Are Long Songs Dead?

youtube.com/watch?v=wT7dciHZGfg

Caleb Kunz

Music, the one thing that entertains people more than books and movies. They have great melodies, they make you smile, they make you cry, but above all, they make you feel good. In recent years, music has started to drift away and it hasn’t been as special as it used to be. I want to focus on one part of music that may be dead: Long Songs. Most songs nowadays are about 2 to 4 minutes long, when back in a time like the 80s a lot of songs were 6 to 10 minutes or more. Today I decided to ask that big question, “Are long songs dead, and do people enjoy listening to long songs anymore?”  The person I decided to interview was Hallie Kirby.  “What’s the longest popular song you’ve heard?” she responded with “Fine Line by Harry Styles.” Sounds like a good song, especially considering it’s Harry Styles, one of the few good singers nowadays. “How long do you think it was?” She said, “Like 10 minutes.” That’s a good amount of time for a long song. “Do you think a song can be longer?”, “Sure, as long as it is good” I agree with that, “Do you think 6 minutes is too long?” “Nope” what she said is a good response because what was said in the movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody” about 6 minutes being too long is pretty stupid because it is one of the greatest rock songs of all time. “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, came out 3 to 4 years before “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and it was 8 minutes long and no one made a fuss about it. “Do you think 8 minutes is too long?” “Nope depends on the song,” I think she’s right. “Do you think 10 minutes is too long?”, “Maybe.” Yeah, 10 minutes can be too long but the longest song she had heard was 10 minutes. “What about 20 minutes?” Her eyes went wide as she said, “Too long, I think it could get boring.” Yeah, it could get boring but sometimes it can be exciting. “Would you believe me if I told you that there are songs that are the length of all of those?” “Yes, that doesn’t surprise me.” “Would you believe me if I told you that there is a rock song from the 70s that is 20 minutes long?” “Yes, I would.” Some people would know that but a lot of the younger generations wouldn’t. The song is called “2112” by Rush, a rock band with probably the best drummer ever, R.I.P. Neil Peart, and the song is 20:33 long, I’d recommend that you check it out. “Did you know that there is a band nowadays that has songs that are 10 minutes?”, “I believe I have heard that.” It’s a band called Tool; they became a band in the 90s but they recently released a new album called “Fear Inoculum” where almost all their songs are 10 minutes or more. I then asked a big question: “Why do you think a song would be that long?” “To get out all that they are thinking and to make it catchy.” Yeah, those are really good reasons, one reason I would add is that back then, and with some artists nowadays, people didn’t want the songs to end they wanted it to go on and on and on. “Do you think that having a song longer makes it better?”, “Not necessarily, it depends on the vibes.” She’s not wrong, if the vibe of the song is good then it could make it better. “Do you think that having a song longer makes it more boring?” “No, if it’s not too repetitive.” Dang, that might be one problem I have with a lot of songs nowadays, they are very repetitive. I then decided to spice it up a bit and asked “Would you rather listen to a 3-minute song 3 times or listen to a 10-minute song once?” “A three-minute song that is good.” She’s got a point there, because sometimes listening to a really good 3-minute song is fun, and other times listening to a 10-minute song once can be fun too. “But they are almost the same, right?”, “Ya they are, but it depends on the song” that is a really good point. I decided to conclude by asking “What’s the difference?” And she gave a good final response. “The lyrics and feelings of the songs” that is probably one big problem I have with some songs nowadays. The lyrics are just not good, they don’t make you feel good, and they are all very similar. Many also have raps and a million f-bombs in them. Back then, it was rare to find a swear in a song. My biggest problem with a lot of songs nowadays is probably what the song is about. Back then, artists had a lot of passion for music and they would tell a story.  It may have been a relatable story, an epic fantasy, or contained a life lesson; they were beautiful. Nowadays they just say screw it I’m gonna sing about drugs and sex and let’s just use autotune so we sound better. If the artist is a girl, her videos will most likely be given a “porn look.” Videos used to be fun and interesting, or simply capture a concert. The music video for “Take On Me” by A-ha was a comic book and someone from the real world. The music video for “Beat it” by Michael Jackson is about 2 gangs fighting and Michael stopping it. Those are some reasons why I think music back then was great and why a lot of music nowadays is bad, and why sometimes making a song longer can help, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.