Another flippin’ top ten! ‘Ow ’bout that.
I listen to music fairly regularly now, and do enjoy the odd odyssey of a song from time to time, but that wasn’t always the case. When I was a filthy casual, I shuddered at the thought of listening to the same song for more than 3 minutes, what a pleb I was. However, that is no longer the case, as I now accept the challenge and have found enough of these effort requirers to make a top ten.
Criteria are as follows, any song from any genre is allowed, so perhaps a lil’ bit o’ the hip-hop may make an appearance. As the name of the article alludes to, the songs need to pass the six-minute mark, be it by a few seconds or a few minutes. The reason the criteria is six minutes is because I couldn’t find enough songs over seven minutes, ’cause I’m still a bit of a pleb. Oh, and one song per artist, as always, y’dingus.
10. Paradise City – Guns N Roses (6:49)
We kick the list off with probably the second most recognisable song on it. From the first strums of the wonderfully 80s guitar, you know what you’re in for and GNR doesn’t fail to deliver. With Axl “fat Keith Lemon” (please don’t sue us) Rose weaving a brilliant poem with some of the best songwriting coming out the decade, and being as top-notch vocally as he always is, there is an undeniable swagger about the track. That, along with Slash’s riff-mastery, Steven Adler’s hi-hat heavy drumming and a couple of cheeky lil’ guitar solos, make this one of Guns N Roses’ best and most memorable songs.
9. God Is In The Radio – Queens Of The Stone Age (6:04)
In my Songs For The Deaf review, I noted that this is a very uneasy track, which it definitely is. This feeling of paranoia that is felt throughout the track mixes perfectly with the rest of the album. Thanks to the guest vocals from Mark Lanegan, of Screaming Trees fame, whose cleaner vocals are extremely on-point, the rest of the band are perfectly tuned to this haunting sound. With an odd-sounding but awesome bassline, a catchy riff and a perfect example of marching drum patterns. This is emphasised even more by the little bits and pieces added to the song, like Lanegan’s uneasy mumblings, which really bring the song to a high standard.
8. Turn It Again – Red Hot Chili Peppers (6:06)
It was only a matter o’ time, weren’t it? Yes, of course, The Chili Peppers were making an appearance and I’m excited because I haven’t been able to write about them since about mid-June when we had that lil’ celebration. Turn It Again serves as one of the highlights of the decidedly more funky side of Stadium Arcadium, Mars. Starting with a top-notch high-pitched riff, John Frusciante guides the track with his noodly guitar playing, along with Chad Smith’s offbeat drumming. Flea gives a great, albeit subtle, bass performance and Anthony Kiedis offers a forgettable but tolerable vocals. However, the choruses are where Frusciante’s guitar playing hit the legendary status I love so dearly, busting out one of the best solos this side of Dani California.
7. The Message – Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five (7:12)
Well god damn. The first exposure of hip-hop on this website and it’s from the whitest of the bunch, how about that! The Message signifies everything I love about the genre, a great groove and brilliant wordsmithing, in particular. The lyrics, delivered with expert timing by a furious one (I dunno), tell a brilliant story of one man’s grievances and how he is metaphorically “on the edge”. Wow, that might be the nerdiest description of a hip-hop song. If you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go steal my own lunch money.
6. Knights Of Cydonia – Muse (6:07)
With a two-minute long intro, it’s no wonder that Muse’s western-sci-fi masterpiece is eligible for this list. However, it may surprise you that it only barely made it, as it sounds so remarkably epic. The merging of genres and influences in this track makes it my personal favourite of theirs, no part in thanks to the amalgamation of sounds. Whereas Muse are renowned for making such a layered sound with a three-piece band, it is never more evident than in this one. The subtle influences help the electronic undertones of this song become more prominent than expected. However, the most notable thing on the song is amazing riffage going on from an extremely on-point Matt Bellamy, playing a guitar part that serves as a reminder of why the band is so great.
