7 Minutes in Heaven
Led Zeppelin: Epic Rockers Extraordinaire
It's the chance for a radio D.J. to take an extra long smoke break. It's a chance for your favorite band to feature every member with their own solo at a concert. It's the song that is so good, it keeps going and going and going...There's something about epic songs that just feels right. Time to take a look at the best epic songs of all time. For the purpose of this countdown, we will focus on songs 7 minutes or longer. Take an extra drag and relax.
The Top 10
10. In-a-Gadda-da-Vida by Iron Butterfly 17:02: The ultimate crazy-long better-while-medicating song. Plus, it was parodied by the Simpsons - which gives it bonus points.
09. Master of Puppets by Metallica 8:39: Metallica, the only band with two songs in the top ten and they could have had more. Just an all-out assault of a song from start to finish. Probably the hardest song on the countdown. The song was ranked number three on VH1's greatest heavy metal songs and also first on the Top 100 Guitar Riffs by Total Guitar Magazine.
08. Jesus of Suburbia by Green Day 9:04: Green Day is the only band on this list not considered classic and based on airplay, it is by far the least played. But Jesus is the most complete song on Green Day's most complete album American Idiot, which is a concept album. The song itself is in five parts, each of which are great in their own right.
07. L.A. Woman by The Doors 7:50: This is a very underappreciated Doors tune, especially when compared to the heavy airplay of Light My Fire. Whereas that song has the more killer instrumental breakdown, L.A. Woman has the better lyrics that include sex, drugs and a healthy dose of rock n roll. Also, the 'Cops in cars at the Topless bars' line is classic.
06. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd 9:08: This song would appear to be the favorite among fans due to every concert being interrupted by someone shouting its name as a request. One could make the argument that sort of thing also ruins its legacy. Either way, it is a lock to be the closer for every Skynyrd concert.
05. Layla by Derek and the Dominos 7:02: Ends with a badass piano solo, and that's hard to do. Plus, it was featured prominently in Goodfellas, which is a huge plus. On top of all that, even though Eric Clapton is considered a Guitar God, Duane Allman plays the lead on this classic.
04. One by Metallica 7:25: Now we move into the land of complete songs. Much like many of the songs on this list, One starts slowly and builds to an amazing crescendo. The amazing guitar solo made to sound like a machine gun is Kirk Hammett's favorite. He knows best.
03. November Rain by Guns N Roses 8:56: This song contains not one, but two amazing guitar solos by Slash. The epic video came out during the height of MTV and only helped propel the song. It is the longest song ever to make Billboard's top 10. The original cut was 25 minutes. Thank God Axl Rose cut it down to the perfect nine minutes.
02. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin 8:04: The 7-minute song that all 7-minute songs are judged by. It says a lot that the song with the most airplay year after year is 8 minutes long. Rolling Stone came out with a list of the 50 best 7-minute-plus songs in 2007 and this wasn't on it...very curious indeed.
01. Hey Jude by The Beatles 7:03: One of the greatest songs, regardless of length, of all time. And the most complete song on this list. The song builds to a crescendo of guttural screams by Paul McCartney and the climax lasts for over half the song. Na-Na-Na-Nananana.
- Light My Fire by the Doors 7:06: As stated earlier, there is an epic solo involved here, but it just doesn't have the same cache as its L.A. Woman counterpart.
- Paradise By the Dashboard Lights by Meatloaf 8:28: Perfect for a wedding or a throwback rock cover, but doesn't quite make the cut.
- Civil War by Guns N Roses 7:40: Kudos for the Cool Hand Luke quote but no comparison to November Rain.
- American Pie by Don Mclean 8:33: Very polarizing: some say it is the greatest 7+ song, while some find it annoying and overplayed.
- When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin 7:07: There's no doubt about it; this song is thunderous and amazing, but it definitely gets overshadowed by Stairway to Heaven.
- You Can't Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones 7:30: The Stones crank up the epic on this song by having a chorus of 60 children back up Mick Jagger.
Best Songs Not Quite 7 Minutes Long
- Piano Man by Billy Joel - One of the best all-time ballads, but at 5:40, it doesn't even hit the six-minute mark
- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen - This song is only six minutes long? Quite a mind-blowing six minutes.
- Money by Pink Floyd - Perfect format to make the Top Ten, but falls just a half-minute short. Should have added some more cash register sounds.
- Livin' on the Edge by Aerosmith - Epic song, but just didn't have the girth
- Anything off Aenima by Tool - None of those songs are seven minutes long?