Yes, there are many long songs out there. They call most of that music classical or jazz. For those of us with attention deficit disorder, they created pop music. But, of course, pop music is full of devious malcontents who insist on subverting the rules and torturing the innocent. We didn't do anything necessarily to deserve music that refuses to end. It just happened. There are plenty of drones from avant-garde bands who have "expanded" our consciousness and tested our patience. But they come as advertised. You know what you're getting into. And no commercial radio station plays the Collected Works of "Earth" no matter what time of day. But these other tunes--other than the one by Canned Heat, which simply deserves to be here just for being by Canned Heat--are inescapable. You're in a bar. You're at work. You're at someone's house you don't know well and these songs come on and your life is over. Hell has officially dialed your number.In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida"--Iron Butterfly: Yeah, sure you can play the "edited" version of this song but that would be missing the point. DJs in the 1960s needed to take bathroom breaks and this song was specifically designed to help them before stool softeners became commonplace. Dig the "phased" drum solo. Which, of course, led to other bands trying out "phased" drum solos. And then "phased" guitar solos. And "phased" keyboard solos. One couldn't wait for this "phase" to be over with.
"Refried Boogie"--Canned Heat: I know no one's every actually heard this song. It's from the third Canned Heat album, 1968's Living The Blues. But the damned thing is 40 minutes and 51 seconds, according to official records and that would be too long even if this song wasn't called "Refried Boogie." But with a name as lame as that, it shouldn't have even made the album, never mind hogging up nearly half of it. Oh, just imagine if these guys had come of age in the CD era! This could've been a 2-CD set stretched to the limit and "Refried Boogie" could have been 80 minutes long!Freebird (Live)"--Lynyrd Skynyrd: I know people who would kill to never hear this song again. I've always enjoyed the first four minutes. The jamming on the studio version is tedious enough, but the live version just keeps going with that damned piano run where every time you think they're finally done it decides to take another run for it. I assume that people are not clapping at the end because they think this is good. They are clapping because it is over.
"Hey Jude"--The Beatles: Yeah, I know these guys could do no wrong. They were perfect. Virgin births, the whole thing. But the "wordless" singalong, the na-na-na part, shall we, is one of the worst concepts they created. Right up there with giving Ringo songs to sing and allowing George Harrison to bring his sitar with him. We get the idea within the first 20 seconds and then it begins to fester and mock and tease and torture until you promise God you'll never curse at your mother again and you'll do all your homework and you'll stop thinking dirty thoughts about the girl across the street and anything, just make it stop.Alice's Restaurant Massacree"--Arlo Guthrie: I got a ton of grief for leaving this song off my "Songs For Thanksgiving" list. I left it off for a very good reason. I'd blocked it out of my consciousness. I had a friend who learned to play this very song on his acoustic guitar and he memorized the entire song and would perform the entire song without being asked nearly every time he picked up a guitar. It's the kind of song you can hear once and think it's amusing. But then every time after, you know what happens and you don't need to hear it again. Unless you prefer your entire life to feel like one long re-run.
- Canned Heat