CAUTION: "Three Minute Warning" is not for the musically faint-hearted, impatient, or critics of extreme self-indulgence. If you fall into any of the above categories, please hit the stop button on your CD player after track # 8
Epic Rocking is the phenomenon where bands release really long songs that either seem to twist and change gears a million times before ending, or just manage to sustain themselves for their prolonged duration. More common in the 60s psychedelic/acid rock era and in the 70s Progressive Rock period. Also quite common in many forms of Electronic Music, particularly in the realm of Ambient music and Techno.
This trope is the polar opposite of Three Chords and the Truth: instead of a short song with lyrics and catchy beat that anybody can play, these bands focus on deliberately complex songs where playing is a matter of superior technical skill, and everything else is secondary to the instrumental showmanship and considerations of the sound itself, even lyrics.note There are exceptions, however; Velvet Underground were notorious for building epic-length songs on as little as a single chord. Lyrics can appear in these songs, but they're often sparse and the song is mostly instrumental.
Done right they maintain the listener's attention, and sound really cool, sometimes downright awesome. Done poorly they just ramble, cause yawning, and suffer chronic Ending Fatigue.
Put Epic Rocking in a Rhythm Game and you have an instant Marathon Level.
This trope also has the subtrope "Epic Jamming", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Only studio versions are included, since live examples would bloat the list to hell. Many of those songs have a Subdued Section for everyone's sake.
Contrast Miniscule Rocking.
And for clarity's sake: This is a trope about long songs. Not about awesome songs. Please don't add a short song here because it's awesome (we have Awesome Music for that) or delete a long one because it's not awesome. The trope doesn't apply to compositions either, as any work involving an orchestra can be expected to last from ten minutes up to several hours with very little "rocking," although it certainly may be epic.
"Dark Star" in particular gets expanded a lot in live performances. The version on the aftermentioned Dick's Picks Vol. 4 is over a half-hour long, and longer versions do exist (such as the 41 minute version performed at the Cleveland Convention Center).
Jimi Hendrix: "Hear My Train A'Coming", "Voodoo Chile", "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)", "Machine Gun", "Country Blues", "Bold As Love".
Led Zeppelin: "You Shook Me", "Dazed and Confused" (the version on the The Song Remains The Same soundtrack is nearly half an hour long - the guitar solo alone goes on for over 15 minutes!), "How Many More Times", "Stairway to Heaven", "When the Levee Breaks", "No Quarter", "In My Time of Dying", "Kashmir", "In the Light", "Achilles' Last Stand", "Carouselambra".
Black Sabbath: "The Warning", "War Pigs", "Hand of Doom", "Into the Void", "Wheels of Confusion", "Symptom of the Universe", "Dirty Women", "Megalomania", "The Writ", "Heaven and Hell", "The Sign of the Southern Cross".
Eric Clapton (Derek and the Dominos): "Layla", "Got to Get Better in a Little While", "Key To The Highway".
Dire Straits have "Telegraph Road" (14 minutes), "Brothers in Arms" (Nearly 7 minutes), "Tunnel Of Love" (8 minutes), "Money for Nothing" (8 minutes (Brothers in Arms version)), "It Never Rains" (8 minutes), "Why Worry" (8 minutes), and many others.
Their live shows also featured a few extended jams. The double album Alchemy features "Once Upon a Time in the West", "Romeo and Juliet", "Private Investigations", "Sultans of Swing", "Tunnel of Love", and "Telegraph Road", all 7-14 minutes long.
The Doors: "The End", "Riders on the Storm", "Light My Fire" , "LA Woman", "Celebration of the Lizard", "When the Music's Over", "The Soft Parade".
The Velvet Underground: "Heroin", "All Tomorrow's Parties", "The Gift", "The Murder Mystery", "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'".
"Sister Ray" is a 17-minute jam recorded in one take. Live performances often stretched to even longer amounts (one version on The Quine Tapes is almost forty minutes long), and sometimes they would also sometimes include an introduction called "Sweet Sister Ray" that itself was almost forty minutes long. A bootleg recording of "Sweet Sister Ray" exists, but unfortunately without the performance of "Sister Ray" that followed. (The band also performed plenty of other lengthy live songs, often improvised and stretching to half an hour or more; the ones that have been recorded can be found on the bootleg box set Caught Between the Twisted Stars).
The Rolling Stones: "Midnight Rambler", "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'", "Going Home", 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'.
Queen: "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Innuendo" "The Prophet's Song", "March of the Black Queen", "Father to Son", that 22-minute ambiance at the end of "Made in Heaven". Though the songs usually are epics with many changes of rhythm within less than 5 minutes!
"Tenement Funster / Flick of the Wrist / Lily of the Valley" from Sheer Heart Attack. Though it's listed as three separate tracks on the album, many fans consider it to be one 8-minute song, and Dream Theater covered it in that format.
"Station to Station" by David Bowie clocks in at 10 minutes, 15 seconds. The first minute or so is just train sounds, leading into the droning guitar-based beginning section, then changing gears to an upbeat piano-based section.
Bowie also has "Width of a Circle" which could be 15+ minutes live.
"Cignet Committee", proof that not all rockers liked the sixties.
Also, live versions of "Wooden Ships", "The Other Side of This Life", and "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil"
Quicksilver Messenger Service: "The Fool", "Mona" (a Bo Diddley cover), "Calvary", "The Hat".
Who can forget the big one? Their cover of "Who Do You Love" reaches nearly 30 minutes. (The effect of 'Epic Rocking' is hampered a bit by the song being cheekily split into several cuts - "Who Do You Love Part 1", "When Do You Love", "Where Do You Love", "How Do You Love", "Which Do You Love", and "Who Do You Love Part 2". It's all one continuous song, however.)
Special mention must be given to "Catch the Rainbow", which is a not-at-all-short six and a half minutes in the studio, and gets expanded into a fifteen minute epic live song, featuring Ritchie Blackmore and Cozy Powell trying to out-awesome each other while Ronnie James Dio screams his head off. Most of their live material is like this.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: "Texas Flood", "Lenny", "Little Wing".
Canned Heat, "Refried Boogie" and "Fried Hockey Boogie".
UFO: "Rock Bottom", "Love to Love".
Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play each had an entire album dedicated to the eponymous songs, and both ran for over forty minutes, filling a whole LP each.. Live versions of 'Thick as a Brick' run up to 90 minutes, leading to the band opening with an epic take on 'Thick as a Brick' and, an hour and a half later, Ian Anderson saying, "And now, for our second number..." While not full-album epic, 'Baker St. Muse' clocks in at 16 minutes, and they have a number of songs in the seven or eight minute range.
Peter Frampton: The live version of "Do You Feel Like We Do" off of Frampton Comes Alive! clocks in at 14:15, and he makes the guitar talk to you.
Mountain. While classics like Mississippi Queen is up there, special mention has to be made to Nantucket Sleigh Ride. The live version found on Twin Peaks is 31:42. So long it took up two sides on the LP.
AC/DC - While "For Those About To Rock" is on the shorter side at 5:44, it makes up for the brevity with several tempo changes, blistering interleaved guitars, and cannons. FIIIIIRE!
On the other end of the spectrum, there's "Jailbreak" from the Live at Donington DVD. All 14-odd minutes of it (compared to the 4:40 from the '74 Jailbreak album).
On the AC/DC Live album, "High Voltage" and "Let There be Rock" also pitch in with respectable times of 10:33 and 12:17 respectively.
The "Live at River Plate" version of "Let There Be Rock" is even longer, at a whopping 18:06 minutes. Most of it is Angus soloing.
Modest Mouse: "Spitting Venom", "Stars are Projectors", and "Trucker's Atlas" all clock in over 8 minutes long. Heck, their average song is close to 5 minutes long. There's also "Night on the Sun" and "Other People's Lives".
George Thorogood and the Destroyers: "One Burbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (11:25 for the extended version. Bonus points for being a cover.)
"Eight Miles High", clocking in at around 19 minutes.
The album version of "Twilight Zone" is nearly 8 minutes long
They do this a good bit, though not to an extreme extent. On one of their compilation albums, a third of the songs are over 7 minutes.
Creedence Clearwater Revival tended to have one or two longer songs per album that served as extended jams. Standouts include their covers of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" at 11:05 and "Susie Q" at 8:39.
Traffic: "Glad", "Dear Mr. Fantasy", "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys" (the latter just shy of 12 minutes).
Amon Düül II's album Yeti contains a whopping FOUR examples: "Soap Shop Rock" is 13 minutes, 47 seconds and sectioned, "Yeti (Improvisation)" is 18 minutes 12 seconds, "Yeti Talks To Yogi (Improvisation)" is 6:18, and "Sandoz in the Rain" is exactly 9 minutes.
Santana: "Black Magic Woman". At 5:20, it's actually shorter than most examples here, but it would have been a lot more shorter if it didn't have an epic instrumental closing. There's also "Soul Sacrifice" at 6:35 and "Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermana)" at 8:16.
And on Santana's live album with Buddy Miles (Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!), we have "Free-Form Funkafide Filth" clocking in at 24:54.
"Jingo" and "Fried Neckbones and Home Fries" clock in at around 10 minutes in various versions. "Freeway" off his Live at the Fillmore album clocks at 30:15.
Grand Funk Railroad regularly exceeded the six-minute mark, with their magnum opus "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home" clocking in at exactly 10:00.
Ten Years After's "I'm Going Home" is a live classic which would frequently break the 10-minute barrier — all while being a high-speed rock & roll number.
The Who: "A Quick One, While He's Away", "Underture", "We're Not Gonna Take It", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Who are You", "Eminence Front", "I've Known No War".
"The Song is Over" deserves special mention. It's the one song that Pete Townshend has sworn he'll never play at concert, because it would simply be impossible for four people to play all the parts it requires.
The Live At Leeds versions of "My Generation" and "Magic Bus" clock in at 15:47 and 7:48, despite being 3 minute songs originally.
Guns N' Roses: As far back as Appetite for Destruction, there was "Rocket Queen". Use Your Illusion I and II had several more, including "November Rain", "Estranged", "Locomotive", and "Coma".
"Paradise City" from Appetite is a possible example, considering it gets faster and faster as it goes.
X Japan: "Dahlia," "Silent Jealousy," "Forever Love," "I.V.", "The Last Song," "Tears", "Rose of Pain".
And then there's "Art of Life". 30 minutes studio version, 33 minutes performed live.
Meat Loaf's overblown, symphonic style of rock includes lots of examples: "Bat Out of Hell", "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)", "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", and so on. Jim Steinman, Meat Loaf's principal songwriter, coined the term "Wagnerian Rock" to describe this style, and is at least partly responsible for its epic excess. Witness Steinman's productions for artists like Air Supply (Making Love Out Of Nothing At All), Celine Dion (It's All Coming Back To Me Now, which Meat Loaf would eventually cover), and Bonnie Tyler (Total Eclipse Of The Heart), and Todd Rundgren's willing participation, as producer and lead guitarist on Bat Out Of Hell, are both mysteries that will probably never be solved.
Mother Love Bone: "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"
Neil Young: "Cortez the Killer", "Down By The River", "Pocahontas". He and Crazy Horse stretched a live version of "Cinnamon Girl" out to over 12 minutes. He's been known to do the same with the live versions of "Sedan Delivery", "Like a Hurricane", and "Barstool Blues".
The studio version of "Ordinary People" clocks in at 18:13. That's eighteen minutes without extended guitar solos.
"Down by the River" has seen both a 19-minute version (with Phish no less) at Farm Aid 1996 and a 26-minute version at the Rock am Ring festival in 2002. The studio recording is already well over nine minutes, but live renditions tend to end up at least twice as long.
Equally "Like a Hurricane" has been stretched well past the 20-mark, with Neil playing a variety of instruments in the proces.
Let's not forget "Cowgirl in the Sand", ten minutes of pure Neil Young goodiness.
A rule of thumb: If the album is credited to Neil Young & Crazy Horse, chances are good that there will be at least one song that falls under this trope. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere has "Cowgirl in the Sand" (10:06) and "Down by the River" (9:13); Zuma has "Danger Bird" (6:54) and "Cortez the Killer" (7:29); Ragged Glory has "Over and Over" (8:28), "Love to Burn" (10:00), and "Love and Only Love" (10:18); Sleeps with Angels has "Change Your Mind" (14:39); Greendale has no less than six songs above seven minutes in length, with the longest, "Grandpa's Interview", running 12:57; Psychedelic Pill has "Driftin' Back" (27:36!), "Ramada Inn" (16:49) and "Walk Like a Giant" (16:27); and so on. Even without Crazy Horse on the cover, he often extended his songs, as on On the Beach ("On the Beach" (6:59), "Ambulence Blues" (8:56)), American Stars and Bars ("Like a Hurricane" (8:28)), and Chrome Dreams II ("Ordinary People" (18:13), "No Hidden Path" (14:31)). In short, Neil might possibly be the king of this trope outside of Progressive Rock.
Blue Oyster Cult: "7 Screaming Diz-Busters", "Shooting Shark", "Black Blade", and "Astronomy" all top six and a half minutes. This isn't counting most of their live output, notably the face-melting live versions of "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" from the album Extraterrestrial Live.
the live version of ME-262 on OYF!OOYK! goes on and on for ever, though.
And the "Five Guitars" thing on both OYF!OOYK! and SEE both stretch for over eight minutes. This is the big show finale when all five Cultsters don an electric guitar each and go front of stage to take turns at doing solos.
Alice Cooper: Halo of Flies. According to Alice Cooper himself, the song was written to prove that the band can perform long progressive suites
Foo Fighters has the 7-minute long "Come Back". (Many of their songs have shifts and false endings, but are usually concise enough to not fit the trope.)
The Runaways' "Dead End Justice" and "Johnny Guitar" relative to the rest of their output: both are a little over seven minutes long. "Johnny Guitar" owes most of it's length to extensive jamming, but "Dead End Justice" has multiple sections and is almost a self-contained mini-Rock Opera.
Def Leppard have quite a few. Pyromania has "Die Hard the Hunter" at 6:17, Hysteria has two equally long songs with "Rocket" and "Gods of War" both at 6:37, Adrenalize chips in with "White Lightning" at 7:03, Slang gives up "Pearl of Euphoria" at 6:21 though they've dialled back the song lengths on more recent albums.
Lynyrd Skynyrd has the iconic "Freebird" clocking in at 9:08 on the album. The full version goes over 10 minutes and the demo version over 11. As the final encore song live, it lasts the best part of 15 minutes!
Queens of the Stone Age: "Spiders and Vinegaroons", "You Can't Quit Me Baby", "God Is On The Radio", "The Blood Is Love", "I Appear Missing".
Bull Of Heaven: The latter half of 2013 saw the band releasing several extremely lengthy neo-prog/jazz-rock pieces such as "299: Self-Traitor, I Do Bring the Spider Love," which clocks in at just under 2 and a half hours. Still other pieces were released as lengthy collections such as "Quasi Una Fantasia," which is an hour and 45 minutes.
