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I was talking to a friend recently, and we somehow got on the conversation of song length. He was surprised to learn that I had a fair number of songs over seven minutes long in my iTunes library, noting that he didn’t have many longer than four. He didn’t think he had the attention span to listen to such a long song, which sparked the question: how long is a “long song?”

I took some data from the Billboard Hot 100 lists and, using my AP Statistics knowledge, pieced together some answers. My final result was this: to be an outlier, a song had to be around six and a half to seven minutes long.

In honor of this discovery and in order to show off my calculation skills, I’ve compiled a list of my twenty favorite “long songs.”

20. LCD Soundsystem- Dance Yrself Clean

My personal favorite LCD Soundsystem track; it builds up to the perfect groove.

19. Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Monki

I love a good bassline. This track has an eerie feel to it that I like, too.

18. Susanne Sundøfr- Rome

Sundfør is one of my favorite vocalists, and “Rome” is a beautiful example of her work.

17. Massive Attack- Protection

I’m a huge Massive Attack fan, and this song is a masterpiece.

16. Lotus Plaza- Come Back

It’s written in the stars I’ll love everything Lockett Pundt ever does.

15. Julia Holter- City Appearing

Let’s just say I’m honored to share a first name with Julia Holter.

14. Spiritualized- I Think I’m In Love

I love the soft opening to this song, and then the layers of sound that are continuously added.

13. Lana Del Rey- Cruel World

Say what you want about Lana- this track is objectively very good.

12. Pavement- Fillmore Jive

I NEEEEEED TO SLEEEEP……

11. Girls- Carolina

Girls shine in their sprawling tracks such as this, from their beautiful Broken Hearts Club EP.

10. Mogwai- Two Rights Make One Wrong

My favorite Mogwai song. Something about it just keeps drawing me in.

9. Devendra Banhart- Seahorse

A perfect example of a creeps-up-on-you type of song.

8. Interpol- Specialist

“Specialist” was left off Interpol’s debut because it was too long. Unfortunate- it’s incredible.

7. Blur- Tender

Try listening to this without wanting to sway back and forth. TRY.

6. Jeff Buckley- Lover, You Should’ve Come Over

From one of my favorite albums ever; a gorgeous and emotional piece.

5. Deerhunter- He Would Have Laughed

Speaking of emotional….

4. Warpaint- Stars

So delicate and dreamy.

3. Deerhunter- Desire Lines

One of my all-time favorites. The outro is otherworldly.

2. Sonic Youth- The Diamond Sea

At almost twenty minutes long, “The Diamond Sea” is one of Sonic Youth’s best.

1. Interpol- Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down

I once saw someone write of this song, “I didn’t know a post-punk ballad could exist, but it does, and it’s beautiful.”

Listen below:

 

 

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