Long Songs: An Interpretation
As many of you know, I tend to prefer songs in excess of 8 or 10 minutes, maybe even in the 20-80 minute range. Many people within the RBF enjoy them. Why, may I ask? First off, here are three of my ideas of why some songs are a little longer.
1. Jamming/Improvisation. This is really relevant within live recordings and jazz, but sometimes bands take it a little far in the studio as well.
Deep Purple - Space Truckin' (Live in Japan)
Yes - The Gates of Delirium
Miles Davis - Pharoah's Dance
2. Establishing a musical idea. Within genres such as progressive rock, an idea may be spread out over a long period of time, usually to tell a story lyrically and musically. Concept albums with songs segueing into each other fall under this category.
Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence
Transatlantic - The Whirlwind
Iron Maiden - Rime of the Ancient Mariner
3. Musician spotlights. If one member of the band just really cuts loose all the time, recordings usually accommodate a solo of their instrument.
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird
The Doors - Light My Fire
Now, why do people tend to look down upon the longer songs? I've heard some people complain that "It's too repetitive" (ie Ideal 3, with repetitive rhythm sections) or "I just can't pay attention to a song that long". Is it because the typical listener has been trained to enjoy songs within the 3-6 minute threshold due to popular fare, or is it something else?
Before you go bashing on me for trying to sound like an expert on this, I'm really not. This was just a thought I had earlier, and I wanted to hear some opinions on it.