Yes: "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Roundabout", "South Side of the Sky", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Close to the Edge", "The Revealing Science of God", "Starship Trooper", "The Gates of Delirium" and about a dozen others. Heck, when they did a Cover Version of Simon And Garfunkel's "America", they turned a relatively sparse 3 minute acoustic folk song into 10 minutes of epic rocking, despite actually skipping a whole verse. Tales from Topographic Oceans, however, gained a reputation for embodying the worst, most excessive aspects of prog-rock.
King Crimson: "One More Red Nightmare", "21st Century Schizoid Man", "In the Court of the Crimson King", "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt.1 & Pt.2", "Pictures Of A City", "Epitaph", "Starless and Bible Black", "Fracture"
Indeed, the entire "In the Court of the Crimson King" (1969) classic album should be considered epic rocking.
The B-side of the 1970 album "Lizard" is 23 minutes long and even has Jon Anderson of Yes.
Also, from their later albums: "The ConstruKction of Light" (2000) - the titular song and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part Four)" - and "Level Five", "EleKtriK" and "Dangerous Curves" from "The Power to Believe" (2003) qualify just as well as the earlier compositions.
"Larks' Tongues in Aspic" is actually an ongoing rock epic, spanning nearly thirty years and featuring segments on the albums Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Three of a Perfect Pair, and The ConstruKction of Light.
Early Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Most notably the 23 minute Mind Screw of "Supper's Ready", but also the fan favorite 10 minute songs "Firth of Fifth", "The Musical Box", "Fountain of Salmacis" and more.
The short-lived four-piece era (1976-78) has "Mad Man Moon", "One for the Vine", "Ripples" and "Inside and Out".
Early Rush. Some of the more complex examples include "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", "The Necromancer", "The Fountain of Lamneth", "2112", the "Cygnus X-1" and "Hemispheres" duology, "La Villa Strangiato"... the list goes on.
From Clockwork Angels, several songs fall on the shorter end of of the spectrum but still qualify, including "The Anarchist", "Seven Cities of Gold", "Headlong Flight", and the title track. "The Garden" might count too.
Pink Floyd: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Echoes", "Interstellar Overdrive", "A Saucerful of Secrets", "Meddle", "Atom Heart Mother Suite", "Dogs", "Comfortably Numb" (particularly the P* U* L* S* E version).
Animals has a lot of this, excluding the "Pigs on the Wing" Book Ends. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is more like a regular song that just happens to be 11 minutes long than true Epic Rocking, but "Dogs" and "Sheep" certainly qualify.
Ummagumma has a live version of "Astronomy Domine" that lasts 8 minutes and 22 seconds.
"Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", from Atom Heart Mother also counts.
"Interstellar Overdrive" was just a part of their early live repertoire. Only the beginning and the ending were the same. The band would just jam until they got bored and then would bring it back with the bookend riff. This sort of playing is also evident in "Pow R Toc H" and "Nick's Boogie".
More recent ones are "Sorrow" and "High Hopes" (from their two last albums).
The Experience Version of "Wish You Were Here" contains a 20 minute version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (basically both halves played back to back). Other songs of notable length from the album are "Raving and Drooling" (early version of "Sheep", 12 and a half minutes) and "You've Got to Be Crazy" (early version of "Dogs", 18 minutes 10 seconds).
It could well be said that 4 minutes is considered a "short" song by Pink Floyd. Their most recent two albums hardly have any tracks LESS than 5 minutes long, partially due to David Gilmour's seeming preference for slower rythms.
Porcupine Tree: "Anesthetize", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", "The Sky Moves Sideways", "Russia On Ice", "Radioactive Toy". Hell, any of the big songs by the Tree qualify for Epic Rocking.
Voyage 34 is split into 4 parts, so technically doesn't count. The 40 minute unedited version of Moonloop, however...
"The Incident" is 55 minutes long, broken down into 14 parts, and it takes up the ENTIRE first disc of the album of the same name. Wow.
Kansas has a number of these, including "Song for America", "The Pinnacle", and "The Wall"
And "Magnum Opus" on the Leftoverture album, which, despite being several songs in a medley, clocks in at 8:26.
Magma has several songs that are at least 30 minutes long.
The Mars Volta: "L'Via L'Viaquez"; in fact, the whole of Frances the Mute fits this trope.
Before Executive Meddling (of sorts) set in, "Cassandra Gemini" was supposed to be one 32 minute track. In fact, it might still count because the digital version of the album has it formatted as one track.
Anything where Alan Parsons is involved. Even at the very beginning of his career, he was a production assistant during the recording of The Beatles' Abbey Road, which features the 7:44 "I Want You (She's So Heavy)".
Speaking of "I Want You", the Flaming Lips managed a cover that lasted a full 16 minutes.
Any of The Decemberists music in prog (as opposed to folk-pop) mode, specifically The Tain, "The Island" suite and "When The War Came" from The Crane Wife, and pretty much all of Concept AlbumThe Hazards of Love.
Supertramp: "Fool's Overture", "It's a Long Road", "Try Again", "Brother Where You Bound", "It's a Hard World".
It can be safe to call "Rudy", "Asylum", "School", "Child of Vision", "From Now On", "Lover Boy", "Waiting So Long" and "Another Man's Woman" mini-epics. Note that most of them are written by Rick Davies.
Uriah Heep: "Salisbury", "The Magician's Birthday", "July Morning", "Why".
"Paradise/The Spell", if you count both of them as one song, is 12:46. Although they are separated on the record, and the lyrics are separate for each.
Indeed, quite a bit of material on Uriah Heep Live could count as well, such as "Gypsy", the "Rock and Roll Medley" and "Circle of Hands".
Styx: "Come Sail Away", "A Day", "Father O.S.A." (preluded by a brilliant little Bach cover), "Movement for the Common Man"
Glass Hammer: Far too many to list. Special mention, however, has to go to "The Knight of the North," which clocks in at almost 25 minutes and required the addition of a string trio and a choir to the 9-person lineup for the most recent performance.
Van Der Graaf Generator has "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers", "Pioneers Over C", "Childlike Faith in Childhood's End" and the entire Godbluff album.
Can's "Yoo Doo Right," at twenty and a half minutes is already a rather lengthy song. However, it turns out the song actually came from a six hour jam session that they had to shorten in order for it to fit on the record.
Just that song!? Granted, while it's there longest song on an album, there's "Soup," "Oh Yeah," "Peking O," "Amugn," "Halleluhwah," "Mother Sky," "Vernal Equinox," "Future Days," "Ibis," "Paperhouse," and many, MANY more.
The Soft Machine's 1970 Third and Tangerine Dream's 1972 Zeit both kicked off a short-lived early-70s fad for double albums consisting of four songs, one per side. Tangerine Dream honed the concept by using just one note per song, for a total of four notes in the space of eighty minutes.
Olitsky by Ian Mellish consists of four tape loops of slightly different lengths (around 44 minutes), that theoretically would take 1.6 million years (the least common multiple of the loops) to complete its cycle. Three excerpts of this ("Beginning Mix", "Middle Mix", and "End Mix") were compiled into a double album.
Marillion gets in on the action by means of "This Strange Engine", "Interior Lulu", "Ocean Cloud", "Neverland" and a good couple of others. They once played an entire set of only their longest songs, dubbed "The Shortest Set List in the World".
Don't forget "Grendel", "Gaza", "The Invisible Man", "Montréal", "Goodbye to All That", "Blind Curve"... Marillion can really go on when they want to.
Transatlantic is a supergroup made up of Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt, Neal Morse, and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). Their magnum opus? 78-minute song "The Whirlwind", divided into 12 tracks on the album but played cohesively live.
Renaissance's average song length is probably something over seven minutes—this is including their shorter tracks. One classic, "Ashes Are Burning", clocks in at 11:21.
The suite "Scheherazade" takes up an entire album side, and lasts 24:39.
Utopia's "Singring and the Glass Guitar" clocks in at a modest 18:24.
Rundgren could get this way in his solo career as well. The A-side of Initation was a continuous six-song suite that lasted thirty-two minutes (two of which themselves exceeded seven minutes), but the B-side was where he really let loose, with a single thirty-five-minute song.
The Moody Blues go to town on several tracks. Their paean to drug pioneer Timothy Leary, Legend of a Mind, goes on through eight and a bit minutes with a long cod-orchestral cello bit in the middle eight. Side two of the album On The Threshold of a Dream sees a long, long track called "Have you Heard?" which segues into a portenteous Mike Pinder poem in the middle. Possibly thirteen or fourteen minutes, but it is quite good, all things considered.
The entire genre of both doom metal and drone metal, with bonus points to Isis for having songs that alternate between awesome ambient sounds and pounding metal riffs, and...our winner, drone doom band Sunn O)))))), known best for having 40 minute songs that should never be listened to alone in the dark.
By extension, the entire meta-genre of drone music almost always takes the cake in terms of length, such as pioneering drone band Earth, whose album Earth 2 has two 30-minute tracks and one 15-minute track.
Also there's Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, who have released only one album so far. One song is 18 minutes, the other is 7, and the first one is *deep breath* 29 minutes long.
Boris tend to switch genres from album to album, but whenever they do Drone/Doom it can get quite lengthy too - their songs in the style average 15-20 minutes, and a few ("Absolutego," "Flood," "Sun Baked Snow Cave") go on for over an hour.
There's a joke that if you arrive at a drone gig fifteen minutes late you miss the first chord; if it's a grindcore gig, you miss the first six bands.
Black Metal band Sabbat usually has songs that only go from 5 to 7 minutes, but one of their tracks, The Melody of Death Mask, is 59 minutes long.
French Progressive Metal band Kalisia definitely qualify, with their debut release Cybion consisting of a 70 minute epic song divided into 20 tracks, which according to Kalisia was only done to give people some form of indexing the song, which they insist must be listened to as one huge piece.
Similarly, but not that similar, many stoner metal bands have followed in Sleep's footsteps making overly long songs, such as Bongripper's Great Barrier Reefer, BorisAbsolutego, and pretty much every song by the band Earthless.
Metallica: "Fade to Black", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "The Call of Ktulu", "Orion", "Master of Puppets", "...And Justice for All", "One", "To Live is to Die". From their self titled to St. Anger, the complexity and length of their songs tended to be cut down dramatically.
Their latest album, Death Magnetic, is a return to form. Not one song on Death Magnetic is under 5 minutes, and only 1 is under 6 minutes ("My Apocalypse" - 5:01).
Load also has a pair of long ones - "Bleeding Me" runs 8 minutes and "Outlaw Torn" just short of 10 minutes (and originally, available as the "Unencumbered by Manufacturing Restrictions Version" - see Epic Albums below - was close to 11 minutes).
Metallica is noted for having a lengthy instrumental song on all of their albums before their shorter, more commercial turn in their self-titled effort in 1990. Aside from their first album, Kill 'Em All, where the instrumental is 4 minutes long, each one of these was longer than 8 minutes. Their newest album brings this back with a penultimate instrumental track called Suicide & Redemption, clocking in at over 10 minutes.
Showing the bad side of this trope, Kirk Hammett said that they spent a long time without playing "...And Justice For All" because "I couldn't stand watching the front row start to yawn by the eight or ninth minute."
Many post-metal bands are like this. Rosetta has songs averaging at about 8 or 9 minutes, the longest being the final track off their debut album which is 16 minutes long. Mouth of the Architect's longest song is 15:38, and Neurosis' longest is a bit longer than that (15:58). Swiss band Rorcal has 'Heliogabalus' which is over 70 minutes.
Megadeth: "Good Mourning/Black Friday", "Holy Wars... the Punishment Due", "Five Magics" is on the shorter side, at around 5 and a half minutes, but features an extended instrumental section before the blisteringly fast part of the song kicks in. However, their longest song by far, the NWOBHM homage "When", clocks in at over 9 minutes. The song itself is (intentionally) reminiscent of another song that fits this trope, the Diamond Head classic "Am I Evil?" notably covered by Metallica on Garage Inc. and clocking in at almost 8 minutes.
Anthrax's fifth album, Persistence of Time, has 3 songs clocking in at around 7 minutes long, and 5 more than 5 and a half minutes long. However, at the same time, they Covered Up Joe Jackson's "Got The Time" and made it last some 2 and a half minutes.
Manowar's 27-minute (!) epic "Achilles: Agony and Ecstasy (In Eight Parts)", also a case of Shown Their Work oddly enough.
Stoner Metal band Ocean Chief has some long tracks. Galleons from the Sun (23:03), Oden, (25:24), and Tor, (25:34). As you may have guessed, these guys have a fetish for vikings.
Pantera: "Cemetery Gates", "This Love", "Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks", "Suicide Note Pt. I & II", "Floods", "It Makes Them Disappear".
Tool: "Lateralus", "Parabol/Parabola", and "Pushit" all clock in around 10 minutes or longer. The majority of their songs are no shorter than 4 minutes, and feature constantly changing time signatures, heavily symbolic lyrics, and some of the most epic (and technically challenging) drumming in metal/art rock/music history.
Rosetta Stoned? 11 minutes, 14 if you count Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman) before it. Wings for Marie/10,000 Days? 17. 17 mothertropin' minutes. And it WORKS.
Don't forget Disposition/Reflection/Triad. Concieved as one song, split into 3 tracks, much like Wings after it, it clocks in at around 23 minutes. And again, it WORKS.
It was also on track 69, meaning that the CD player would skip the rest of the tracks at about 2 per second, making for a delay of about 30 seconds before the "Song" begins. And only about 4 Min. of the song is truly Disgustipated.
Also, "Third Eye," "Eulogy" and the eponymous "Aenima."
Fantômas, another Mike Patton band, has "Surgical Sound Specimens From The Museum Of Skin (Delirium Cordía)," which takes up an entire album on its own and clocks in at nearly an hour even if you don't count the 20 minutes of respirator noise at the end.
UneXpect tend to have rather long songs, averaging around 6 or 7 minutes, and any one of those songs will easily be one of the craziest, most intricate, hyperactive and outright bizarre pieces of music you will ever hear.
A specialty of Dream Theater, the most oversized examples being "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" (42:02 - written as one song but split into eight tracks for the eponymous album), "In the Presence of Enemies" (25:38 - split into two parts on the album), "Octavarium" (24:00), "A Change of Seasons" (23:06) and "The Count of Tuscany" (19:16). The average Dream Theater song probably lasts around 8 minutes and 47 seconds.
Their Twelve Step Suite clocks in at 56:57 and features 12 parts over five songs, each on different albums, and each being fairly lengthy and epic in their own right.
Similarly, the "A Mind Beside Itself" suite from Awake is split across three tracks, totaling at 20:26 long.
Funny because they cite many punk bands as influences.
Their live shows are even more like this, as they'll often just start jamming during the instrumental sections. A prime example is the Live at Budokan version of "Beyond This Life", which adds about 8 minutes to the song. "Beyond This Life" is eleven minutes long to begin with.
Dream Theater spinoff band Liquid Tension Experiment had a song called "Three Minute Warning" that lasted for over 27 minutes. The band lampshaded it on the back of the cd case, as seen in the page quote.
Even more impressively, "Three Minute Warning" was the result of bassist Tony Levin threatening to quit and leave if they "didn't start jamming in three minutes." They literally did the whole thing in one take, making it up as they went.
