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Favorite Song Over 8 Minutes Long?


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I don't like songs because of their sheer length, no matter whether they're studio or live performances. I like songs if they have conviction, a sense of purpose and a real unity to them - each one a world of meaning by itself, if you like. Of course you get all kinds of different contexts, and for me a 20 minute jam incorporating all manner of old rock & roll standards within a live rendition of Whole Lotta Love is great, because it sort of fits.

But as a rule I will like the pointed statement. The really long versions of No Quarter in 1975 I find somewhat unfocused, for example - and I prefer 1969 versions of Dazed and Confused to the later ones: slightly faster, more atmospherical unity, a certain sharpness and so on. Of course there are inspired moments in the later and lengthier versions, but on the whole the earlier kind of take on the song makes more sense to me.

On the other hand, this hasn't prevented me from liking songs that do have that coherence, but happen to be lengthy because they just needed that.... If we continue with examples from Led Zeppelin, I think the actual quality of songs like In My Time of Dying, Kashmir and Achilles Last Stand needs that extra bit of duration that the band gave them - due to the trance-like vibe inherent in the basic ideas for the songs themselves. And in a very different mode, if you take The Musical Box by Genesis, that last beautiful part of the song is this effective only within the bigger context of the song as a whole - typical for the more classically oriented thinking of Tony Banks.

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By Zepp it would be Achilles Last Stand.

Others: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird, Pink Floyd - Shine on you crazy diamond, Guns N' Roses - November rain & Estranged, Alter Bridge - Blackbird, Joe Bonamassa - Sloe Gin, Yes - Roundabout, Dire Straits - Money for nothing etc.

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