A Longish List of Long Songs That Are Totally Worth Your Time

As you might have read yesterday, we’re going quietly bananas over the new Swans record, which is definitely our favorite album of August and quite possibly our favorite thus far of 2012. It’s also home to two tracks that clock in at above 20 minutes long, one other that’s just over 19 minutes, and a couple more that push 10 minutes. Songs that long are always a risky proposition — the whole idea of the ultra-lengthy epic is often associated with prog and its multitude of sins, but the realms of a 10-minute-plus song are also home to some of our absolute favorites. Here’s a nice long selection to get the discussion started — what did we miss? (If you say “Stairway to Heaven” we reserve the right to trace your IP and throw fish food at your window.)

Swans — “The Seer”

Ye gods, how long is it? 32 minutes and 14 seconds!

As we noted yesterday, the title track to the new Swans album is over half an hour long. It’s a brooding, slow-building epic that doesn’t waste a single second of its 30-minute-plus running time. Interestingly enough, the effect is most reminiscent of some of the electronic songs on this list, based more around rhythms and repetition and subtle variations on a theme than on any sort of conceptions of melody or traditional song structure.