Nightwish: "The Poet and the Pendulum," "Ghost Love Score," "Fantasmic," and "Beauty of the Beast" to name a few.
Stratovarius: Several across all albums but the Song "Elysium" from the album of the same name really takes the cake clocking in at 18 minutes 6 seconds long.
DragonForce. They topped themselves with "Soldiers of the Wasteland", which is just shy of ten minutes long. Most of their songs run about six-and-a-half to eight minutes.
Iced Earth: "Dante's Inferno (16 minute tour of Dante's Hell)", "The Coming Curse", "Travel in Stygian", "When the Night Falls", all of the "Gettysburg" trilogy...
How the friggn' hell did we miss Opeth? Every track they have that isn't an atmospheric bit or a transitional song is really, really long.
And for the record, their longest track, Black Rose Immortal, cuts at 20:14.
Symphony X: "Through the Looking Glass, The Odyssey, The Divine Wings of Tragedy".
It should be noted that with the exception of the first song, these are all titles of their albums.
"Rediscovery Pt. 2: The New Mythology" counts as well, as it is over twelve minutes.
On Iconoclast, there is "Reign in Madness" at 8:37, "When All is Lost" at 9:10 and the title track at 10:51.
Judas Priest: "Run of the Mill", "Winter", "Victim of Changes", "Sinner", "Beyond the Realms of Death", "Blood Red Skies", the live version of "Diamonds and Rust", also, a few of their newer songs manage to stretch on and on and not get old, namely "The Future of Mankind" and "War".
And are we forgetting 'Lochness', longest of the lot at over 13 minutes?
Shadow Gallery: "The Queen of the City of Ice", "Ghostship", "Cliffhanger 2", "First Light".
Agalloch, who have a style pretty similar to Opeth.
Technical metal group Meshuggahonly make music that embodies this trope... detuned guitar lines lance through each other at breakneck pace, and the drumming, while inhumanly symmetrical, never settles down for long. Their EP I is composed of a single, 21 minute song. The following full-length album, Catch Thirtythree is broken into tracks, but at more or less arbitrary intervals... the entire album is essentially a single epic rock, sans any jamming whatsoever.
Iron Maiden: "Hallowed Be Thy Name", "The Longest Day", "Brave New World", "Paschendale", "Fear Of The Dark", "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner", etc. Typically each album ended with one of these.
And not to mention practically all of A Matter of Life and Death, not just "The Longest Day". Only two of the 10 songs clock in under six minutes.
They seem to be taking a liking to this trope. Brave New World (before A Matter Of Life And Death) had long songs, and their latest album, The Final Frontier, only has one song under 5 minutes (at 4:29). Further proof that Tropes Are Not Bad.
Even on their first album, where most of the songs were four minutes and under, they had "Phantom of the Opera".
Between The Buried And Me does it frequently (especially in their album, "Colors"), going from incredibly heavy to very soft to heavy again, somewhat similar to Opeth, but with more modern sound.
Used to a great extent on most recent album "The Great Misdirect" three tracks clock in at over ten minutes long ("Disease, Injury Madness" is 11:03, "Fossil Genera - A Feed From Cloud Mountain" is 12:11 and the truly epic "Swim to the Moon" is 17:54).
And yet again on their new EP "The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues", three songs, thirty minutes.
Mastodon: While fans of very technical songs in general, "Hearts Alive" and "The Last Baron" qualifies at truly epic, both clocking at over 13 minutes long. "The Czar" is by no means short at 10:54.
Black Metal bands do this a lot. The band Wolves in the Throne Room have only made eight songs, but the average length is 14-15 minutes long.
As of 2013, the band has four official albums, one EP, and two demos. Apart from a couple of short ambient interludes, the band's shortest song is "Woodland Cathedral", at 5:24. After that, "Dea Artio" at 5:57, then "Subterranean Initiation" at 7:06, then "Wolves in the Throne Room" at 7:27, then "(Hands Pull You Through Purple) Black Tea" at 9:32. After that all the band's songs are in the double digits, with the longest being the demo version of "(A Shimmering Radiance) Diadem of Twelve Stars", which approaches twenty-six minutes in length. Most of the band's songs take up an entire vinyl side.
The U.S. black metal scene is full of this, perhaps due to the influence of late nineties band Weakling. Weakling had only five songs, the shortest of which was 10:28 and the longest of which was 20:39. Other bands notably prone to this include:
Fauna, one of the first bands from the Pacific Northwest and a major influence on Wolves in the Throne Room. The band's first album, Rain, consists of a single sixty-three-minute-long song. The band's second album, The Hunt, is either seventy-two or eighty minutes of continuous music (depending on the release) and was initially released as a single track, although later reissues have divided it into seven tracks. The band's third album, Avifauna, consists of three songs and two short ambient interludes; of the songs, the shortest is 17:02 (with the longest being 29:23), although it's also worth noting that, again, the entire piece is continuous. Fauna's side projects are often prone to this as well; Echtra has a thing about all of his tracks being exactly twenty-three minutes long (as a reference to the 23 Enigma; on the two latest albums the two songs run together continuously), and the band's acoustic folk side project Fearthainne doesn't have a single song below thirty minutes in length (unless you count the intros to each album, which are three and five minutes respectively), with the longest being forty-five. Fauna's predecessor Threnos was prone to this as well, albeit to a lesser extent; two of their songs exceeded thirteen minutes in length.
Santa Cruz, CA's Fell Voices. To date (June 2013) they have recorded ten tracks, the shortest of which is a mere fragment at 15:20. Several of the band's songs break the twenty-minute mark and the first (untitled) track on their (untitled) 2010 album is over twenty-two.
Arcata, CA's Ash Borer. "Rest, You Are the Lightning" is a mere snippet at 7:54. All the band's other songs break the ten-minute barrier, with the untitled song from their split with Fell Voices and "My Curse Was Raised in the Darkness Against a Doomsday Silence" both breaking or approaching twenty.
Louisville, KY's Panopticon. While band mastermind Austin Lunn has been known to release shorter tracks, the large Post Rock influence on his music means this trope is pretty frequent as well. "Patient" from Social Disservices tops the twenty-minute mark, and two tracks from Collapse and one from the self-titled break fifteen.
Portland, OR's L'Acephale: "Against a Sea of Weeping Sleep" (21:02), "Euntes Ibant et Flebant" (16:50), "Stahlhartes Gehäuse" (18:43) "From a Miserable Abode" (18:09), "Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted" (22:59). The remix of this last is even longer, being exactly ninety-three minutes long (which, as with Echtra's example, is a deliberate choice of length, in this case being a significant number in Thelema).
Los Angeles' Lake of Blood have used this trope pretty extensively in recent years. "Proxigean Arcanum" is 17:10, "Omnipotens" is 16:15, "Destroyer of Vices" is 15:23, "In Wells of Shadow" is 12:03 on The Burial Grounds Sesssions and 13:31 on Omnipotens Tyrannus, "Agape" is 13:21, "Tyrannus" is 12:09, "Blood & Mercy" is 11:13.
California's Petrychor have a number of good examples as well: "Dryad (I Make My Home)" is 10:56, "In Remembrance" is 10:44, "Of Grandest Majesties" is 13:18, "Beneath Highway and Street" is 14:20, "Tomorrow It Will Rain Over Bouville" is 13:04. Perhaps unsurprising since the sole band member plays in a Post Rock group (Beware of Safety). He also has an ambient project called Carbonscape that exhibits this trope to an even greater extent.
Illinois' Njiqahdda do an awful lot of this. It would be impractical to list all the band's songs that qualify, since their discography pretty much definesArchive Panic, but as an example, The Path of Liberation from Birth and Death has six tracks, the longest of which is almost twenty-six minutes long on the CD (it's a few minutes shorter on the vinyl edition). All of the songs except the intro are at least ten minutes long. The band's other projects Njiijn, Oaks of Bethel, and Funeral Eclipse are, unsurprisingly, prone to this as well.
This list is far from exhaustive. Feel free to add more examples.
Experimental black metal band Trist has a song called "hin", which clocks in at 59:55!
British Doom Metal band Esoteric does this. Exclusively. Most of their albums are two discs and well over an hour long, and after their first album (where the shortest song is still over seven minutes long), they only have a handful of songs less than ten minutes in length. They have a grand total of two songs under five minutes in length.
Green Carnation's "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" clocks in at 60:06. No wonder the version featured on the Damnatus album was only an "excerpt"...
"9-29-045" from The Acoustic Verses is no slouch at fifteen minutes, either. As for The Rise and Fall of Mankind (the sequel to "Light of Day..."), it's been postponed, but will apparently be released at some point in the future.
Moonsorrow from Finland has slowly made this their specialty in the past few years, with Verisäkeet (2005) featuring 5 songs for a total of 70 minutes, then Viides Luku - Hävitetty (2007) being only two songs but totalling 56 minutes, and finally Tulimyrsky (2008), which is officially an EP, however the title track is nearly half an hour by itself (10 minutes longer than most EPs) and with the 4 other lengthy tracks following it, it reaches 68 minutes.
Their 2011 album Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa ("As Shadows We Walk in the Land of the Dead") tones the Epic Rocking down quite a bit, but the shortest non-interlude track is still almost 12 minutes long.
Blind Guardian has some good examples, like "And Then There Was Silence." They usually involve many layers of multi-tracked vocals.
Opeth contemporaries and sometime collaborators Edge of Sanity's Crimson album is one, 40-minute long track.
Its sequel (Crimson II) is longer by three minutes. It was divided into forty-four tracks but the divisions are arbitrary (there are nine proper "movements" but the song is still a continuous piece).
Helloween has "Halloween", "Keeper of the Seven Keys", "The King Of A 1000 Years" and "Occasion Avenue", the only 4 songs over the 10-minutes mark in the history of the band. But that can't be compared with "The Keeper Trilogy", from Unarmed, a 17 minutes-long song which mashes-up the first three songs in that order, becoming the longest song the band has ever recorded in studio.
The "less" epic songs, like Mission Motherland and The Dark Ride, clock in around 9 minutes.
Equilibrium gifted us with "Mana", an epic 16-minute instrumental song.
Devil Doll's songs average around 40 minutes. Their longest is a staggering 79 minutes.
Fates Warning: "Epitaph", "Pirates of the Underground", "Guardian", "Exodus", "The Ivory Gate of Dreams", "Something from Nothing", "Still Remains". Even their shorter songs use multiple time signatures, tempo changes, and different sections.
By far their longest song is "A Pleasant Shade of Gray", which is split into 12 parts and takes up its entire album. It clocks in at 55:46.
Lost Horizon, who sound a lot like Dream Theater, naturally have several long songs, including "The Kindgom of My Will", "Cry of a Restless Soul", and "Highlander (The One)".
Many '80s power metal and thrash bands will add a long, elaborate song to an album of normal-length songs as a climax piece, such as "R.I.P." and "Follow Me" by Forbidden, "The Crucifix" by Jag Panzer, "The Day at Guyana" by Agent Steel, "Roads to Madness" by Queensrÿche, "The Years of Decay" and "Skullkrusher" by Overkill, "Suiciety" by Realm, etc.
Gothic Metal band Type O Negative often reach the ten minute mark, though it's usually a parody, such as in "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty of Infidelity," "Christian Woman," and "Black No. 1," the last two of which much shorter "radio" versions have been released.
"Haunted", at 10:08. A much shorter instrumental version was featured in Descent II and the PSX Descent games. A longer instrumental (but still only half the length of the original) was in the Descent IIExpansion PackVertigo.
Iron Savior: "Made of Metal". The title alone says it all.
Music/Epica has "The Divine Conspiracy," "Consign to Oblivion," (Both of which are title tracks for albums of the same name), "Design Your Universe," (Title track again) "Kingdom of Heaven," (From same album as DYU, but is even more epic at 13:35) and about half of the songs on their first any of their albums qualify as these.
After Forever tried their hand at this with "Dreamflight."
"Elizabeth", the last song on Karma, being about 12 minutes long.
"Memento Mori", the penultimate song in The Black Halo,clocking in at just under 9 minutes.
"Poetry for the Poisoned", the title track for its album, being about 9 and a half minutes.
"Prodigal Son" for Silverthorn is just under 9 minutes
Rhapsody of Fire (previously just Rhapsody). They have roughly one of these per album. Their song "Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness" clocks in at 18:59. However, the record goes to "Heroes of the Waterfall Kingdom" -the last track (besides the bonus track) of the album "From Chaos to Eternity"-, that has a length of 19:42.
Neurosis's music can be described as "trance metal" for a reason: songs can take their time building steam. They have the occasional song that's under 4 minutes, but a lot hover around 9-12, and one clocks in at over 26. Combine this tendency with the soft-loud dissonance and challenging lyrics, and you have the reason their fanbase is niche.
Sonata Arctica's "The Power Of One", "Destruction Preventer", and "White Pearl, Black Oceans"
Warmen, the mostly instrumental prog-metal side project of Children of Bodom keyboardist Janne Wirman, is definitely about the virtuosity. An excellent example is the title track from the album Beyond Abilities. One of those "guitar" parts is actually played by Janne on keyboard; the other is performed by his brother, guitarist Antti Wirman.
They also have the Salieri Trilogy of tracks from their first three albums: "Warcry of Salieri" (5:56) from Unknown Soldier, "Salieri Strikes Back" (5:17) from Beyond Abilities and "Return of Salieri" (4:49) from Accept the Fact. It starts out awesome and just grows more intense with each iteration - while the shortest, "Return of Salieri" is 4 minutes and 49 seconds of breathless, non-stop face-melting. Even the one-minute-long fretless bass solo.
In fact, the whole project is basically all about a bunch of the best players in Finnish metal indulging shamelessly in their EPIC SKILLZ. Beyond Abilities, indeed...
Pagan Altar: "Armageddon" and "Reincarnation".
Brutal Death Metal band Deeds Of Flesh has the track "The Endurance" cutting at 11:48.
Melodic Death Metal band Dark Lunacy has "Forget Me Not" at 11:21, and in general several 6+ minutes tracks.
Blackened Death Metal band Behemoth has "The Reign Ov Shemsu-Hor" with 8:26.
Folk//Death/Prog Metal band Tyr is practically defined by this trope in their recording efforts; wtih some songs changing time signatures and tempos nearly every third bar; "Hail to the Hammer" being a good example. Impressive for a song that's just under 5 minutes. Oddly, they tend to avert this trope on stage, where they play more straight Death/Folk Metal.
Ensiferum does this from time to time, most notably with "Lai Lai Hei", which changes musical styles and tempos many times times in its 7:15 run. Ensiferum have produced even longer songs beyond Jari's departure with "Victory Song" at 10:43, "Heathen Throne" at 11:09, "The Longest Journey (Heathen Throne Part II)" at 12:49 (listening to both Heathen Throne songs back to back makes it one hell of a journey) and "Passion Proof Power" at 16:59 making it Ensiferum's longest song to date.
