10 Longest Songs Ever Written

Music has been a core part of human culture since the dawn of time, and most people love to unwind with a great album. With so many different ideas to express, people can turn out some truly unique pieces of music.

Some people believe that longer songs are better, while others prefer to keep it short and sweet. But no matter where you stand, you’re probably wondering just how long some of the lengthiest pieces can get! Today we’ll look at 10 of the longest songs ever written and rank them according to their length. We’ll also learn some cool facts about the bands and inspiration behind them.

  1. Cassandra Gemini

Length: 32:32
Artist: The Mars Volta
Year Released: 2005
Genre: Alternative/Indie

Cassandra_Gemini  Source: wikimedia.org

Cassandra Gemini is the fifth and last song in the album Frances The Mute. The recording sessions were produced and arranged by frontman and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López, who met and practiced with each band member individually. The members of The Mars Volta consistently deliver a captivating performance, playing each instrument in perfect sync and switching tracks in unison without missing a beat.

Did you know? 

While some people describe The Mars Volta as pretentious, just about everyone appreciates the energy of frontman Cedric Bixler Zavala.

  1. World Without End 

Length: 33:39
Artist: Neal Morse
Year Released: 2012
Genre: Progressive Rock

World_Without_End  Source: wikimedia.org

Featured on Momentum, Neal Morse’s seventh solo progressive album, World Without End is the longest song on the album. It is accompanied by five other songs that are much shorter and went over equally well with the album’s fans. While the entire album’s sound was pretty well-received, many people thought that the lyrics were generally unimpressive and at times almost ridiculous.

Did you know? 

Neal Morse is rumored to have written the entirety of both the lyrical and musical components for the Momentum album in around two weeks!

  1. The Great Goodnight 

Length: 34:45
Artist: Magellan
Year Released: 2002
Genre: Rock

The_Great_Goodnight  Source: wikimedia.org

The Great Goodnight is the opening track and longest song on the album Hundred Year Flood, which includes only two other songs. One of the other tracks, Family Jewels, features a lot of symphonic elements including flute pieces played by Ian Anderson. The song World Without End is divided into six parts.

Did you know? 

Some people who have listened to the Hundred Year Flood album say that they could do without the passionate a capella parts that seem to come out of left field.

  1. A Long Day

Length: 36:30
Artist: The Polyphonic Spree
Year Released: 2002
Genre: Choral Rock

A_Long_Day  Source: wikimedia.org

This Texan group created quite a stir with their homemade outfits and offbeat style, with some people even going so far as to wonder whether the band was actually a cult. The number of band members has fluctuated a great deal over the years, sometimes reaching as many as 29 people, and the diversity of the band’s instruments is truly impressive.

Did you know? 

The Polyphonic Spree incorporates everything from choir vocals and flutes to French horns and trombones into their sound.

  1. Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence

Length: 42:04
Artist: Dream Theater
Year Released: 2002
Genre: Progressive Metal

Six_Degrees_of_Inner_Turbulence  Source: wikimedia.org

Dream Theater’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album is their sixth and second-longest full-length studio album. It’s also a concept album and its tracks explore different themes surrounding lifetime struggles such as loss, different mental conditions, and various forms of addiction. Other themes that pervade the album include the sanctity of life and death.

Did you know? 

The title Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence refers to the concept of all people being six or fewer social connections away from one another.

  1. Thick As A Brick 

Length: 43:46
Artist: Jethro Tull
Year Released: 1972
Genre: Progressive Rock

Thick_as_a_Brick  Source: wikimedia.org

The Thick As A Brick album featured some interesting classical and folk sounds that Jethro Tull skillfully incorporated into the signature progressive rock sound. The album art was equally creative and was designed to look like a mock newspaper with the entirety of the lyrics printed out on the front. Many people misinterpreted it as a religious concept album, much to the irritation of the band.

Did you know? 

The album was meant to be a spoof piece, in a similar spirit to that of Monty Python. 

  1. Catch Thirtythree

Length: 47:09
Artist: Meshuggah
Year Released: 2005
Genre: Heavy Metal

Catch_Thirtythree  Source: wikimedia.org

Catch Thirtythree has gotten some truly mixed feedback, with some people thoroughly enjoying it and others calling it trash. This lengthy song was meant to serve as a continuation of the one-song EP “I” which some people saw as completely unnecessary. Catch Thirtythree was also the first album that featured programmed drums and was said to be an experimental piece.

Did you know? 

This is a concept album that revolves around the ideas of various paradoxes and was featured in the soundtrack of the movie Saw III. The album was meant to be a spoof piece, in a similar spirit to that of Monty Python.

  1. Garden of Dreams

Length: 59:16
Artist: The Flower Kings
Year Released: 2002
Genre: Progressive Rock

Garden_of_Dreams  Source: wikimedia.org

The song Garden of Dreams is what many would consider to be an hour-long song done right. It incorporates a wide enough variety of different elements to keep the piece interesting as it progresses, and some would even say that they wish it were even longer! As is often the case with very long pieces, Garden of Dreams is subdivided into a series of tracks.

Did you know? 

Most people who listen to this song are astounded to find that there isn’t a single missed note throughout its entire duration.

  1. Light of Day, Day of Darkness

Length: 60:06
Artist: Green Carnation
Year Released: 2001
Genre: Progressive/Gothic Metal

Light_of_Day_Day_of_Darkness  Source: wikimedia.org

Just about anyone can agree that writing a song this long is difficult, and even songs like this one are bound to show some spots that could have been executed better. However, Light of Day, Day of Darkness was largely successful since it gave plenty of classic, heavy doom energy to even its most repetitive riffs.

Did you know? 

At one point in Light of Day, Day of Darkness, the doom atmosphere gives way to a woman yodeling while accompanied by saxophone sounds.

  1. The Whirlwind

Length: 77:54
Artist: Transatlantic
Year Released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Rock

The_Whirlwind  Source: wikimedia.org

“The Whirlwind” by Transatlantic is the longest song in the world. It also constitutes the entire album and, while it’s divided into separate tracks, is still considered to be a single song. The Whirlwind is said to clearly showcase each band member’s superior skills and blend together all the classic touches that people have come to expect from Progressive Rock.

Did you know? 

Many critics of The Whirlwind say that it sounds monotonous long before it concludes, and that the second disc fails to offer anything fresh or creative.

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