We all know about the “epic” classic rock songs that ruled, and still rule, rock radio to this day. “Stairway…,” “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Freebird.” FREEBIRD! Well, those songs might have been long but they were still focused enough to be played on the radio over and over again. We thought it was time to investigate some of the reeeeaallllly loooooong songs that start at the 10 minute mark and go from there. Though a lot of these tunes might have been too lengthy or too complex (a.k.a. weird) for classic rock radio, they are great nonetheless and all serve as reminders of how bands from that era felt free to experiment and stretch out beyond the standard 3-minute pop song.
And it wasn’t just the prog-rock guys doing it. From Led Zeppelin to Genesis, Jimi Hendrix to Jethro Tull, these bands went for it, sometimes moving past the 40-minute mark in their exploits to create something that transcended the limits of traditional songwriting. Here’s a list of the 20 Most Epic Classic Rock Songs, starting from the shortest (at a measly 9:58) and shooting all the way up to 43:50. If you can get through every second of every song, more power to you! Oh, and you might want to get back to that job search. Just sayin’.
Grand Funk Railroad “I’m Your Captain” Time: 9:58
The closing track to the band’s 1970 album, Closer to Home, is the band’s longest studio recording and tells the story of a captain on a troubled voyage who’s facing a mutiny from his crew.
Deep Purple “Child in Time” Time: 10:22
This track from the band’s 1970 album, Deep Purple in Rock, is a protest song against the Vietnam War and was an early highwater mark of the group’s “Mach II” incarnation.