Wintersun has its share of long songs, too. The debut album's ending Sadness and Hate is over ten minutes long, while Sons of Winter and Stars from Time I is 13 and a half. The eponymous Time is almost 12 minutes, if counted with the ambient-esque outro.
Periphery chose to close their 73-minute debut album with a 15-minute epic titled "Racecar". LOTS of guitar solos, high singing and technical riffage.
The Melvins have a few examples, the longest being the 22 minute title track to Pigs Of The Roman Empire (a collaboration with Lustmord). Although their self-titled album is indexed as one 31 minute track, it's actually several different songs, including covers of Alice Cooper and Flipper, so it may not count.
Just barely beating "Pigs Of The Roman Empire" by 30 seconds is "Hands First Flower", which is technically a solo piece by one-time member Joe Preston (as a tongue-in-cheek nod to Kiss doing the same thing, they had put out 4 solo EP's under the Melvins name in one year): It's much more in line with drone metal than the rest of their material, which makes sense because Joe Preston had joined the band just after leaving the already mentioned Earth.
Pelican, as a post-metal band, has song lengths averaging around 8 minutes, with outliers like the EP version of "March Into The Sea" (which clocks in at 20:28).
Slough Feg's Ape Uprising clocks in at 10:02 and half of the track consists of guitar duels.
Gamma Ray has Insurrection at 11:33 and Heading for Tomorrow at 14:32
Edguy have "Eyes of the Tyrant" (10:00), "The Kingdom" (18:23), "Theater of Salvation" (14:10), "The Pharaoh" (10:37) and "The Piper Never Dies" (10:37).
Also, Edguy frontman Tobias Sammet's project Avantasia has a few more: "The Seven Angels" (14:17), "The Scarecrow" (11:12), "Savior in the Clockwork" (10:41), and The Great Mystery (10:03) beat the 10-minute mark, with "The Tower" (9:43), "Stargazers" (9:33) and "The Wicked Symphony" (9:28) not far behind.
Bathory have many epic tracks such as Blood Fire Death (10:28), Shores in Flames (11:07), One Rode to Asa Bay (10:23), Twilight of the Gods (14:02) and many more.
Venom: "At War With Satan", which clocks at over 19 minutes. Also "Cursed" and "Destroyed & Damned".
Avenged Sevenfold, especially in City of Evil. The shortest song is two seconds short of five minutes, and the two longest are 8:46 and 9:14. Their self-titled has "A Little Piece of Heaven" at eight minutes flat, and Nightmare has only two songs under five minutes with "Save Me" topping out at 10:56.
Some of their songs are actually trimmed down from the album version for the music videos & radio play. Some examples are "Afterlife", "Bat Country" and "The Beast & The Harlot".
Savatage toes the line in length. While their longest songs range from seven ("Alone You Breathe") to ten ("Morphine Child") minutes long, they are as complicated in change of pace and tone as other examples here.
Scar Symmetry has "Holographic Universe", the title track from their third album, which runs to 9:05.
Therion are going more and more in this direction as time goes on. Vovin had the three-part Draconian Trilogy, Deggial had Via Nocturna, Sirius B had Kali Yuga (which recently saw a third part added on with the release of Sitra Ahra), Gothic Kabbalah had Adulruna Rediviva (which clocked in at a deliciously nerdy 13 minutes and 37 seconds long), and Sitra Ahra features Land of Canaan which, while not as long as Rediviva, is still an impressive 10 mintues as well as being one of the most eclectic songs they've written...and considering Therion's history, that's saying something.
Cathedral provide a 27 minute song titled "The Garden" from their album "The Garden of Unearthly Delights".
Death metal band Nile have quite a few: "To Dream of Ur" from the album "Black Seeds Of Vengeance" clocks in at over 9 minutes, "Wrought" and "Extinct" from their "In The Beginning" compilation are 8 3/4 and 9+ minutes respectively, "Unas Slayer Of The Gods" from "In Their Darkened Shrines" is 11:43 (and the four-part title track totals about 18 minutes), "User-Maat-Re," "Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten," and the title track from "Annihilation Of The Wicked" are 9 1/4, 9 3/4, and a little over 8 1/2 minutes long respectively, "What Can Safely Be Written" and "Even The Gods Must Die" from "Ithyphallic" are 8 1/4 and 10 minutes long respectively, and "4th Arra Of Dagon" and the title track from "Those Whom The Gods Detest" run 8:40 and 8:06 respectively. Couple this with their tendency to write songs with absurdly long names ("Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur," "Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-es-en-Amenti," "Dusk Falls Upon the Temple of the Serpent on the Mount of Sunrise," "Chapter of Obeisance Before Giving Breath to the Inert One in the Presence of the Crescent Shaped Horns," "Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who Is in the Water," "Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld," and "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence") and they pretty much qualify.
Ironically, most of those songs with absurdly long titles are also significantly shorter than the epic-length ones mentioned.
Alice in Chains: "Love, Hate, Love", "Rooster", "Rotten Apple", "Sludge Factory", "Head Creeps", "Frogs", "Over Now", "A Looking In View", "Acid Bubble", "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", "Phantom Limb.
Korn had "Daddy" from their self-titled album at about 9 minutes, and "My Gift to You" from Follow the Leader at over 7 minutes. The album See You on the Other Side had a few songs that were about six minutes.
Swedish Progressive Metal band Seventh Wonder has an average song length of around 6 minutes, many surpassing such, but the title track to their 2010 album "The Great Escape" clocks in at 30:21.
Japanese symphonic power metal band Versailles have "The Love from a Dead Orchestra", "History of the Other Side", "God Palace -Method of Inheritance-", "Princess -Revival of Church-" and "Faith & Decision" (the longest of the lot at 16-and-a-half minutes). A few of their other songs are over 6 minutes long.
Progressive Neo Classical Guitarrist George Bellas with his 2009's album, "Step Into The Future", the whole album is one song that runs for 1 hour, 15 minutes and 22 seconds
There's actually a progressive and power metal Internet radio station called Epic Rock Radio. Unsurprisingly, it features a LOT of these.
Dir En Grey has quite a few. Their debut album gives us 'Mazohyst of Decadence', clocking in at 9 minutes and 22 seconds, and 'Akuro no Ota', clocking in at 9 minutes and 42 seconds. Macabre has two songs just above 6 minutes, as well as the title track clocking at at just under 11 minutes, not to mention 'Zakuro' at 8 minutes and 37 seconds. Kisou has two songs over 6 minutes. Uroboros has 'Vinushka', clocking in a 9 minutes and 37 seconds, and 'Ware, Yami Tote...' at 7 minutes and 1 second. Their latest release, Dum Spiro Spero gives us 'The Blossoming Beelzebub' at 7 minutes and 35 seconds, and 'Diabolos' at 9 minutes and 51 seconds.
Far from their only example of this trope either: "Ashes of Man and Oak and Pine" (13:02), "Misanthrope's Masterplan" (13:57), "Pimeyteen" (vinyl bonus track, 10:33), "The Lonely Sea" (12:42), "Vargtimmen" (8:13), "Sad Song of the Woods" (17:30), "The Wicker Man" (13:08), "Ominous Insomnia" (7:24), "Cold Son of the Wind" (9:20), "Deception" (8:44). And those are just the first four albums.
WASP have tended towards this on many occasions. The Headless Children has "Thunderhead" at 6:49 and "The Heretic (The Lost Child)" at 7:22. There are three tracks on the Concept AlbumThe Crimson Idol that qualify - "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)" clocks in at 7:36, "The Idol" at 8:40 and the climatic "The Great Misconceptions of Me" at 9:29. The unsubtly named Kill Fuck Die has "The Horror" at 8:26 and Helldorado chips in with "Damnation Angels" at 6:27. Unholy Terror has the unholy trinity of "Loco-Motive Man" at 6:03, "Evermore" at 6:10 and "Wasted White Boys" at 6:49. The first half of the double concept album The Neon God has "Sister Sadie (And the Black Habits)" at 7:42, "Asylum #9" at 6:19 and "What I'll Never Find" at 6:02 whereas the second half only has "The Last Redemption" but it clocks in at an insane 13:39! Dominator is relatively restrained with only "Heaven's Hung in Black" at 7:14 meeting the trope. Not bad for a band whose first single was a three minute thrashout called "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)"...
Primordial have no more than ten tracks that last less than five minutes. The majority of their songs go for 6-9 minutes long.
Ogre from Maine, USA recorded a 37-minute song called "Plague of the Planet" mixing elements of doom metal with hard rock and sounds like a collaboration project starring Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Rush.
Augury: Oversee The Rebirth, an eleven-minute-long super-progressive-and-melodic song off of Fragmentary Evidence. Arguably their best song.
Soulfly normally has fairly short songs, but "Soulfly V", the closing track on their 2005 album Dark Ages, clocks in at 10 minutes and 54 seconds.
Theocracy has at least one song on every album that's over 10 minutes. "The Serpant's Kiss" from their self-titled album is just barely shy of 12 minutes, while "Mirror of Souls", the title track of their second album, runs for 22 minutes, 26 seconds.
Mexian Progressive Death Metal band The Chasm (now relocated to Chicago). The Spell of Retribution and Conjuration of the Spectral Empire already displayed some impressive examples, but they really went to town on Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm, where, apart from a brief interlude, there wasn't a song under six and a half minutes and most of the songs exceeded eight. The longest track ("The Mission") is twelve minutes long on the CD and, thanks to an extended fadeout, even longer on vinyl. (The vinyl also contains a bonus cover of Sepultura's "Troops of Doom" which averts this trope and also isn't listed anywhere in the packaging or advertising for the album).
New York Death Metal bands can get this way. Incantation's "Abolishment of Immaculate Serenity" is 8:14 and their "Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty of Infernal Damnation" is 16:47. (The latter track features Daniel Corchado of The Chasm, listed above, so it's not surprising). Immolation has "Close to a World Below" (8:19) and "Unholy Cult" (8:02). These aren't the only examples.
Ruin Lust, also from New York (although a blackened death metal band and thus not typical of New York Death Metal), have a song called "Skin Hunger" that goes on for over twelve minutes before settling into a locked groove (making the song's running time therefore, theoretically, infinite).
On Timeghoul's first demo they started displaying this trope, with most of the songs around the six-minute mark, but on their second they really let loose, with two songs averaging nine and a half minutes in length. Prime Progressive Death Metal.
Finnish doom band Reverend Bizarre, unsurprisingly, liked this trope a lot. "They Used Dark Forces/Teutonic Witch" is almost half an hour long and two other songs from the same album exceed twenty-five minutes. Around half of their songs exceed ten minutes in length.
Canadian folk/black metal band Skagos can get this way. More of their songs exceed ten minutes than don't, but Anarchic takes the cake, being comprised of either two or three tracks (depending on the release format) and exceeding sixty-five minutes in length. If you're feeling particularly adventurous you can splice the material from the two different releases into a continuous suite of music.
Power Metal band Gloryhammer has a song titled The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder clocks in at just over ten minutes. The band itself is an Affectionate Parody of Power Metal tropes and it's fitting that they have a song that takes up a quarter of the album's running time.
Duke Ellington's work, while not as long as that of some later jazz men, is notable for pushing the limit back when music was released on 78 rpm recordsnote the most common 10-inch discs could hold about 3 and a half minutes of music per side; 12-inch discs could hold 4 or 5 minutes per side. His 1931 "Creole Rhapsody" took up both sides of a 10-inch record, and his 1935 "Reminiscing in Tempo" took up four 10-inch sides. It's telling that, once the long-playing record format was invented, Duke's very first LP consisted of four songs, ranging from 8 to 15 minutes in length.
Special mention must go to the 1956 performance of "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue" at the Newport Jazz Festival. 14 minutes long, half of that Paul Gonsalves's legendary tenor sax solo.
Anything by Charles Mingus, who wrote some of the most melodically complex jazz songs of all time (look up "Hora Decubitus" or "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife" if you don't believe me).
Then there's Epitaph, a piece clocking in at 127 minutes that was never performed in full before his death. It carries all the complexity of Mingus' normal work, but just at an insane length.
A special achievement awarded to a certain Mr. Miles Davis, who between 1968 and 1975, starting with Miles in the Sky, dedicated himself to going too far with this. This culminated in the albums A Tribute to Jack Johnson (two tracks, both 25-28 minutes long), Big Fun (a double album with four songs between 21-28 minutes) and Get Up With It (another double album with two songs that broke 32 minutes). And that's not even getting into his live material, where he was known to stretch out to forty-five minutes per song or longer.
"Kind of Blue", where all but one track were recorded "live" in the studio, while improvising, with no overdubs. While several bandmembers were struggling with raging heroin addictions.
To clarify, all the tracks on Kind of Blue were recorded live. Only one has two complete takes ("Flamenco Sketches"); one had a replacement ending recorded but it was never used ("Freddie Freeloader"). But the album definitely qualifies, with four out of five tracks clocking in over 9 minutes. Hat tip to "All Blues," 11 minutes and 33 seconds. Expanded reissues of the album feature a bonus track after a full take of the song in which bassist Paul Chambers is heard panting and saying, "Damn, that's a hard mother!" Well said.
John Coltrane did many pieces longer than 10 minutes, but those were usually the exception, not the rule. Then came Ascension, a single 40 minute long free jazz piece, which turned things around. This reached its peak in the album Live in Japan, where the shortest song was 25 minutes long, and three were longer than 40 minutes.
Herbie Hancock in his jazz-funk fusion era.
The Free Jazz subgenre largely does away with fixed tempos, chord changes, harmonic structures in favor of simultaneous improvised soloing. It tends to be (but is not always) fast, loud, chaotic, and frenetic. The pieces also tend to be 20+ minutes long. It's an epic experience that one endures as much as enjoys. The epicness is especially apparent in any of the large-ensemble Free Jazz pieces along the lines of John Coltrane's Ascension, Peter Brötzmann's Machinegun, and Ornette Coleman's seminal Free Jazz: a Collective Improvisation. Many of these kinds of pieces feature multiple drummers and walls of horns each blasting their own disparate riffs and solos.
Jaga Jazzist's longest track is the 28-minute-long "Out of Reach (or Switched Off)"—although 22 minutes of it is taken up by a vocal skit in Norwegian. Their longest proper song is "Toccata", at 9 minutes.
Parliament-Funkadelic: "One Nation Under a Groove", "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?", "What Is Soul", "Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow", "Maggot Brain", "Promentalshitbackwashenemapsychosis Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)", "Bop Gun (Endangered Species)", "Flash Light", "Aqua Boogie (Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)", "Deep" ...and that's just a few.
Curtis Mayfield: "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go", "We the People Who are Darker than Blue", "Move on Up".
Almost the entire album of Tak.... Notable examples include "Milano" at 10 minutes and "Glosoli" which, alas, is only 6 and a half, but it truly is an epic rocking.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: The only song shorter than ten minutes on any of their official album releases is "09-15-00 (Continued)", at 6:16. F♯A♯∞ and Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven have tracks that run, on average, twenty minutes, with each divided into several movements.
On the vinyl version of Yanqui U.X.O., "09-15-00" and "09-15-00 (Continued)" are merged as one 22-minute track, thus making the shortest song on any GY!BE album "The Dead Flag Blues," at 16-minutes in length.
