Too Long Songs

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!


Well-Known Member
Kind of self explanatory. I was listening to an old favourite when I found myself wishing it would end. Then I realized it. In the '70's and '80's they totally discarded the idea of the edit. Minimalism was definitely not a thing. Really good songs were ruined by grandiosity and cheesiness. Lots of examples, but I'll start with this...

This problem probably isn't limited to that time period either-- just seems that way. Btw. No one would expect you to sit through the whole thing.
This one's a train wreck. I love about the first 3 minutes...

The Never Ending Song ... it's said to be a sad one ... Wahls on and on ... CS Lewis hinted at a never ending story ... thus eternal literature!

It is beyond those with common grasp ...

(maybe this should have been in the satyr thread with the jokes ...)
I turn off Hey Jude when it reaches the Na-na-na's....I really cant stand the song, and I know I'm in the minority.
I think it is possible to write a long pop or rock song that actually works.

Ghost Love Score by my current faves Nightwish runs a solid 10 minutes but with the various tempo and key changes, comes off a more of a suite than a single song and is widely regarded by fans (including me) as one of their masterpieces. It came out in 2005 and has been on almost every tour setlist since.

OTOH, the Greatest Show on Earth, their epic about evolution complete with narration by Richard Dawkins, runs too long even for a fan like me (21 minutes for the full performance they did at Wembley Arena in 2016). Has some great individual bits in it, but on the whole is a bit much.

I will second Let It Be and Hey Jude. Both start off well but drag things out to the point of boredom. The Beatles were definitely getting a bit self-indulgent towards the end.

Paradise By the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf
Tough one. On the one hand, he does drag it out a bit long. On the other, the energetic original performance by Loaf with Ellen Foley kind of saved it from being in the "too long" category for me.
Although it's full of great detail and allegory, American Pie can feel a bit draggy (although I've always loved the song).

And The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald? If it had to be such a long story, couldn't you have speeded up the tempo a bit there Gord?
Although it's full of great detail and allegory, American Pie can feel a bit draggy (although I've always loved the song).
I like it but definitely need to be in the right mood. Of course, if you want to up the pace a bit, there's Madonna's dance-oriented cover.:eek:

(Yes, you heard that right. It's an abomination, as you might expect.)

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
I heard a good parody of this one time. Forget who by. Really, he could have just told the story.
"Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues can be fairly long if you're listening to the full album version that includes the orchestral finale. The single version is a more conventional length, though. Personally, I think the album cut is better, esp. since you only get Graeme Edge's marvelous poetic conclusion with that version. I remember hearing a story along the lines of the record company discovered the album was getting a lot of airplay on one radio station and when they investigated, they found out the night DJ was putting it on to give himself time to go to the loo. Or something like that.

Of course, if you want to get into the absolutely ridiculous territory for length, you have to look at prog rock. Yes' classic album Close to the Edge only has three pieces on it, with the four-part title track taking up the entire first side of the original vinyl album. The shortest of the three, Siberian Khatru, is 8 minutes.

And Vangelis' instrumental Heaven and Hell, which most know from the snippets that were used in the original Carl Sagan Cosmos, is one single, long piece of music stretched over both sides of the vinyl album (I owned it in my teens). It's not even divided into parts or movements like Close to the Edge. There's one 3 minute Jon & Vangelis song at the very end that is the only standalone track. However, being instrumental rather than a song, it works well for background music or just to sit back and experience when you don't feel like doing anything else.
Imagine how background music and lyrics work on the unconscious mind ... and thus much of intellect slips by us ....

The pieces of this nature are vast ... like the hum in the distant sky!
Imagine by Lennon is 3 minutes too long and needs to be shortened
I used to like it but I've kind of soured on it. Probably just due to overexposure for a song that's really not one of John's best musically. It gets all the attention for the sentiment.
John Cage
Of silence
In 3 acts

A very good real world test of one's actual character and ability

Meditation often is hard because ot forces us to live with the quiet
Last edited:
Subhuman by Throbbing Gristle
Music style: "Wtf did I just step into? Eww" = Industrial

I remember this was my first experience with Industrial music. I was at the local record store chain (remmeber those) and just tooling around. Noticed the cassette and was intrigued by the cover. Bought it.

I dont know if I ever finished it. I kept it for years.

And I got to really appreciate the headliner. Genesis P-Orridge, a real iconoclast and inventive and deep thinker and doer, doing the mutable identity thing waaay b4 todayz modern ossisification of LGBTetc and Non binary and transgender branding...

2:56 waaaay too long to step in something I find icky :3