CoS Exclusive FeaturesHotList 'Em Carefully

List ‘Em Carefully: Top 10 Songs Over 10 Minutes Long

on August 18, 2010, 12:01am
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List 'Em CarefullyDefine “epic.” For classic literature fans, this can represent something like Dante’s Divine Comedy or Homer’s Odyssey; for rock music fans, the term is much less absolute. To us, one person might use “epic” as the go-to compliment for anything that makes them want to crank the volume knob to its most extreme clockwise position and go crazy. Whereas others may consider “epic” solely on the length of the song or its storytelling subject matter, particularly when discussing progressive rock, jazz fusion, jam bands, avant garde, black metal, or the like.

There are obvious references to pinpoint, bands such as Rush or Pink Floyd, and though they do make appearances here, my list today comes courtesy of a much wider variety. I tried my best not to place the majority of this list in any substantial order around significance, because I hold every selection and honorable mention in the highest regard. That being said, I avoided some of the more given song choices and brought you a collective that really shows what it takes to make a song longer than 10 minutes truly stick with you.

From blues to prog, from protest to parody, here are some of my personal favorite songs at over 10 minutes in length. Feel free to add your own in the comments section below at your own risk. As a noted aside, some of these entries are dedicated to those who have inspired my eclecticism over the years.

The whole of this project is dedicated respectfully to my great grandparents — you’ve lived long and fruitful lives, and this one’s for you. Thanks for the model car when I was a little boy, it’s been well taken care of. I promise, one of these days, I’ll drive a nice yellow ’64 Thunderbird, I’ll crank up the Johnny Cash, and think of you both all the way down I-40 in search of my own dreams.

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Cailan Lefavre
August 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

Grateful Dead – Terrapin Station

kenne
August 4, 2014 at 1:11 am

Just to name a few more: Genesis-Supper’s Ready, The Battle of Epping Forest, The Musical Box; Jethro Tull-Thick as a Brick, Passion Play, Baker Street Muse; Sly and the Family Stone-Sex Machine; Steppenwolf-Disappointment Number (Unknown); Pink Floyd-Echoes, A Saucerful of Secrets, Pigs, Sheep; Decemberists-The Island; Porcuping Tree-Time Flies; Gang Gang Dance-Glass Jar; Frank Zappa-Wet T-Shirt Time Again. Watermelon in Easter Hay; Darkside-Golden Arrow; The Doors-The End; Uriah Heep-July Morning, The Magician’s Birthday; The Guess Who-Friends of Mine; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer-Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition, Take a Pebble, Karn Evil 9; Quicksilver Messenger Service-Calvary, The Fool; Focus-Eruptions; Aphrodite’s Child-All the Seats Were Occupied; Yes-Close To The Edge, Awaken, Gates of Delirium, America, And You And I, Tales of Topographic Oceans (each of 4 sides), Heart of the Sunrise; Jimi Hendrix-Voodoo Chile, 1983…(A Mermon I Should Turn To Be). There’s a lot more and if I included live versions of songs this list would be virtually endless.

Travis Friedman
August 4, 2014 at 1:04 am

Thick as a brick- Jethro tull and The Decline – NOFX are both pretty bitchin

Anonymous
August 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Silverfuck – Smashing Pumpkins

Joanna Crell-Arias (@cubacarolinda)
August 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Suite Judy Blue Eyes CSN&Y ,

Phil
August 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm

No Tool? Your list is invalid.

Lee
April 5, 2014 at 8:26 pm

You Enjoy Myself – Phish. HIGHLY underrated/extremely talented band.