After 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, it can no longer be said that they have never done (relatively) short songs, as there are two drone pieces that are around six minutes long - pretty long by most bands' standards, but snippets by Godspeed's. The two actual songs on the album continue the trend, though, being about twenty minutes each.
Mogwai: "Like Herod," "Mogwai Fear Satan," "Christmas Steps," "My Father, My King"....
Tortoise. Special mention goes to the 20-minute track Djed, which contains four or five separate movements.
Also, "Cliff Dweller Society" and "Gamera" from A Lazarus Taxon.
Talk Talk: Most of both Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock.
Stereolab is unusual for post-rock in that most of their songs are pretty reasonable lengths; nevertheless every album (with the exception of Chemical Chords) has at least one track that's 6 minutes or longer. Their longest songs are "Refractions in the Plastic Pulse" (17 minutes) and "Jenny Ondioline" (18 minutes).
Michael Jackson had a few, starting with Off The Wall opener "Don't Stop 'Til Get You Enough". Thriller had "Thriller" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (5:57 and 6:04, respectively). Bad was more straighforward (only "The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Man in the Mirror" are over 4:50)... then Dangerous had 10/14 songs at least 5 minutes long (two clocking over 7!). The second disk of HIStory had 3 songs over 6 minutes ("Earth Song", "HIStory" and "Little Susie") - which are even longer on remix album Blood on the Dance Floor (which in turn has the epics "Morphine" and "Superfly Sister"). His final album, Invincible, opens with another epic, "Unbreakable"
Then, of course, there's the Jacksons' "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)", clocking in at just under 8 minutes.
Madonna has done this a lot.
Her debut has "Holiday" (6:08) and "Physical Attraction" (6:39)
True Blue has "Live to Tell" at 5:51.
Erotica has "Where Life Begins" (5:59), "Words" (5:57) and "In this Life" (6:23)
Ray of Light has "Skin" (6:22) and "Frozen" (6:09)
Music has "Paradise (Not For Me)" (6:33)
Confessions on a Dancefloor has "Issac" (6:00)
Hard Candy has "She's Not Me" (6:05) and "Incredicle" (6:20)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood's debut double album Welcome To The Pleasuredome's first side of record one claimed several tracks (Well, The World is my Oyster, Snatch of Fury, Stay and Welcome to the Pleasure Dome), but in reality, they all combined into the album's title track, lasting a total of about 17 minutes. Even without the intro bits, "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome" itself is over 14 minutes.
Dave Matthews Band played this straight on their first three albums; each had at least 4 songs that were over 5:50 along with several more over 4:50. Since Everyday, however, the most they've done is 2 songs over 5:50 and three semi-epics; most of their post Before These Crowded Streets records don't contain epics at all, as well as few semi-epics; and on one, all the songs were under 4:50!
The Allman Brothers Band were probably the Southern alternative to The Grateful Dead (no surprise considering Duane Allman idolized Garcia), mixing blues, rock and touches of jazz. The greatest example is probably "Mountain Jam", that tracks at 33:41, covers two sides of an LP, and features a solo from EVERYONE in the band. "Ramblin' Man", "Whipping Post", "Jessica", "Les Brers In A Minor", and "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" are other noteworthy examples, often passing twenty minutes in concert.
"Glazed" and "Ghost Shark" by Rocket from the Crypt.
The Stooges' "We Will Fall", "Fun House" and "Dirt".
Half of the songs on "The Monitor" by Titus Andronicus are over seven minutes long, but "The Battle Of Hampton Roads" takes the cake at 14 minutes.
"Reoccurring Dreams" by Hüsker Dü.
"From the Cradle to the Grave" by The Subhumans
"Yes Sir, I Will" by Crass, clocking in at over 40 minutes to become the longest punk song ever (!).
Although it is technically supposed to be all one song, the song is split into multiple tracks (seven, to be precise) and doesn't play like a single, flowing 40-minute opus. The longest individual track, however, is just over twenty minutes long.
Their friends Flux Of Pink Indians had a similar sense of perversity: The charmingly titled double LP The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks, in spite of listing multiple song titles, is essentially made up of four, epic-length, ear-bleeding terror trips.
Any of the Zodiac singles by the Canadian experimental punk band Fucked Up. The longest one so far, "Year of the Pig", clocks in at 18 minutes, and the others are around 13 minutes long apiece.
Ever since Green Day decided to enter Rock Opera territory, they do suites ("Jesus of Suburbia", "Homecoming") or just plain long songs ("Wake Me Up When September Ends", "21st Century Breakdown").
Earlier on Warning, they had the five-minute song "Misery"; a series of vignettes focusing on the pain of others, it's arguably the most epic song they've done lyrically besides "Jesus of Suburbia".
No Means No accomplish this several times: No Big Surprise on the Generic Shame album is longest at 11:19; then there are Real Love and Brother Rat/What Slayde Says on Small Parts Isolated and Destroyed at 9:57 and 9:07; and The World Wasn't Built in a Day on Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie at 9:34. All of their albums have a mix of Three Chords-style songs alongside the more expansive tracks (although it's impressive just how much they can fit in a three-chorder as well)
The Prefects' "The Bristol Road Leads To Dachau" is over twelve minutes long.
The ever-mercurial art-punks Wire have "A Touching Display", "Crazy About Love", "And Then... / Coda", "Boiling Boy", "Torch It!", "You Hung Your Lights In The Trees", "Artificial Gravity" and "23 Years Too Late", all of which exceed six minutes in length in their original versions. But none of these hold a candle to the ever mutating live beast that is "Drill"; the longest released version (from the Astoria, London, 1988) is nearly eighteen minutes long, while there are other versions rumored to go on for as long as half an hour. Bear in mind that this band's average song length was once under a minute, as well as that "Drill" has only one chord.
Some songs by The Blood Brothers, though not as long as other examples cited, have songs such as "Cecilia & the Silhouette Saloon", "USA Nails", "The Shame", "Camouflage, Camouflage", "Spit Shine Your Black Clouds", "Lift the Veil, Kiss the Tank", "Street Wars/Exotic Foxholes", and "Giant Swan", which all clock in between five and eight minutes, each song taking drastic (and fantastic) unexpected turns, all result in rocking most epic.
Showbread has a few of these. "Stabbing Art to Death" clocked in at over seven minutes in its first release, and "Age of Reptiles/Age of Insects" is all but eleven. The average length of a Showbread song is five minutes, if you factor in songs such as "And the Smokers and Children Shall Be Cast Down", "Matthias Replaces Judas", "The Bell Jar", "The Pig (Anorexia)", "The Death (Anorexia)", "The Beginning (Anorexia)", "The Flies (Nervosa)" (both of these are instrumentals), "The Goat (Nervosa)", "The Beginning (Nervosa)", "The Fear of God", "A Man With a Hammer", and "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things".
Shellac's 1998 song Didn't We Deserve a Look at You the Way You Really Are clocks in at 12:19 and is the longest track by the band.
It's actually a subversion of Epic Rocking, as virtually nothing happens in the heavily repititive and minimalistic tune.
"Face It" by Moby, from his Animal Rights album, clocks in at exactly 10 minutes.
Jello Biafra (erstwhile Dead Kennedys leader) did a collaboration album with D.O.A. entitled Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors. The last song was a condemnation of the War on Drugs entitled "Full Metal Jackoff" that ran for almost fourteen minutes.
Catharsis, from Chapel Hill, NC, had quite a few lengthy songs in their discography. The longest is a track called "Live in the Land of the Dead" that runs for almost fifteen minutes, but other examples include "The Evolution of Dying", "Duende" and "Deserts Without Mirages", "Arsonist's Prayer", and "Absolution", all of which exceed the seven-minute mark with ease.
Also "All Around the World", which at 9:20 in length is the longest ever A-side on a UK number 1 single. It's likely to retain this record since the rules were changed. Most of the songs in that album (Be Here Now) are long as hell too.
And the 22-minute-long "Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Mix" of "Falling Down", by Amorphous Androgynous (a side project of The Future Sound of London).
Stone Roses: "I Am the Resurrection", "Fool's Gold", "One Love", "Something's Burning", "Breaking into Heaven".
And even better, this six-minute epic was the first single from the album.
"Supercollider", a song released as a single in 2011, is seven minutes long.
The Verve: the unedited versions of "Gravity Grave" (plus the Glastonbury '93 live version from No Come Down) and "She's a Superstar", "Feel", "Virtual World", "Butterfly" (the original A Storm in Heaven version and the acoustic B-side from No Come Down), "One Way to Go", "So It Goes", "A Northern Soul", "Drive You Home", "(Reprise)", "Bittersweet Symphony", "The Rolling People", "Catching the Butterfly", "Come On" (nominally 6 minutes, artificially extended to 15 thanks to the Hidden Track).
Bruce Springsteen routinely wrote sprawling, epic numbers, often intended to be live show-stoppers. These include "Jungleland", "Racing in the Street", "Incident on 57th Street", "Rosalita", "New York City Serenade", "Kitty's Back" and "Backstreets". Often, shorter songs like "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out", "Mary's Place", and "The E-Street Shuffle" were stretched to incredible twenty-minute-plus lengths live.
"Drive All Night" is over 8 minutes long.
Boston: "Foreplay/Long Time". Actually started out as two different songs (the instrumental Foreplay and the lyrical Long Time), but then Tom Scholz realized that the two would sound epic together, and the rest is history.
They pushed the trope even farther on Third Stage with "The Launch/Cool The Engines"; a similar extended quasi-symphonic instrumental intro to a lively rocker. "Can'tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still in Love" also qualifies; only this time the instrumental is the coda rather than intro.
"A Man I'll Never Be" is pretty long (6 minutes) compared to the other songs on the album.
German rock band Tocotronic used the concept on their third album to provide a juxtaposition to the band's usual short punk songs. The 6-minutes long So jung kommen wir nicht mehr zusammen with a massive overdubbed solo surely steals the show.
Chicago, believe it or not: "Liberation". Fifteen minutes of pure experimentations and guitar noodling.
Add "It Better End Soon", "Ballet For A Girl In Buchannan", "Devil's Sweet", much of 18 out of 23 tracks on Chicago III ("Sing A Mean Tune Kid", the Travel Suite, An Hour in the Shower, Elegy), "Poem 58", "A Song For Richard And His Friends", and both parts of "Aire" together (the prelude, and the main track).
Also, Exogenesis. Split into 3 parts to avoid fatigue.
And "Unnatural Selection", which is just shy of seven minutes long.
And "Citizen Erased", at over 7 minutes long.
Elton John: "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", "Carla/Etude/Chloe", "Tonight", "It's Hay Chewed", "Empty Sky", "Madman Across the Water" (particularly a 9-minute version unreleased until as a bonus track on Tumbleweed Connection), "Indian Sunset"
Luna Sea - The One -Crash to Create- is 22 min, and is the only song on the album with the same name.
"Death Bed" by Relient K is over 10 minutes long. Of course this is to be expected with a song that tells the story of a man's life.
Wilco, "Spiders (Kidsmoke)". Turns into Epic Jamming when performed live.
Starflyer 59 had a few 6-minute songs in the early, Shoegazer-influenced years, such as "Messed Up Over You" from Gold, "Le Vainqueur" from the EP of the same name. Ironically, after switching to a lighter, indie-pop sound, their albums got shorter but their long songs got longer: witness "Too Much Fun" from The Fashion Focus, "I Like Your Photographs" from Leave Here a Stranger, and the 14-minute-long "Traffic Jam" from Fell in Love at 22 (EP).
The eclectic alt-country group Woven Hand had a few epic tracks on the album Blush Music: "My Russia (Standing on Hands)" and "Your Russia (Without Hands)" were about 7 minutes apiece. And "Animalitos (Ain't No Sunshine)" reworked Bill Withers' classic song into a 14-minute-long alt-country/drone-rock.
Embrace, though not given to it so much recently, have the title tracks from their first two albums "The Good Will Out" and "Drawn from Memory" each 7 minutes in length.
"The Room", The Living End's 8 minute ender for their third album, "Modern Artillery". Even more unusual given the album's more stripped back and simple nature.
To a lesser extent their entire second album "Roll On". Full of complex riffs and changing chord progressions, and even stated by the band as being made to spite the critics who labelled them 3-chord punk. In particular "Uncle Harry" and "Blood On Your Hands".
Matthew Sweet's "Thunderstorm" lasts nine minutes and has four key changes and an epic two-minute bridge.
Not to mention "Hey Jude", the longest 7" single back then. Of seven and a half minutes, however, the last four are the outro sung by every single person present at the Abbey Road studios during the recording session.
Bob Dylan has done a number of long songs over the years: "Desolation Row", "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", "Hurricane", etc.
Highlands, which lasts over 17 minutes.
The title track of 2012's Tempest is a few seconds shy of 14 minutes. 45 verses and no chorus.
Tori Amos - "Datura". How the song progresses may represent a trip on Datura, a hallucinogen.
Tori has made a lot more epics, including "Yes, Anastasia" (9:33), "Little Earthquakes" (6:53), "Apollo's Frock" (8:14), "Lady in Blue" (7:12), "Garlands" (8:21), and most infamously, her cover of "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (9:55).
Kings of Leon: "Knocked Up", 7:10 long.
50 Foot Wave's multi-part "Power+ Light", which clocks in at 25:48. Songwriter Kristin Hersh has said that during the process of writing it, it became "a song which stretched out in both directions, greedily snatching at parts of any other songs it could find and stuffing them down its throat".
Sonic Youth - "Expressway to Yr. Skull", "Teen Age Riot", "The Sprawl", "'Cross the Breeze", "Trilogy", "Tunic (Song for Karen)", "Washing Machine", "The Diamond Sea" (both versions), "Female Mechanic Now on Duty", "Wildflower Soul", "Hits of Sunshine (for Allen Ginsberg)", "Karen Koltrane", "Free City Rhymes", "Stream X Sonik Subway", "NYC Ghosts & Flowers", "Disconnection Notice", "Rain on Tin", "Karen Revisited", "Sympathy for the Strawberry", "The Dripping Dream", "I Love You Golden Blue", "Massage the History", and so on.
Brazilian band Legião Urbana has "Faroeste Caboclo" ("Caboclo Western]]"), a 9 minute long song, with 159 verses telling the story of a boy that goes to Brasília and becomes a criminal. They managed to surpass it with 11-minute long "Metal Contra as Nuvens".
The Smashing Pumpkins. If Billy Corgan can make a song longer, he will. His magnum example is the "Pastichio Medley" b-side, 73 different riffs and other odds and ends but together for 16 minutes of insanity. And seven minutes of the 73rd piece on a continuous loop.
The Dears, a Montreal indie band. Particularly, on their 2004 album No Cities Left, only three of eleven songs clock in at under five minutes, and even those have a grand orchestral sweep to them.
MGMT have a couple of long, multipart songs: "Metanoia" is almost 14 minutes, while "Siberian Breaks" is a little over 12.
The video version of New Order's "Perfect Kiss" is 9:28, even longer than the 12'' single version, which was 8:50. The original long version of "Blue Monday" is 7:23.
