of Alice's Restaurant. In fact I didn't download it from my Arlo Guthrie's greatest hits to my Itunes because I wanted to save space -- which is why I missed it when I incorrectly recognized Sister Ray.