So I was thinking recently about compiling a list of "epic" rock songs. What do I mean by "epic"? In this case, I'm talking about lengthy songs (usually five minutes or longer) that have a lot of musical changes or actual movements, where different parts of the song have a different feel and tone. Lyrically there may be a discernible story, but there may not be as well. 

Here's my list so far, in no particular order:

Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Bohemian Rhapsod - Queen

Aqualung - Jethro Tull

Paranoid Android - Radiohead

Street Hassle - Lou Reed

Riot - Dead Kennedys

Killing In The Name - Rage Against the Machine

Starship Trooper - Yes

Green Grass and High Tides - The Outlaws

In the Presence of Enemies PT. 2 - Dream Theater

One - Metallica

Martian Boogie - Brownsville Station

Autobahn - Kraftwerk

The End - The Doors

Supper's Ready - Genesis

A Quick One (While He's Away)

An Hour In the Shower - Chicago

Paradise By The Dashboard Light - Meat Loaf

Rat Trap - Boomtown Rats

The Murder Mystery - The Velvet Underground

Brown Shoes Don't Make It - The Mothers Of Invention

Karn Evil 9 - Emerson Lake and Palmer

Band on the Run - Wings

Any thoughts on others? 

One song per artist. 

It needs to be one long song, not a number of short songs stitched together. No medley. 

Views: 499

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Good to know. It's your list but, FWIW, I agree. That's why I've had such a difficult time nominating a Pink Floyd song; it's tough to find one of their vocal "epics" that wouldn't be considered a medley. 

Layla comes close, but it really only has one change. 

Mickey McLaurin said:

"Layla"--Derek and the Dominos

Added Karn Evil 9

Dave Palmer said:

I don't want to overwhelm you, but here are a few more to consider:

Whipping Post Allman Brothers

Papa was a Rolling Stone Temptations

Karn Evil 9 Emerson Lake and Palmer (not my favorite ELP song)

I kind of feel like these are more exrltended jams than what I'm looking for. 

A Pink Floyd song that would work would be The Trial. Unfortunately, I don't consider it rock and roll. 

doc photo said:

A couple of suggestions from Pink Floyd that I don't think have been mentioned yet -

"Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and "Echoes"

"I kind of feel like these are more extended jams than what I'm looking for."

Yeah, I can see that. I almost came back and deleted that post but I thought I'd leave the determination up to you. I'm just sorry to have wasted your time. To make it up to you, I'm going to nominate a song I feel certain will qualify.

BAND ON THE RUN by Paul McCartney & Wings

1. "Stuck inside these four walls..."

2. "If I ever get out of here..."

3. [LINK]

4. "Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash..."

Band on the Run is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Didn't even have to listen to that one. Added. 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I kind of feel like these are more extended jams than what I'm looking for."

Yeah, I can see that. I almost came back and deleted that post but I thought I'd leave the determination up to you. I'm just sorry to have wasted your time. To make it up to you, I'm going to nominate a song I feel certain will qualify.

BAND ON THE RUN by Paul McCartney & Wings

1. "Stuck inside these four walls..."

2. "If I ever get out of here..."

3. [LINK]

4. "Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash..."

YAY!

Earlier in this thread I nominated Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" but I later took it down. I think a could could still be made for its inclusion, but I think I've found a Springsteen song that works better.

ROSALITA (Come Out Tonight)

1. Youthful exuberance

2. LINK (beginning with "All right" at 3:18)

3. Introspection (beginning with "I know your mama she don't like me" at 4:18)

4. Resolution and return (beginning with "My tires were slashed" at 5:18)

(At one time, at just over seven minutes, the live version of this song was longest video MTV played.)

I think that might be it from me. Some of the others I had in mind are by groups already included.

I unexpectedly woke up early and thought of a possible entry for the list: "Song for America" by Kansas.

I'm most familiar with it from the classic album Two for the Show, but the version on that album edits out the piano solo in the middle. 

"California Saga" by the Beach Boys should qualify. 

CALIFORNIA SAGA:

  1. Big Sur
  2. The Beaks of Eagles
  3. California

It's from the Holland album, but I can't find a single cut of all three movements. The link above is to the whole album (tracks 3-5). From the same album (actually an additional EP included in addition to the LP) is...

MT. VERNON AND FAIRWAY* (A FAIRY TALE IN SEVERAL PARTS:

  1. Mt. Vernon and Fairway (theme)
  2. I'm the Pied Piper (instrumental)
  3. Better Get Back in Bed
  4. Magic Transistor Radio
  5. I'm the Pied Piper
  6. Radio King Dom

*This is Brian Wilson's autobiography told as a fairy tale. "Mt. Vernon and Fairway" is the intersection where his childhood home was located. 

One obvious other Rush song, from Fly By Night, is "By-Tor and the Snow Dog":

  • I) At the Tobes of Hades
  • II) Across the Styx
  • III) Of the Battle
  •       i. Challenge and Defiance
  •      ii. 7/4 War Furor
  •     iii. Aftermath
  •     iv. Hymn of Triumph
  • IV) Epilogue

It's over eight minutes long. For all of its musical changes and mythic pretensions, its inspiration was a party where the host had two dogs. One had white fur. The other bit people.



Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

So 2112, is weird. Side 1 was a 7 part song if you will. If you wanna kic it out, I'm sure I can find another Rush song..

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Groups

Latest Activity

Luke Blanchard replied to Captain Comics's discussion Bond #5: 'From Russia, with Love'
"The underground lake in the movie is a cistern. Istanbul has some number of historic cisterns. (The…"
2 hours ago
Richard Willis replied to Captain Comics's discussion Peter David suffers series of strokes
"Today's Update:by Kathleen David, Beneficiary OK I have an update but not the kind that…"
2 hours ago
Richard Willis replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
3 hours ago
Richard Willis replied to Emerkeith Davyjack's discussion All-purpose newspaper strips discussion
"Mark Trail honors Southern California's favorite celebrity  He actually traveled to…"
3 hours ago
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) replied to Alan M.'s discussion So, What Are You Reading These Days? (besides comics)
"Currently reading Jack of Spies by David Downing. This takes place before WWI, and Jack McColl is a…"
7 hours ago
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) replied to Captain Comics's discussion Comics Guide: Feb. 6-12, 2023
"BLOOD STAINED TEETH #9 LITTLE MONSTERS #10 - Two good, but very different vampire books by…"
8 hours ago
Irma Kruhl replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"Issue #3 of  Doctor Tom Brent, Young Intern "
9 hours ago
Mickey McLaurin replied to Peter Wrexham's discussion Celebrity Mastermind - "The History of DC Comics"
"2 and 5 were the only ones I didn't know.  Having read the Batman story multiple times,…"
9 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion To be... HULK-inued!
"#105: You hear a shot! "UNNHHH! I'm hit... just as I finished changing! But... I…"
12 hours ago
Captain Comics replied to Captain Comics's discussion Bond #5: 'From Russia, with Love'
"I'm so confused! I made sure to watch Dr. No, From Russia With…"
12 hours ago
Captain Comics replied to Captain Comics's discussion Comics Guide: Feb. 6-12, 2023
"Or the draugr!"
12 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Captain Comics's discussion Comics Guide: Feb. 6-12, 2023
"I've wanted to read this, but if the publisher doesn't think enough of it to publish a…"
13 hours ago

© 2023   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service