Alabama's "My Home's in Alabama." Six-and-a-half minutes of midtempo eighties country rock.
The album version of Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy" is six minutes long, half of which is a bunch of riffing. "Once in a Lifetime" from the same album also goes on forever.
"Year Of The Knife" from Tears For Fears clocks in at 7:08. "Badman's Song" from the same album is even longer, at 8:33.
The German band Norbert und die Feiglinge probably topped them all with what used to be known as the longest single ever—"Todesanzeigen". 79:19. You read it right, one hour, nineteen minutes, nineteen seconds. The song is neither remixed and reengineered from shorter material nor a jam session, it is composed and has lyrics all through (okay, it has dozens of verses). In fact, when someone made a mistake playing or mixing the song, they had to start over from the very beginning.
One version, at least. Combining all available versions (the album and 12" versions, the latter of which features a longer "One Of A Kind", as well as the full-length version of "Heaven Knows") results in a 20+ minute track.
Lindstrom has a few of these. All of the songs on Where You Go I Go Too are over 10 minutes (with one clocking in at 29), and he also has a 42 minute version of "Little Drummer Boy".
Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" (video version) nearly reaches 9 minutes.
Santa Esmeralda's cover of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" which extends a song under 3 minutes to an album version lasting 16 minutes, and a single version (present in the Kill Bill soundtrack) lasting 10 1/2.
Canadian indie rock band Wintersleep has several epic songs: "Motion" on the Wintersleep album, which begins with a single acoustic guitar chord being strummed once per bar, and ends with distorted guitars colliding with a 35mm film synchronizer being tortured. The Untitled album has "Nerves Normal, Breath Normal" which segues out of another song and goes on for 7:23, including a lengthy jam and a drum solo, and "Danse Macabre" which starts as a fairly straightforward hard rock song, then turns into a quiet jam, and ends with the drummer wildly crashing his cymbals at high speed. Welcome To The Night Sky ends with "Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks", an 8-minute long song that shifts through instrumental moods before becoming a high-tempo rock song, then becomes a 2-minute prolonged outro.
J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. recorded a 15 minute epic cover "Maggot Brain" with Mike Watt and Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic.
Madness composed "The Liberty of Norton Folgate" (10:12) as the climax of their concept album of the same name.
Anberlin utilized epic rocking for the final tracks of their second, third, and fourth studio albums: Dance Dance Christa Paffgen (7:07), *fin (8:27), and Misearbile Visu (6:37), respectively.
"The Jojo Burger Tempest" by Working for a Nuclear Free City. A 30 minute track consisting the leftovers of when they were recording the album of the same name.
Brand New's Limousine (MS Rebridge) is 7 minutes and 42 seconds long.
"I Will Possess Your Heart" (8:26), "Transatlanticism" (7:55), and "Unobstructed Views" (a comparatively shorter 6:10, but feels very long regardless) by Death Cab for Cutie.
Sparklehorse occasionally delved into this, with Morning Hollow (7:23) and Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (10:35).
Don McLean's "American Pie" clocks in at over eight and a half minutes (LP version is 8:33; the two "parts" of the original single add up to 8:42).
The Flaming Lips have a six hour song called "I Found a Star on the Ground": It does have multiple sections, but they go by very long.
They also created a twenty-four hour song, "7 Skies H3", which streamed on Halloween, 2011. It also has multiple sections, as well as actual lyrics, forming a kind of really long ballad.
"Religion Song (Put Away The Gun)" by Everything Else clocks in at almost eight minutes. The song Everything Else is nearly eighteen.
"Enough Is Enough" by Silkworm is an 8 minute, 14 second long multi-section crescendo.
Many of Jeff Buckley's live performances of his songs end like this. See the eight minute long version of "Dream Brother" from "Live á l'Olympia" for a good example
Deerhunter use this in "Desire Lines" and "He Would Have Laughed" with extended outros, as well as their more experimental album closer "Calvary Scars II / Aux. Out".
Canadian singer/songwriter Mus Matthew Good tends to have one of these per album since he went solo. Avalanche has two, "Avalanche" and "Near Fantastica", White Light Rock and Roll Review has "Blue Skies Over Bad Lands"note And "Ex-Pats of the Blue Mountain Symphony Orchestra", but only because of a hidden song, Hospital Music has the opening track "Champions of Nothing", Vancouver has "The Vancouver National Anthem" and "Empty's Theme Park", and Lights of Endangered Species has "Non Populus".
English post-punk revival band The Horrors has three songs that fit into this trope: "I Only Think Of You", "Sea Within A Sea", and "Oceans Burning". They're all very atmospheric, and the last two m, ake for strong album closers (for Primary Colours and Skying, respectively).
Asaki: His album Tentei features the full version of "Tentei", the only song on the album to hit the 10-minute mark.
Sound Horizon's CD "Marchen" launches (though in the live performances, it's usually the fourth piece, due to the inclusion of the prologue single "The Ido that Leads to the Forest that Leads to the Ido" in the Marchen concerts) with "The Song of Dusk," which ultimately clocks in around ten minutes and contains a mashup of all sorts of rock, pop, dialoguing, monologuing, and Rock Me, Amadeus! moments. It's by far the longest track on the album, although there's only one track that dips below five minutes.
My Bloody Valentine's "Soon" (8:47) and the extended version of "Glider" (10:16). Also worth noting is "You Made Me Realise", which live can extend to ridiculous lengths due to the band's habit of inserting a section they call "the holocaust", which is exactly what you'd expect: ten minutes or more of nothing but solid noise and guitar feedback. Performances of this song have been noted to extend to twenty minutes or longer.
The full version of "Lollipop~Candy~Bad Girl~" by J-pop singer Tommy Heavenly6 is over 10 minutes long.
The full version of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by soul group The Temptations is nearly 12 minutes long - a lot of that length is due to a four minute Epic Instrumental Opener. Even the single edit only cuts it down to about 7 minutes.
Snow Patrol's "The Lightning Strike", the closing track off their A Hundred Million Suns album, clocks in at over sixteen minutes long; it's made up of three songs that began composition separately, but the band found that they tied in nicely as a "lighting storm into calm into daybreak" epic piece. The song has its own special visual setpiece presentation during live performances.
Anne Briggs' version of "Young Tambling" is a bit over 10 minutes long. (And completely a cappella, to boot.)
Bob Dylan's song "Desolation Row" is about ten minutes, and is one of the few true folk songs on his album Highway 61 Revisited.
In 1965 when there was hardly any popular music that even reached the three-minute mark and songs shorter than two minutes were not frowned upon, Bob Dylan deliberately made "Like a Rolling Stone" six minutes long. And he insisted the song be released on a 7" single in its full length.
At over nine minutes, Bert Jansch's version of 'Jack Orion' was unprecedented among British folk traditionalists in 1966. Four years later he rerecorded the song with his band Pentangle...and doubled the length again until it took up an entire side of vinyl.
Iron & Wine has a few, but "The Trapeze Swinger" is notable for being both over ten minutes long, and featuring no repeating chorus. Just verse after verse strung together to a lilting acoustic melody.
Danielson's "Deeper than the Gov't" is divided into three tracks on the CD, but they flow together as a single, 9-minute song. And "Joking at the Block" is raga-inspired piece that lasts for 12 minutes.
Afro Celt Sound System has numerous extended songs, the longest being “Eistigh Liomsa Sealad / Listen to Me / Saor Reprise”, “Mojave”, and “Rise Above It”, each 10 minutes. And “Rise Above It” is half of a Siamese Twin Song—if we include its other half, “Rise”, then the total length is 13 minutes.
The full version of "Lollipop~Candy~Bad Girl~" by J-pop singer Tommy Heavenly6 is over 10 minutes long.
The full version of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by soul group The Temptations is nearly 12 minutes long - a lot of that length is due to a four minute Epic Instrumental Opener. Even the single edit only cuts it down to about 7 minutes.
Fela Kuti: Most songs are longer than 10 minutes, some live versions take more than one side of an LP.
Possibly the Ur Example, Nigerian/Black British band Osibisa did some seriously long (and listenable) West African stuff way back in the 1960's and 1970's, popularising African music to new audiences.
The Sugarhill Gang, setting the norm for rap with the 14 minute, 35 seconds Rapper's Delight.
DJ Shadow: "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt", "Changeling", "Stem/Long Stem", "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain", "In/Flux", "What Does Your Soul Look Like" and "Blood on the Motorway".
It currently has about 22 parts and a total running time of ONE HOUR AND 24 MINUTES.
Demain, c'est loin, by French group IAM has epic rapping, clocking at about 9 minutes of continuous rhyming one after another. (Then again they are five people.)
Rapper Akhenaton, of IAM fame, closed his album "Soldats de Fortune" with "La Fin De Leur Monde", a ten-minute (and very eloquent) rant against world politics carried by Akhenaton and fellow member of IAM, Shurik'n.
"Liberation" by Outkast is an 8-minute, piano-driven, semi-spiritual piece featuring Cee-Lo, Erykah Badu, and spoken word artist Big Rube.
"Oldie" by OFWGKTA clocking in at 10 minutes and 36 seconds.
"Pyramids" by Frank Ocean clocks in at 9 minutes, 52 seconds.
Violent J also once allegedly recorded a 30-minute song called "Public Service Announcement", but no one has heard it.
Kanye West: "Last Call" (12:41), "We Major" (7:28), "Gone" (6:02), "Big Brother" (9:47), "Say You Will" (6:14), "Pinocchio Story" (6:03), "Monster" (6:18), "So Appalled" (6:37), "Runaway" (9:07), "Blame Game" (7:49), "See Me Now (6:03) and "Illest Motherfucker Alive" (8:23).
Arguably, "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" by The Beastie Boys, which is 12 minutes long. However, it's really a suite of short songs that flow into each other and are indexed as one track. In fact, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Paul's Boutique separates it into nine different tracks.
Die Antwoord "Beat Boy" (8:20)
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's classic singles "The Message" and "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" both exceed seven minutes in length. Ironically, the full group appeared on neither of the tracks.
Immortal Technique has "Dance with the Devil" (9:39), "You Never Know" (7:50), and "Últimas Palabras" (7:36). Technically, "Dance with the Devil" includes what could be considered a hidden track, but even without that the main part of the song is still 6:56 long.
dälek: "Untitled" (43:54) takes the cake, but they have plenty of others, such as "Black Smoke Rises" (12:02), "Images of .44 Casings" (10:27), "Praise Be the Man" (12:01), "Music for ASM" (16:37), and "Abandoned Language" (10:13). dälek are perhaps unusual among hip-hop groups in that while they are a vocal group, they also have a strong emphasis on instrumental passages. (They're also unusual among hip-hop groups for their sound, but that's another story...)
Kendrick Lamar has several of the songs on good kid, m.A.A.d. city, the most obvious being "Money Trees" (6:26), "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" (12:03) and "Real" (7:23).
R&B / Soul
Luther Vandross has "A House Is Not a Home" (7:11), especially unusual because that is the radio version that gets played on oldies stations to this day.
Electronic / Industrial
Bull of Heaven have a habit of shattering records for the longest piece of music with their procedurally generated pieces. Examples include:
"The Chosen Priest and Apostle of Infinite Space": 1,453 hours long, two months long.
"Blurred with Tears and Suffering Beyond Hope": 4,723 hours long, or six months.
"Like a Wall in Which an Insect Lives and Gnaws": 50,000 hours long. That's almost six fucking years.
"0": 29,236,388 hours (3,335 years) long and a file size of 382.9 terabytes.
"n": 87708958333333 hours (10,005,798,727 years, which is just over 10 billion years.) Nearly as long as the age of the Universe, itself 13.75 billion years old, but compressed into the mother of all zip bombs: an 85kb archive file, containing 1.3 zettabytes (or over 1,395,864,370 terrabytes) of sound. The files in the archive are all identical, so it's just the same piece repeated countless times over.
Their lcm series of pieces take loops of varying length and plays them until they meet up again. For example, the second piece, "lcm(2,3)", which uses a two-second and a three-second loop, lasts six seconds. The series finishes with "lcm(2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,29,31,37,41,43,47,53,59,61,67,71,73,79,83)": 8,462,937,602,125,701,219,674,955 years (8.46 septillion years) long. That's 8.45803314 times longer than the universe has existed. The entire lcm series is only available as .swf files that play the loops for you.
Bull of Heaven provide downloadable excerpts of all of their longer pieces, alongside zip bombs or .swf files of the full deal.
Burial's remixes of the Massive Attack songs "Four Walls" and "Paradise Circus" are both over 10 minutes long.
Kraftwerk's Autobahn is over 24 minutes long, and was one of the first hits of the band that pioneered techno in the 70's.
The two part piece "Kometenmelodie" from the same album.
"Trans Europe Express/Metall auf Metall/Abzug" is a total of 14 minutes.
Orbital: When their songs get really long, they'll sometimes split them into two tracks, labeled part 1 and part 2, such as "Nothing Left" from The Middle of Nowhere and "Out There Somewhere?" from In Sides.
Sometimes their studio albums employ Fading into the Next Song, and the band will then treat the entire song suite as a single epic song at live shows. For example, "Lush / Impact / Remind", and "Way Out / Spare Parts Express / Know Where to Run".
Their EP The Box had 4 different alternate mixes of the title song. Later, for the second disc of the American release of In Sides, all four of these tracks were strung together as a single 28-minute track.
"Escape Velocity" by The Chemical Brothers is 12 minutes long. Since every track on the new album will be accompanied by short films, and segue into each-other, it can be assumed to be an epic album with every track that long.
Daft Punk's songs (when not live or remixed) rarely ever break six minutes in length, a rarity amongst electronic music. Those that do are "Around the World", "Rollin' & Scratchin'", "Rock 'n Roll", and "Burnin'" from Homework, "Emotion" from Human After All, and the aptly named "Too Long" from Discovery which clocks in at exactly 10:00 in length.
Jean Michel Jarre has so many pieces of music which are longer than five minutes that many fans count only his three famous suites from the 80s as "epic": "Ethnicolor" and "Rendez-vous 2", both of which are almost twelve minutes long, and "Industrial Revolution" which exceeds 16 minutes.
The longest piece of music he ever released, however, is "Waiting For Cousteau". It takes up most of the album of the same name at a length of almost 47 minutes. That said, this piece is an assembly of soundbites created for an exhibition which contained photographs and selected objects from Jarre's concerts, and lacks rhythm or structure.
Xorcist's "Scorched Blood: Rising From The Ashes" from the Scorched Blood EP is 16:05. The last minute is actually silence to hide the Hidden Track.
Trance project Ayla's Nirwana album has the two-tracker "Into the Light / Out of the Light", 14 minutes total. Another epic track from the album is "Ayla(Taucher Remix)", at 9:33. The "Waterfall" and "Elemental Force" remixes of "Angelfalls" are 8:29 and 7:57, respectively.
Kashiwa Daisuke, an experimental/progressive electronic musician, likes this. Program Music I is an hour long, and has two tracks.