5. Metatron – The Mars Volta (8:11)
And to think that I didn’t even like this band until two weeks ago. Indeed, when I first listened to The Mars Volta all I heard was noise, let alone crap music. However, two years and a dramatic taste change later and we’ve got this beast of a song on this list. I say “beast” in a very literal sense as it is a song that requires understanding and respect before you can even begin to enjoy it. As an outsider to the prog rock genre, I find the simpler things more impressive about this song. Like Knights Of Cydonia, I found the loose riffage from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez to be absolutely awesome, as well as the entire key the song is in. On top of that, we have the unique vocals of Cedric Bixler-Zavala in absolutely stunning form. Seeing that the song’s bridge is, in and of itself, another song, followed by another song, within another song, it’s no wonder it takes up a good 8 minutes to experience.
4. Closer – Nine Inch Nails (6:13)
Before we begin, no, I’m not a fan of industrial rock, so no need to worry. That being said, I’m a huge fan of this seminal industrial track. Technically, it is one of the best produced, most layered tracks I’ve had the privilege of hearing. Unlike the rest of the songs on this list, the length of the track is neither here nor there, it’s just a coincidence. Thanks to the eerie, electronic sound, perverse and poetic lyrics delivered by an obviously aroused Trent Reznor, this song could be 3 minutes or 3 hours long and I’d love it all the same.
3. Rose Tint My World – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (8:18)
Ok. I can sense you all judging me. If you’re not a fan of Rocky Horror, feel free to skip this entry. If not, however, you’ll agree that this is a top notch song in its own right. Serving as a musical synopsis of the already amazing film, Rose Tint My World goes through each of the characters, giving a different point of view to the events of the film, with Columbia, Rocky, Brad and Janet all giving their take. After the “don’t dream it, be it” bridge, the song pumps it up to an infectious chorus finally culminating with Riff-Riff and Magenta holding Frank hostage. The music is nothing to slouch at either, being a perfect mixture of tempos to suit the shifting mood of the song. I could go on for ages, but I won’t. GOD, that felt good.
2. Freedom – Rage Against The Machine (6:06)
A fan favourite from Rage, Freedom embodies everything the band’s about- a strong political message. Musically, however, it shows a great range of different moods. The starts off with your typical RATM fare, loudness accompanied by “urgh!”s and “yeah!”s, you know, the basics. We also get a couple of sweet-ass solos from the Morrellomeister, who also provides a marvellously bouncy riff that couples perfectly with Brad Wilk’s smashing drums, and when I say smashing drums, I mean SMA-SHING, son. Providing a great backbone for the song is Tim Commerford’s, or Timmy C as I have actually seen him be called, bass, which in no small part gives it that underlying funk. However, centering the track is lyrical stylings of De La Rocha, who follows the standard “loud, quiet, loud, silent, loud, URRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHH” as well as some my favourite Rage quotes in “bring that sh*t in!”, which might be one of the coolest lines in the history of music. And that’s only No. 2.
Bet you wanna know what’s No. 1, you can find out IN A MINUTE!
Warsaw, Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up – Them Crooked Vultures (7:50)
Heroes – David Bowie (6:10)
Sir Psycho Sexy – Red Hot Chili Peppers (8:16)
Bat Out Of Hell – Meat Loaf (9:52)
Looking For Something – Paolo Nutini (6:22)
New Born – Muse (6:03)
A Song For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age (6:42)
Goliath – The Mars Volta (7:15)
I cannae be bothered to do a witty message.
1. Rapper’s Delight – The Sugar Hill Gang (14:45)
Another hip-hop song? At No.1? Wow-wee. Perhaps, for me, the greatest song in the history of the genre, Rapper’s Delight is one of the songs that popularised hip-hop in the eighties. Now, however, it serves as a shining example of Old School Hip-Hop, my favourite sub-genre. Side-note, I am talking about the long version, with 10 extra minutes of groovy goodness. Though musically, it breathed life into the word “funk”, lyrically is where it obviously shines. Wonder Mike, Master Gee and Big Bank Hank all take equal turns blowing your tiny mind with rhymes so fresh, so unintelligibly random, that you’ll never want it to end. With samples from an also decidedly funky song in “Le Freak”, an instantly recognisable hook and lines for days, Rapper’s Delight is not only the longest song on the list, it’s also undeniably the best.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations