Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Long and the Short of It.

I was listening to the Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” during Friday’s commute. It got me thinking about long songs… Long as in the length of an album side (20 minutes+). The longest song I could think of was Jethro Tull’s, Thick As A Brick, which was split over both sides of the album, part 1 and part 2, with a fadeout between. The album side length song wasn’t that uncommon back in the 70’s, though, and quite a few jump to mind. My adult-ADHD mind soon jumped to the converse, short songs… The immediate thought was The Ramones, who kept the tunes coming fast and furious. But what band mastered both types? It didn’t take long for me to settle on The Residents. I discovered this San Francisco based art-rock outfit with their opus “Third Reich & Roll”, the politically incorrect homage to the pop music of the 60’s. It features 2 songs (1 per album side). Sometime later, they made an album called “The Commercial Album”, which featured 40 songs, each of which was exactly 1 minute long. Now that’s art. And, of course, I have both albums.

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