While it's fairly common for ambient house songs to go on for a while, The Orb makes music that's even long by their genre's standards. Their lengthiest song was the 40-minute epic, "Blue Room." And it was released as a single. Gallup (the compilers of the UK singles chart at the time) stated songs that are 40 minutes or longer are considered albums rather than singles. The Orb's response to this? They created a 39:57 mix of the song for radio airplay.
Covenant's "Subterfugue for Three Absynths", from the Skyshaper bonus disc, is 43 minutes, and consists of three industrial noise loops phasing in and out with each other, hence the name.
"Cryotank Expansion" (25:46) from Dreams of a Cryotank. Not surprising, since it's part of the industrial dark ambient genre.
"Flux" at the end of Sequencer is 11 minutes, but the last three minutes are just random noises going off every few seconds.
"Modern Ruin Part II" and "Leaving Babylon II", the closing tracks to Modern Ruin and Leaving Babylon, respectively, are both in the 9-10 minute range.
The 2-disc limited edition of Leaving Babylon includes "Jag är Fullständigt Tung", which is 75 minutes and takes up the entire second disc.
Juno Reactor has a few multi-part songs, eg "Rotorblade/Mars" from Beyond The Infinite, "Nitrogen" from Shango and "Conquistador" from Labyrinth, whose first half is an Epic Instrumental Opener.
Many of their single-part songs are epically long as well. "Samurai," "Children of the Night," "Guardian Angel," and "Zwara (Sleepwalker)" are all 7-10 minutes long. "Mona Lisa Overdrive," composed for The Matrix Reloaded, is just over 10.
Trance songs routinely clock around 7-8 minutes, but usually this includes an extended intro/outro to aid DJs in crossfading two songs together. One example that's particularly long even without the extended intro/outro is "Remember Magnetic North," a collaboration between BT, Sasha, and Jan Johnston, that clocks in at about twelve and a half minutes total.
Songs in the Goa trance subgenre are generally in the 9-12 minute range.
Skinny Puppy songs usually aren't more than 5-6 minutes, but "The Centre Bullet" from the CD Updated Re-release of Bites is 9:42. Better yet is the 15-minute live track "Spahn Dirge" on Rabies. "The Centre Bullet" is actually an instrumental version of a track by Cevin Key's side project Tear Garden.
Can't forget "Download", which is twelve minutes long, although it's a bit atypical in that, like most of the latter half of Last Rights, it's mostly an ambient/noise piece.
Sweet Release by the Trouser Enthusiasts, is 9:08, extremely long by Eurodance standards and longer than most trance tracks.
Autechre's "Perlence Subrange 6-36" is 58:31, and consists of a slowly-changing ambient synth background and a 4-second sequence alternating between three instruments, which also slowly changes. The Quaristice Quadrange remix album also contains several other 10+ minute tracks, including "Perlence Range 7" and "Tkakanren". Also, many of their albums, including Quaristice, use the "one song over multiple tracks" method.
The extended version of Mike Mareen's "Agent of Liberty", from Dance Control, is about 9 minutes.
Synthdance/spacesynth songs are typically short and sweet (ie <5 minutes), but one of the genre's more epic tracks is Krzysztof Radomski's "Above the Zenith", at 8:41. Other epic tunes in the genre include Anders Lundqvist's "The Ordeal"(about 7 1/2 minutes), and many of Everdune's tracks.
The Lenny B. remix of Jessica Simpson's "Where You Are" is nearly 11 minutes, which is lengthy even by dance/club standards. However, the second half is mainly repetitions of the coda.
Joy Electric typically stuck with short and sweet synthpop tracks. However, The White Songbook saw Ronnie incorporate some prog-rock influences in his songwriting and featured several tracks ("Shepherds of the Northern Pasture", "Unicornicopia", "Sing Once for Me", "The Heritage Bough", "The Songbook Tells All") just over 6 minutes long. Then his Tick Tock Companion EP—an experiment in free-form jamming—consisted of four tracks, each between 12 and 19 minutes long.
Nine Inch Nails have a few that pass 6 minutes in length, most notably "Closer" (6:12), and "Reptile" (6:54) off The DownwardSpiral, "We're In This Together" (7:16) off The Fragile and "Zero Sum" (6:14) off Year Zero. Also, some shorter songs become longer live, such as the version of "The Day the Whole World Went Away" (6:30 live vs. 4:32 studio) on ...And All That Could Have Been.
The concept behind 45:33 is based on the album E2-E4 by the German progressive electronic musician Manuel Göttsching, which is made up of a single song just forty seconds short of an hour long. As well as both being made up of one long track, both albums feature very similar artwork.
The intelligent drum'n'bass genre made this a particularly common trope, but special mention must be made for Goldie, whose debut album Timeless was what gave the genre its breakthrough. Timeless opens with a title track 21 minutes long, and while none of the other tracks are that long, the majority of the songs still fall under this. "Angel," the shortest song on the album, not counting the two bonus tracks on the album, clocks in at 4:56, with the second longest, "Sea of Tears," lasting just over 12 minutes. However, an attempt to escalate on that in Goldie's follow-up album, Saturnzreturn, made for an opening track that literally lasted over an hour. This kind of Epic Rocking gone overboard was arguably what killed the genre's success in the UK.
Ricardo Villalobos is known in techno circles for going on nearly forever. His debut album opened with the 10:06 "Easy Lee". His second album opened with the 14:47 "Hireklon" and closed with the 14:19 "True to Myself". He released a single, "Fizheuer Zieheuer", that goes on for 37 full minutes (accompanied by a 35 minute dub remix of the song.) Even his remixes for other artists, including BECK and Señor Coconut, are of extended length; his longest is for Moebius & Neumeier, whose "Mango Solo" went from three-and-a-half minutes to over 33.
E-Type's "Set The World On Fire (UK Biff & Memphis Remix)", featured on their two-disc Greatest Hits Album, is 12:45. The original extended and Amadin Boeing mixes are also rather long, at about 8 minutes each.
The KLF's album Chill Out was originally released on CD in the UK as a single, 45-minute-long track. (The US version of the album is divided into separate tracks, but still sounds exactly the same as the UK version thanks to plenty of Fading into the Next Song.)
Clan of Xymox has "Stranger"(7:41), "A Day(remix)"(9:12), "There's No Tomorrow(The Frozen Autumn Remix)"(7:52), and "Something Wrong"(7:18).
Brian Eno, as more or less the inventor of the ambient genre, has quite a few songs that fit into this. "Neroli" is almost fifty-eight minutes long, and it's not his only example. 1975's "Discreet Music" is over thirty minutes long; the longest song on Ambient 1: Music for Airports is over seventeen minutes long on some versions of the album, his first collaboration with King Crimson's Robert Fripp has two twenty-minute songs while his second had a twenty-eight minute song on the second side, "Charm (Over 'Burundi Cloud')" (a collaboration with Jon Hassell) is over twenty-one minutes long, and this list could go on for a long time if it were truly exhaustive.
"The Real Folk Blues" as found on the Vitaminless disc, a 6 minute boiling vat of hyperactive drumming, erratic lead guitar, melodic basslines, plus strings and a brass section.
"Space Lion". If there is one song that can be summed up as "epic melancholy", this is it.
"7 Minutes", frantic techno-rock that finds enough time for slow-downs and a choral section.
"Yakitori", also 7 minutes long, a jam rock track.
"Smooth In The Shell (no disc break)" technically both plays this trope straight and at the same time averts it. Even after 5 solid albums and 1 mini-album dedicated to the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack, there were still numerous songs that hadn't been covered yet, including a rap song that never even made it into the series. Smooth In The Shell was created as a limited release bonus to the fans, and included all of these unlisted leftover songs. The trope is averted in that it flows from one song to the next, as they are all technically different compositions. It plays it straight in that the entire song file is 49 minutes long without any pauses or breaks between songs, and it doesn't list the names of the songs that it covers.
And no, there isn't a broken up version of the song file either. None of the songs played within were ever given any information as to what their official song titles are. It's all just one long song.
The last battle theme of Atelier Iris 3, "Schwarzweiβ (Kiri No Mukouni Tsunagaru Sekai)", features a lot of epic instrumental work. Points for Sakuraba-san (Game composer and also a prog artist) doing the Hammond and keyboard works.
Surprisingly, Nobuo Uematsu pulled off a ridiculously epic one of these... back in the Nineties, and with a SNES game to boot. Final Fantasy VI has the longest single song in the entire Final Fantasy series, the final boss theme, Dancing Mad. Playing during the final Sequential Boss battle, which consists of four separate battles against two or more enemies per battle, Dancing Mad has a unique section for each battle, and each unique battle section loops at least once on the official version (note that if you take too long fighting one of the battles, the song will simply loop again, making the final song even longer.) The official soundtrack version clocks in at 17 minutes. The Black Mages (Uematsu's rock band) clocked that shit out at only 12, knowing that looping the movements would probably kill them, while the Distant Worlds arrangement is a bit less than 11, since it also cut the interlude before the fourth movement.
The One-Ups, a semi-famous orchestra group that played video game music, used a 13-minute arrangement as its very last concert, ever. Behold.
That game had more incredibly long songs. The ending theme uses bits from nearly every leitmotif or theme in the game, and lasts an incredible 21 minutes. This is topped (in Final Fantasy games) only by the orchestral performance of "The Dream Oath" - a 23 minute long mini-opera. Which actually has lyrics, although technical limitations kept them off the game proper. No other song in the series even comes close - the next, the ending theme to VIII, is a "mere" 13 minutes.
The Black Mages did it again. In their third album, Darkness and Starlight, the track of the same name clocks in at a second or two over fifteen and a half minutes, as it's a combination of three/four other tracks. It's also about two minutes longer than all of those tracks if they were stuck end-to-end.
Homestuck brings us "Cascade", the thirteen-minute-long Genre-Busting soundtrack to the climatic End of Act 5 for which it is named. While technically a patchwork of four different songs, they were specifically written/rewritten and meshed together to flow as one consistent piece for this purpose.
The Delta Halo Suite on Halo 2's OST is the longest piece in the series, at over 11 minutes.
Also the "Truth and Reconciliation Suite" from the Halo: Combat Evolved soundtrack, an 8:26 piece that combines several game themes including the series' main Recurring Riff.
Oblivion's Theme from Turok 2 runs for over 15 minutes before its main loop completes; it actually is composed of several loops of different lengths, according to one Youtube user's calculations, the LCM of the loops is over 208,398 years. Turok 3 also has a 19-minute song.
The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary soundtrack has two songs a bit over 10 minutes long.
The final boss track of Persona 4, The Genesis, is nearly 8 minutes long with no looping. It's one of the longest tracks in Shin Megami Tensei history, if not the longest.
Portal 2 makes use of procedurally generated music, which is produced in real time by the game's engine (the extra melodies made while the player accomplishs a task, for example.) Mike Morasky, the game's composer, said that one piece of music "only repeats itself every 76,911 years, 125 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes and 30.3 seconds." The soundtrack naturally contained excerpts of all of these pieces.
Doom 64 uses an ambient soundtrack, and makes use of this trope quite often because of it, with three of the tracks reaching 17 minutes each.
Justified in RayCrisis. The arcade version, as well as the home ports' Original Mode, have background tracks that are 11 to 16 minutes long each. This is because the same track plays for four of the five stages you play each playthrough, or in the case of the home ports, jumps from one section to the next when moving to a boss or the next stage. Extra Mode in the home ports goes further, with a 23-minute and 18-second track, designed to accomodate the usage of two more stages.
Hell March by Frank Klepacki from Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Over six minutes long, and about halfway through it changes from metal to an ambient electronica.
Frank Zappa doesn't quite fit squarely into any genre, but some of his songs clocked in at over 20 minutes, most notably the song "Billy The Mountain", a song about a mountain that tries to go on vacation with his wife, a tree named Ethel, but his large size leaves a path of destruction in his wake. There was a loose sequel entitled "The Adventures of Greggary Peccary", which is of similar length and possibly even better. He also wrote complex jazz pieces like "Willie the Pimp" or "Son of Mr. Green Genes".
A pre-album live incarnation of "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" (made popular by a bootleg recorded at an Australian show) stretched to an astounding 45-minutes in length. This massive version encompassed the brief song later known as "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Nanook Rubs It", multiple variations on "St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" and "Father O'Blivion", and a twenty-minute instrumental portion called "Farther O'Blivion."
Havalina Rail Co., whose style can best be described as "eclectic", have a few. "New Song" is 7 minutes of accordion swing-pop; "Bullfrog" is a 7-minute hybrid of bluegrass and jam-rock; "Let's Not Forget Hawaii" is a 6-minute Hawaiian steel guitar ballad; "Rivers of Russia" is a 7-minute violin-piano duet; the live-in-the-studio version of "You Got Me Cry'n" takes what would otherwise be a pop song and drops 4 minutes of organ and guitar solos into the bridge, stretching the whole thing to 8 minutes long; and the 6-minute "Space, Love, and Bullfighting Suite" veers between theremin noodling, Wurlitzer jamming, mariachi violin, and acoustic guitar accompanied by bird calls.
Devil Doll, just listen any song from them, most last at least one hour.
Foetus has "Slung", which is notably an 11 minute swing song in the middle of an album that otherwise sticks to an industrial rock sound.
You may also include "Negative Energy" from Jim Thirwell's You've Got Foetus On Your Breath era, clocking at 15:55, although the last 12 or so minutes are just sustained feedback.
A lot of songs by Vernian Process, especially those outside of the LP Behold the Machine. From that album however, there is the nearly fourteen minute instrumental "The Maiden Flight".
BECK has done this a few times in different genres.
"Heartland Feeling" on Golden Feelings is a 7:11 spoken word section followed by a folk song.
"Bonus Noise" is a rather experimental noise track from Stereopathetic Soulmanure that clocks in at 16:40 (although the first 5 minutes are silence).
"The Horrible Fanfare/Landslide/Exoskeleton" is the three-part 10:36 conclusion to The Information, the first part fitting with the hip hop theme of the album, "Landslide" is a more rock-oriented song, and "Exoskeleton" is a Mind Screw conversation set to droning keyboards.
Van Morrison is capable of dragging a song out once the Muse takes him. "Madame George" - almost ten minutes. "Haunts of Ancient Peace" - thirteen minutes. The admittedly mellow and rather good "Autumn Song" - eleven minutes. his cover of "It's All In The Game" - fourteen minutes. "Listen to the Lion" - eleven minutes. "Almost Independence Day" - ten minutes. And so on. It's worth noting that at least half of the songs on Astral Weeks qualify for this trope.
Jesus Christ Superstar was originally just the concept-album, and it is regarded by some people as being the best version (I mean, it has Ian Gillan and Murray Head as Jesus and Judas, respectively!). From "Overture" (the beginning of the album), "Heaven on Their Minds", "What's the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying", and "Everything's Alright" are all performed as one extremely long song, clocking in at about 17 minutes (!)
Lateralus by Tool. The songs are plenty long (more than half are 6 minutes or longer), but the real whopper is the album itself, at 78 minutes and 58 seconds.
