The longest songs ever recorded
21 June 2022, 19:17
It's the longest day of the year, so let's ask: which songs seem to go on for days?
The Stone Roses - Fool's Gold (9.53)
53 seconds of song and 9 minutes of John Squire's wah-wah guitar. You can always try the 4.15 version… if you're a LIGHTWEIGHT.
Primal Scream - Come Together (10.21)
A trippy excursion into the furthest reaches of Bobby Gillespie's brain, the original version on 1991's Screamadelica breaks the ten minute barrier. Meanwhile, the actual song Screamadelica is 10.46 and was included on the Dixie Narco EP.
David Bowie - Station To Station (10.14)
This extended work out takes half a side of Bowie's 1976 album and was a huge influence on long-song fans Kraftwerk, inspiring their Trans-Europe Express album.
The Doors - The End (11.43)
The LA mystics loved a long song, but this is one of the most famous - it concluded their incredible, self-titled debut album of 1967.
Orbital - Chime (12.46)
The original 1989 debut 12" single from the brothers Hartnoll lasted an epic 12 minutes. It was almost eclipsed by the hypnotic B-side, Deeper, which was 15 and a half minutes long. Night night!
Flowered Up - Weekender (12.53*)
The epic, epic 1992 single from the baggy legends. Lasts almost as long as an entire weekend.
* the video was equally epic and goes on a bit longer than the track
Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan (16.19)
The final song from the Glasgow band's 1997 debut album Mogwai Young Team. It sticks around a while.
Spiritualized - Cop Shoot Cop (17.14)
A typically blissed out offering from the Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space album of 1997. Goes on a bit.
The Velvet Underground - Sister Ray (17.28)
Taken from the 1968 album White Light/White Heat, this extended jam bored the engineer so much he reportedly walked out of the studio and left the band to it.
New Order - Elegia (17.30)
This extended waltz was edited down to fit on the band's 1985 album Low-Life, but the full 17 minutes finally appeared on the 2002 box set Retro.
Pink Floyd - Echoes (23.35)
The Floyd loved a long song, but this classic- from 1971's Meddle album - is one of the most memorable. It makes Shine On You Crazy Diamond look anaemic at just 13 and a half minutes.
Kraftwerk - Autobahn (22.43)
The electronic pioneers came from a prog rock background, so they liked to stretch out in live performance. The title track of their influential 1974 album takes up the whole first side and depicts a car journey via the medium of squelchy synthesised sound.
The Orb - The Blue Room (39.58)
In June 1992, Alex Paterson's ambient electronica project issued a track that would clock in at just under 40 minutes - any longer than that and the BPI considered the "single" to be an "album". He had previous form: A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld from The Orb's debut LP lasts just under 19 minutes.
SPECIAL MENTION TO…
The Flaming Lips - 7 Skies H3 (24.00.00)
Wayne Coyne's eccentric attempt to record a 24-hour song was successful - they had to issue the thing on a flash drive. As a limited edition. Of 13. Encased in human skulls. No, really! A 50-minute "digest" was released as an album for Record Store Day 2014. Here's the "single" edit.