Anonymous
August 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Yes

Anonymous
April 5, 2014 at 11:38 am

when in doubt, play 25 minutes of Sufjan Stevens “Impossible Soul”

mitchell
April 5, 2014 at 10:27 am

Third Eye obviously. But no Mars Volta? Cicatriz ESP, Day of the Baphomets, and of course Cassanda Gemini

weebzam
April 5, 2014 at 3:20 am

Eric Burdon & War – Paint It Black Medley
Ween – Woman and Man
Ween – LMLYP

kadalsaune
April 5, 2014 at 2:44 am

I’m baffled by the exclusion of Sister Ray by The Velvet Underground. One of the best songs of all time. Also; Frankie Teardrop by Suicide, Halleluwah by Can and Dopesmoker by Sleep.

Anonymous
April 5, 2014 at 2:26 am

“It was once thought by some that you were nobody big if you hadn’t been parodied by ‘Weird Al’ ”

-Kurt Cobain had publicly said that in regards to Weird Al’s parody of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Jude
April 4, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Pink Floyd: Echoes
Sigur Ros: Svefn-G-Englar
Riverside: The Same River
Hawkwind: Assault and Battery/The Golden Void
Marillion: Ocean Cloud
Phideaux: Snowtorch (part one)
IQ: Harvest of Souls
King Crimson: Starless
Haken: Celestial Elixir
Archive: Again
Days between Stations: Eggshell Man
Discipline: Rogue
Flower Kings: There Is More to this World
Genesis: Supper’s Ready
Yes: The Gates of Delirium
Rush: Xanadu
Anglagard: Jordrok

– and non-prog:
Burial: Ashtray Wasp

Greg Propes
April 4, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Traffic – The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (11:40)

Stevie Blunder
April 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Sonic Youth- The Diamond Sea

James
April 4, 2014 at 8:47 pm

“Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” Elton John

Mike
April 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Rollins Band – Blues Jam

’nuff said.

Adrián EV
April 3, 2014 at 3:12 am

Kraftwerk – Autobahn
Bob Dylan – Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Mladic
Television – Marquee Moon
Pink Floyd – Echoes
Neu! – Hallogallo

Bill Van Veghel
March 29, 2014 at 11:56 pm

nothing by Van Der Graaf Generator, particularly the Pawn Hearts LP?

R.D.
July 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

Cowgirl in the Sand from Neil Young, Joey from Bob Dylan, and Of Montreal’s masterpiece, “The Past is a Grotesque Animal.”

Graceless
July 26, 2013 at 1:00 am

so many ambient/post-rock songs come to mind right away, but technically they aren’t songs because songs need to be sung. So I guess..

Television – Marquee Moon
Spiritualized – I Think I’m In Love, Cop Shoot Cop
Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection
Swans – The Seer, The Apostate
Titus Andronicus – The Battle of Hampton Roads
Merchandise – Become What You Are

Doug Hoenie
July 26, 2013 at 12:07 am

World Coming Down – Type O Negative

heymonkey
July 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands – Bob Dylan
Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Iron Maiden

Pacho García Salazar
July 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Somenthing new:
Luminol – Steven Wilson

Pacho García Salazar
July 25, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Warning – Black Sabbath

mpah
July 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Sufjan Stevens – Djohariah

ThaChakal
May 31, 2012 at 12:17 am

Third Eye is missing.

Check out a cool deep jam called Love Peace and Happiness by the Chambers Brothers.It’s hard to find, but clocking in at over sixteen minutes, it’s well worth it.

Mark Berman
November 29, 2011 at 3:48 am

I’d add Shine On You Crazy Diamond & 2112.

David Kowalski
May 16, 2011 at 1:58 am

 Oh, I should also add some James Brown: the full versions of “Soul Power” and “Talking Loud and Saying Nothing” are both over 12 minutes each.  Also “Third Eye” by Tool.

David Kowalski
May 16, 2011 at 1:57 am

Desolation Row – Bob Dylan
Three Days – Jane’s Addiction
Child In Time – Deep Purple
Mug’s Game – Dave Warner’s From The Suburbs
Shylock – Buffalo
In My Time of Dying – Led Zeppelin
Evie – Stevie Wright
Telegraph Road – Dire Straits!

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