"The manufacturer wlek are perhaps unusual among hip-hop groups in that while they are a vocal group, they also have a strong emphasis on instrumental passages. (They're also unusual among hip-hop groups for their sound, but that's another story...)
ould only guarantee us up to 79 minutes... We thought we'd give them two seconds of breathing room." - Danny Carey
Most of their other records are also over 75 minutes long.
All of Michael Jackson's post-Bad records.
Madonna's Erotica is over 75 minutes long on the explicit version.
Janet Jackson's Janet and The Velvet Rope.
Christina Aguilera's Stripped.
Light of Day, Day of Darkness by Green Carnation
Misplaced Childhood, Brave and Marbles (especially the double-disc version) by Marillion.
Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
Bryan Adams' Waking Up the Neighbors is nearly 75 minutes long, but at nearly half that length, Reckless is still more epic in the eyes of some fans.
Lifeforms, ISDN and Dead Cities by Future Sound of London.
After Bathing at Baxter's by Jefferson Airplane, divided into several suites by the band.
The suite on side two of Abbey Road by The Beatles, if taken as one song.
Sufjan Stevens. Nearly all of his albums are at least an hour long. Songs for Christmas, Vol V clocked in at a mere 11 tracks and 35 minutes; most would consider this a full album, but he marketed it as an EP. Also marketed as an EP was All Delighted People, which clocks in at 59 minutes.
Dream Theater's A Change of Seasons is classified as an EP, but it's nearly an hour long. The band didn't want people (or their record company) to think they were releasing a studio album, so they stuffed in the live covers (The Big Medley itself fits this trope) and labeled it an EP.
Three out of the four full-length albums by Japanese doom metal band Corrupted contain only 1 song, the shortest (!) clocking in at 41 minutes.
The Fantômas album Delìrium Còrdia contains only one song, which lasts for 74:17. The last 20 or so of those minutes consist of the sound of a record's run-out groove, but still...
Bruce Springsteen's The River, and, more recently, The Rising.
Devil Doll's (the real Italo-Slovenian band, not the American band) shortest song clocks right a bit more than 20 minutes. They released a total of five albums, which contained a total of six songs (seven if you count the easter egg at the end of The Girl Who Was... Death). Their last album was divided in several tracks/parts, but it's still one single piece of music.
Fate's Warning's "A Pleasant Shade Of Grey", which was originally meant to be one song, but split up into 6 songs.
Sandinista! by The Clash. A triple-LP lasting nearly two and a half hours.
Mike Oldfield often does one-song albums, such as Tubular Bells (source of the famous theme from The Exorcist) and Amarok (that being a CD instead of an LP, lasts 60 minutes!)
U2's Rattle and Hum.
Every album by Summoning (bar their first one, Lugburz). Most of their songs are 7 minutes or more, but special mention goes to "Land of the Dead", a beautifully melancholic piece that goes on for 13 minutes.
Yes: Relayer. 3 songs. at 40:28. "The Gates of Delirium" alone is over 20 minutes long.
This is nothing new to the band. 1972's Close to the Edge had three songs. The title track (18:43) took up an entire side, "And You and I" (10:08) and "Siberian Khatru" (8:55) filled the record out.
Tales from Topographic Oceans. Each song is about 20 minutes on its own. As said above, however, it's also marred for being one of the worst, most excessive albums in prog-rock. The fandom is... split.
This is positively tiny compared to The Keys to Ascension, a double double album from the 90s consisting one part studio tracks (two of which were nearly 20 minutes long) and two parts live recordings. iTunes put the two double albums together into one titanic super-set, resulting in an album that contains 218 minutes worth of music.
All of Eminem's album's starting with The Marshall Mathers LP
Oasis's Be Here Now, only three songs on this twelve-song album are under five minutes (that includes a two minute instrumental reprise), the lead single ('D'You Know What I Mean?') was 7:42 (the first minute consisting of pretty much feedback), the second ('Stand By Me') was just shy of 6 minutes and the third ('All Around The World') was 9:20 on the album and extended to 9:38 on the single, making it the longest song to ever reach number 1 in the UK.
Chris Butler's "The Devil Glitch", at 69 minutes.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery. The main track on the album called "Karn Evil 9" is nearly half an hour long, and is split over 2 sides of the album (the entire second side is devoted to the track, but there is a part on the first side).
Iron Maiden, A Matter of Life and Death. Eight of the ten songs are at least 6:30 in length (the other two are at least 4:30), with some over 9 minutes. And it works, interestingly enough...the songs are grand and sweeping and well-done. Not bad for a band in its fourth decade of activity (it was released in 2006).
The following album, The Final Frontier, is similar, eventually clocking at 76 minutes, and having an 11-minute long song.
Japanese drone/stoner metal band Boris has a few: Absolutego is one 65-minute song; Flood is one 70-minute song; and Feedbacker is a 43-minute suite.
Several Klaus Schulze albums, such as Timewind and Moondawn, both of which consist of two 30-minute-a-piece tracks. The Special Edition of Timewind includes a bonus disc with the 40-minute "Echoes of Time"(a prototype of "Bayreuth Return").
Vladislav Delay's Anima album, which consists of a single 62-minute experimental ambient track.
Most of the tracks on Blue Amazon's The Javelin album are 11-16 minutes long, and they are seamlessly mixed together on certain versions.
Sasha's Xpander EP. All of the tracks, except for the radio edit of the title track, are about 10-12 minutes in length. Although designated an EP, it is just long enough to qualify as a full-length album.
BT's unsung debut album Ima has "Sasha's Voyage of Ima", a 42-minute nonstop megamix of the album's songs mixed by the aformentioned Sasha. Most of the standalone songs are also quite long, for example the two-part "Loving You More" is a total of 13 minutes; "Blue Skies", another two-parter, is 17 minutes; and "Divinity" is 11 minutes. They don't call it "epic house" for nothing.
ESCM also has several 8-10 minute pieces, as well as crossfading most of the album. The UK edition of Movement in Still Life is a continuous DJ-style mix.
Jeffrey Fayman and Robert Fripp's A Temple in the Clouds collaboration, which uses Fripp's "Frippertronics" guitar loops, consists of a 15 minute track (The Pillars of Hercules), a 30 minute track(the title track), and two 4-minute interludes(The Sky Below and The Stars Below).
Most of the tracks on BT's 2-disc These Hopeful Machines album are over the 10-minute mark, and both discs are also gapless.
Freaky Chakra's Lowdown Motivator and Moonroof Operator albums each have several long multiple-track suites, while FC vs. Single Cell Orchestra and Blacklight Fantasy segues all of their songs into gapless mixes. As for the songs themselves, "Peace Fixation" and "Light Dark Light" from the first album are 14:07 and 10:30, respectively.
Lindstrom's Where You Go I Go Too features 3 songs over 55 minutes, which is outlandish even by disco standards.
While Metallica are used to long songs and all their albums could be considered epics for it, when you consider sheer length, everything after The Black Album is over 70 minutes (Load manages to peak at 78:59. And that's after shortening one of the songs!).
Then comes the infamous Lulu with Lou Reed, which is long enough to be spread across two disks. 5 songs are over 7 minutes long (3 of which are over 11 minutes').
Anything by ambient electronica group Dilate. Cyclos had to have its songs compressed to fit on a single CD, while Octagon is a 2 1/2 hour double album. Most of the songs are over 10 minutes long.
Swans had a habit of doing this on live albums and on later studio albums. White Light from the Mouth of Infinity doesn't feature a single song under 5 minutes in length. Public Castration Is a Good Idea features lengthy, huge-sounding live renditions of works from their mid-80s albums (with three songs exceeding ten minutes in length), Swans Are Dead is a collection of two epic shows from tours they performed near the end of their career (with six songs exceeding ten minutes in length), and Soundtracks for the Blind, oft considered their Magnum Opus by fans, is a two-and-a-half-hour double CD of lengthy, dark, atmospheric post-rock epics (with four songs exceeding ten minutes in length).
The band's 2012 opus The Seer, which has supplanted Soundtracks for the Blind as their Magnum Opus for many fans, takes these tendencies to the extreme, with three songs exceeding nineteen minutes and the title track exceeding thirty-two. Live, they're often even longer.
Dream Theater are no strangers to epic music, but they really took it to an extreme with Black Clouds and Silver Linings. With only 6 songs, the album clocks in at over 75 minutes, with 4 songs clocking in at over 10 minutes.
Miles Davis's Pangaea has only two songs: "Gondwana" (46 minutes) and "Zimbabwe" (41 minutes). It's not the only example in his discography either. Perhaps the most extreme is Get Up With It, which lasts for over two hours despite having only eight songs (two of which exceeded 32 minutes).
Psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple frequently does this, with their debut being a 53-minute song. It ends with two minutes of loud beeping.
DJ mixes, particularly Trance and House, aim to crossfade songs together to avoid any breaks. The end result is that the transitions between songs are easier to ignore, resulting in a 70+ minute "song".
Many electronica artist albums, some of which are mentioned above, are also crossfaded or seamlessly mixed.
The Pet Shop Boys' Introspective album, which includes "Always On My Mind/In My House"(9:05), "Domino Dancing"(7:40), "Left to My Own Devices"(8:16), and "It's Alright"(9:24).
Showbread's "Anorexia Nervosa" is over 90 minutes of music.
The Blood Brother's "Young Machetes" comes in right at an hour.
Mike Oldfield's Amarok, Tubular Bells, Ommadawn, Hergest Ridge and Incantations.
Vangelis' Voices. Opens with the 7:01 title track, which is followed by the 8:25 Echoes. The 7:53 Ask the Mountains, the 6:41 Losing Sleep and the 5:56 Dream in an Open Place are also present.
Juno Reactor's Luciana is one of the "album-length single" type, containing a single 61 minute track, which is pushing it even by ambient/dark ambient standards.
Faunts' M4 is officially an EP, and priced as such. To be fair, it does only have 5 songs. It's still 39.2 minutes long, pretty much full album length. There is only 1 song under 7 minutes long.
Emilie Autumn 's Laced/Unlaced CD/Collection comes to 1 hour. 47 minutes. and 31 seconds and it plays as a standard album on iTunes. Epic Rocking, Long elaborate songs, covers and her own masterpieces...
Sound Horizon's Moira is just two minutes shy of a full hour and a half. While this is impressive in of itself, Revo's commented that the album is more or less a single song that was broken up into sections for practical reasons.
Moonsorrow's Viides Luku - Hävitetty lasts 56 minutes and 29 seconds. Okay, that's short for an album, but the shortest track lasts over 26 minutes.
The band's EP Tulimyrsky has five tracks and lasts sixty-eight minutes (yes, it's longer than many of their albums). However, two of those songs are re-recordings and two are covers. The one new song is over half an hour in length.
Moonsorrow in general is prone to this. Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa only has four proper songs (there are also three short ambient interludes) and the shortest of them is 11:43; the album lasts for over an hour. Verisäkeet has five songs, the shortest being 8:19 and the longest being 19:28; the album lasts for over seventy minutes.
Autechre's Untilted has eight tracks, most at least 8 minutes in length, with its piece de resistance, Sublimit, clocking in at 15:56.
Their four-EP set Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae clocks in at a total of 2 hours and 29 minutes, including the 58 minute "Perlence subrange 6-36" listed above. This EP was a companion to the album Quaristice, which was already 73 minutes long, as well as Quaristice (Versions), another 68 minutes.
Exai, their latest, is a total of 2 hours 10 minutes.
The Downward Spiral and The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails. Especially the latter, which is a double album.
Kesto (234.48:4), by the Finnish experimental techno duo Pan Sonic, lasts for exactly 234 minutes and 48 seconds (nearly four hours), as the title suggests. It is split over four discs, the last of which is comprised of a single hour-long song.
Robert Rich's Somnium is a seven-hour ambient album made up of three tracks, the shortest of which being just under two hours. The idea behind such a lengthy album is for it to be listened to during sleep, starting as the listener settles down to sleep and ending with birdsong intended to wake the listener up.
Ricardo Villalobos goes for maximum groove. His three albums, in order: Alcachofa, 77:36; Thé au Harem d'Archimede, 86:14; Dependant and Happy, 116:15. Even his singles and E Ps are of enormous length: 72:39 for single Fizheuer Zieheuer (two 30+ minute songs) and 70:04 for EP Vasco.
Not Bleeding Red by Nothing But Noise, an ambient side project of Front 242, is a total of 96 minutes, and two of the tracks clock over 18 minutes in length.
Binary Finary's The Lost Tracks is 2.3 hours long, and the download includes a 1 hr 43 min DJ mix track of the songs.
Parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic, repeatedly: "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota", "Genius in France", "Nature Trail to Hell", "Albuquerque", "Trapped in the Drive-Thru", "Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me", "You Don't Love Me Anymore".
"You Don't Love Me Anymore" isn't a true example; the song is only 4 minutes long. It just looks longer on a CD thanks to the 10 minute filler for the bonus track "Bite me", which is just a cacophony of screaming and instrument bashing designed to scare anyone who accidentally left their CD player on after the song ended.
Jello Biafra/ Ministry side project Lard have "70's Rock Must Die", which lyrically is a rant against 70's nostalgia, and musically is 7 minutes of parodying 70's hard rock tropes (gratuitous cowbell, endless guitar soloing, a Power Ballad style bridge, vocal histrionics, an overly repetitive chorus, and of course a Big Rock Ending). They also have straight examples with the 7 and a half minute "The Power Of Lard", the 15 minute "I Am Your Clock" and the 32 minute "Time To Melt" (the latter two don't really go through a lot of changes though, they're just deliberately punishingly slow)
Parodied in a season one episode of Flight of the Conchords, when Bret writes a love song for his girlfriend, Coco, and asks Jemaine to critique it. When he sings it for Jemaine, the camera keeps cutting to moments that clearly happened several minutes later as Jemaine moved around the apartment until a final cut when Bret finished singing. Jemaine's first complaint is the two hour length of the song. Parodied again in a season two episode when the duo is commissioned to write a jingle for a 30 second toothpaste commercial, but wind up turning in an eighteen minute ballad.
Parodied in Saturday Night Live in "The Tom Arnold and Madonna Story" where Tom Arnold submits his record for publishing and the first complaint of the record company executives is that his Johnny Be Good cover lasts 9 and a half minutes... and that's the shortest track on the whole record.
Parodied again on the same show years later by Jack Black and the cast; in an attempt to make a response to the overly trite birthday song everyone knows and hates, a 7-minute "epic" was written with plenty of pretentious lyrics set to a mixture of medieval and progressive rock, full of druids and witches, and signifying... nothing.
"The most unwanted song" by "Komar & Melamid and Dave Soldier". Its length supposedly contributes to its unwantedness.
Referenced in Rock Band World. One goal is named "Play For Long Time", and you have to play some of the longest songs in the Rock Band catalogue.
Given the fact that the file size of MOD files is determined more by the instruments included in the file than by the actual song data, it's not too surprising that quite a few Demoscene compositions are very long pieces when played back.
MIDI files and Chiptunes can also produce long playbacks from small files.
"SSI Intro" by Purple Motion of the Future Crew is 11:52. "Progressive Funk" by Moby(not thatMoby) is also 12 minutes.