Top 10 Longest Rock Songs We Can Remember

Back in November of 1971, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Led Zeppelin[/lastfm]’s record label, Atlantic, released a promotional single of “Stairway to Heaven” to radio stations. At 8 minutes long, it found occasional late-night play on AM radio. But, on FM, long was strong and the record was a “hit.”

With that as inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Longest Rock Songs We Can Remember.

10. “Pirates”/[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Emerson Lake & Palmer[/lastfm] (13:20)

Abandoning the science-fiction themes of earlier lengthy numbers such as “Tarkus” and “Karn Evil 9,” “Pirates” is a swashbuckling tale of adventure on the high seas based almost entirely on pirate movies. Inspirational lyric line: “Fill the night with paradise/Bring me peach and peacock til I burst.” (JA)

9. “157 Riverside Avenue”/[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]REO Speedwagon[/lastfm] (12:27)

We pretty much barred live cuts from consideration  because we didn’t want a list of ten 65-minute [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Grateful Dead[/lastfm] songs. But, here’s the exception: Before they kept on lovin’ you, REO were one of the better boogie bands on the rock and roll circuit, witnessed here. (MV)

8. “Loan Me a Dime”/[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Boz Scaggs[/lastfm] (12:31)

Recorded in 1969 with a then-unknown [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Duane Allman[/lastfm] on lead guitar, “Loan Me a Dime” got Boz sued by blues singer Fenton Robinson, who claimed the right to a composer credit, which he received. Produced by Rolling Stone founder/publisher Jann Wenner. (JA)

7. “The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet”/[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Mothers of Invention[/lastfm] (12:22)

Freak Out! was the debut album by Zappa and the Mothers. One of the first “concept” albums, one of the first double albums and, supposedly, an influence on the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Beatles[/lastfm]’ Sgt. Pepper, Freak Out! closed with this freak out, subtitled “Unfinished Ballet in Two Tableaux.” Like cheese, it was probably tastier at the time of its release but still stands up with age (though it takes courage to imbibe). (MV)

6. “Kuiama”/[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Electric Light Orchestra[/lastfm] (11:19)

From Electric Light Orchestra II, released in 1973, and the longest track ELO ever recorded. A remarkably depressing number about the experiences of a soldier and a war orphan he meets, presumably in Vietnam. (JA)


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