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To Infinity And Beyond \\ 5 Brilliantly Long Songs

Posted on the 08 August 2013 by Djwillis14

To Infinity And Beyond \\ 5 Brilliantly Long Songs

Today whilst in the car with my dad I put on ‘Wakin’ On a Pretty Day’, Kurt Vile’s 9 minute and 30 second dreamy, immersive masterpiece of a song. After 5 minutes my dad leaned across and turned it off.

After overriding his ill-judged decision and turning it back on I asked him how he could do such a thing, to which he told me it was “too long”.

I understand where he’s coming from; having brought me up on a diet of only rock’n'roll, punk and post punk. To him, anything over 4 minutes is too long. Anything with more than one solo is too long. Anything with an intro longer than a minute is too long.

Although not completely unfounded (70′s prog rock is the worst) here’s 5 songs that disprove this theory:


Foals – ‘Spanish Sahara’ (Time : 6:49)

The song that everyone I know lost their minds to during summer 2010. Foals went from their spiky house party anthems to this slow building, delicate monolith. At any moment it feels like it could go off in any direction and every listen retains that air of instability.


The White Stripes – ‘Ball and Biscuit’ (7:18)

Compared to the other songs on this list, this song is in its own league. Where the others have slowly built,  ’Ball and Biscuit’ does what you’d expect a Jack White song to do. Totally shred. This song is really all about Jack White’s solos. Sections of blues fumbling break up what is probably some of the best fret work he’s ever done. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a song with lots of obnoxious fret wankery (I’m looking at you Muse) but jesus Jack White knows how to play guitar. Raw and fun, get your air guitars ready for the most exciting solos you’ve ever heard.


The Horrors – ‘Sea Within a Sea’ (7:58)

The first time I listened to this song I turned it off. I’m not proud of it, but I did. I didn’t understand how a band so full of energy, so raw had made a song so repetitive, so dreary.

A few days later I listened to it again, to make sure. Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. I had fallen in love.

This is a song so truly immersive it could go on forever and I just wouldn’t notice. Slowly it shifts, turns, brings in synths here, takes away guitars there, but that bassline is always there. Pounding, sucking you in. Probably my favourite song on this list.


Lynyrd Skynyrd – ‘Free Bird’ (9:03)

I don’t feel I should even have to explain this one.


Kanye West – ‘Runaway’  (9:05)

At first glance this seems a recipe for disaster. Surely giving the most egotistical rapper in the world a nine minute track is just the worst idea ever?
But Kanye is Kanye. By taking the most simple piano line, rapping about his own sexual insecurities and getting Pusha T to do his best verse ever, this song demands each 9 minutes to help achieve what is no doubt one of Kanye’s most impressive songs. Even the 4 minute outro is a joy to listen to.

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