Friday, July 27, 2012

In Praise of the Megasong

Nobody writes long songs anymore, at least not from my experience. Oh sure, there are pockets out there, but it usually is just the Modern Worship or Gospel Genres. At least they write songs that clock in over 5 minutes. That doesn't have to be the case. Since I go to churches that are big on the Modern Worship/Hillsong style, I have found it amazing that Churches have not capitalized on their ability to distort the time-space continuum. Seriously, how is it possible that you can take a four line chorus and make it last for a half hour while at the same time making it seem like twelve hours. It's the sanctified version of the song that does not end. (The sanctified Song That Does Not End would have to be Psalm 119. At 176 Verses long, a comfortable paced read takes approximately 30 minutes. Singing it as intended, even with modern music, probably longer.

That's not the type of song I'm talking about. The songs I'm talking about are over six minutes long, some are twice that, but the experience is such that you would think it's only two or three minutes in length. The six minute bar is intentional, for it surpasses the 5:55 run time of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. Of course, nothing against Queen, but I prefer my Bohemian Rhapsody to come from high class sources. Bohemian Rhapsody is the bar. My first list of songs not only exceed that bar, they smash it. In reverse order of length.

  • #10 - Sudden Death, Servant, World of Sand, 1981 (8:18) - Doing a top ten list, this one winds up the shortest. It stands as a megasong on its own, though it is also part of a two song "rock opera"
  • #9 - Trilogy, Iona, Iona, 1991 (8:34) - This is where it all begins. This Progressive Rock/Celtic band from the UK almost can't make a song under 5 minutes. This is from their eponymous debut, though not their longest or best.
  • #8 - Songs of Ascent Pt. 2, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:06)
  • #7 - Bird of Heaven, Iona, Beyond These Shores, 1993 (9:09)
  • #6 - Castlerigg, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:25)
  • #5 - Woven Cord, Iona, Open Sky, 2000 (9:28)
  • #4 - Boomerang feat Tracy Truells, Cloud 2 Ground, The Gate, 2000 (11:18) - Wow, a song not by Iona made the list. This Trance/Techno band by Chad Petree and Jeremy Dawson is great.
  • #3 - Encircling, Iona, Journey Into the Morn, 1995 (11:38)

  • #2 - Matthew-The Man, Iona, The Book of Kells, 1992 (11:54)
  • #1 - Sodom, Jerusalem, Warrior, 1981 (12:33)
I have praised Sodom many many times before, so I wont say anything this time. If you take away the Iona songs, not only is the list only three songs long, but two of the songs are written in 1981. See what I mean, nobody does it anymore.

I'm going to do a cheat here. In the era of mp3 files, there are certain songs that would be megasongs if they were not split into two. The songs may have been intentionally recorded as two songs, but they either, because of theme or the fact that they have barely a millisecond of space between them. Here are three two part megasongs.

  • #3 - Destroy/Savior, Worth Dying For, Love Riot (6:31)
  • #2 - Tourniquet/Imaginary, Evanescence, Fallen (8:55)
  • #1 - Sudden Death/Come Jesus Come, Servant, World of Sand (11:55) Sudden Death and its companion song Come Jesus Come were billed as a two song "rock opera". It was written in honor of a death by auto accident of members of the Servant Community.
This has been a special edition of Flashback Friday. If you know of a mega song that you love, please share it with me by commenting. As always, I am Awaiting Your Reply.