Published on March 21st, 2014 | by Brent Chittenden


Top Ten Songs Over 7 Minutes Long (Classic Rock edition)

So last week, I took a look at ten songs over 7 minutes long in a more modern sense. But there is a metric ton of classic rock tracks that are also over 7 minutes long and they had to get their own list. So buckle up cupcakes, here’s the Top Ten Songs Over 7 Minutes Long (Classic Rock edition).

10) Iron Butterfly – In A Gadda Davida (17:05)

When you think of classic rock songs and you think of LONG classic rock songs, In A Gadda Davida. Clocking in at over 17 minutes (a live version goes over 19), the only problem with the song these days is the Simpsons version creeps into my head whenever it’s mentioned.

9) Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird (9 to 10:08 depending on the version)

Right now, Alex James of Nerds with Guitars wants to punch me as do a ton of other musicians out there but honestly, it’s a good song with an awesome guitar part. Sure, some chump years ago began to ruin it for any rock musician to hit a stage but that doesn’t mean the song is bad, just the drunks who call it out at concerts.

8) The Rolling Stones – Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (7:15)

This song has become a film favourite, it’s especially remembered for it’s appearance in Casino and Blow, it’s one of the Stones’ best tracks from Sticky Fingers, which is saying something when you remember that it’s on the same side as “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses”.

7) Derek and the Dominos – Layla (7:11)

A song that has dominated Clapton’s career since it came out, I love the amazing end piece with the piano / guitar solos.

6) Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland (9:33)

From one of the best Springsteen albums ever (Born to Run), this epic yarn of gang life in the city features one of the greatest sax solos known to mankind. Yes, mankind, I said it, I meant it.

5) The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again (8:32)

The final track on Who’s Next, is probably my favourite Who song because it completely encompases what the Who were for me. You have the fury of their younger years in the guitar sound matched with the more complicated song quality of the middle and later years.

4) The Velvet Underground – Heroin (7:12)

One of the most important classic rock songs for modern rock, “Heroin” was one of the first rock songs to deal with the dirty reality of drugs during the 60’s.  The drums on this track just help the song to rise and crash like waves on a jagged rock.

3) Led Zeppelin – When The Levee Breaks (7:08)

To quote Wayne Campbell “No Stairway. Denied!”. While I like Stairway to Heaven, I feel this is the best of the longer Zeppelin tracks. This is a perfect version of Zepplin, loud, bluesy with HUGE drums. For  younger fans, yes you have heard those drums before. They get sampled… a lot.

2) Don McLean – American Pie (8:33)

McLean’s story of his love of music and the day the music died is one of the best “story” songs in classic rock.

1) The Beatles – Hey Jude (7:11)

It’s really hard to make a list of classic rock songs without including the Fab Four but what really surprised me was the fact that this song is over 7 minutes long.  I could have sworn it’s much shorter which I guess is a bit of a testament to the Beatles’ writing skills (oddly, I couldn’t find a version that goes with the whole 7:11, instead most of them fade out to early)


There was one song that I really wanted to put on one of the two lists but it didn’t seem to fit into either list… and honestly, while I love this song, I’m not sure how great it is… but alas, my love for the work of Prince is too strong not to some how share it. The best Prince song over 7 minutes long is Purple Rain!


So folks, what songs did I miss off the classic rock list? Please feel free to list your favourites in the comment section below!

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About the Author

Brent Chittenden is a freelance writer with a gift for the geek. Currently a writer with A Journal Of Musical Things and a podcaster with True North Nerds, he's also written for Comic Book Daily, Explore Music and a dozen other places. Currently, he is the co-host of the True North Nerds podcast. You can find out more at

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21 Responses to Top Ten Songs Over 7 Minutes Long (Classic Rock edition)

  1. Paul says:

    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed by The Allman Brothers Band. My personal favorite.

  2. Shirl says:

    Stone Roses’ Fool’s Gold is probably considered Classic Rock by now.

  3. Where is the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today”?

  4. Michael says:

    Rush’s “La Villa Strangiato” is conspicuously absent.

    • Mike Reiss says:

      Not really. As much as I love it, it’s not a song that I’ve ever heard on classic rock radio. I’m not saying it’s not important just that it’s not immediately recognizable by non Rush fans(unlike SOR, or TS).

  5. Brad says:

    “In My Time of Dying” by Led Zep, “T.B. Sheets” by Van Morrison, “Desolation Row” by Dylan, and “This Corrosion” by Sisters of Mercy which, by the 20-year standard, can be considered “classic rock” by now.

  6. duncan says:

    no pink floyd?they probably have more 7 minute plus songs than any other band..

  7. Dan says:

    I’m conflicted by the exclusion of Stairway. On one hand, I’m sick of the song to the point where I’ve heard it enough to fill a lifetime that’s (hopefully) still far from over. On the other hand the reason we’re all sick of it, is precisely because of the largesse of the song. It completely dominated the 70s and greatest song of countdowns for decades. It’s become a cliche because collectively we played it to death and inflated its importance.

    Many of the other songs on this list have also been completely played out for me (Won’t Get Fooled, American Pie, Hey Jude, Layla, Freebird). It’s seems strange to acknowledge these songs whilst excluding Stairway.

    You should either do a list that is 100% cliche and obvious, and let’s face it, most of classic rock fits into this category. Or… you should do a list of songs that are lesser known gems and avoid the pressure of having to include Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and all of the usual suspects entirely.

  8. Sac says:

    There’s at least 5 Led Zeppelin songs that should be on this list.
    Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir, In my time of Dying, No Quarter, 10 years gone to name a few.

  9. Geoff says:

    The Doors – The End. Just a fantastic song from a brilliant singer/song writer/poet. One of the best there was. It is a pity the drugs destroyed him.

  10. MoP says:

    No Master of Puppets. I call bull shit.

  11. Tom says:

    RIP Prince. But where’s a van halen song on your list. Most of the great ones are short but I bet you can find a nice long version of one of em

  12. Wild Bill says:

    There’s nothing wrong with your cool choices. Coooool that you got Inna-Gadda! But…

    Well there’s something seriously wrong or even worse to pick Levee over Stairway. Even just under L.Z. what about “Since I’ve Been Loving You” Surely that was a test to see if we were listening?

    No Pink Floyd? Notably the 3 songs on “Animals” but far more too. I mean, seriously, um, really, Echoes?

    As the fellow above mentioned Allman Brothers, there’s Whipping Post, Elizabeth Reed, Mountain Jam and Hot Lanta. These aren’t just 4 7 minute songs; these like all that I mention are monstrous. (I’d add Les Brers In A Minor and Stormy Monday myself)

    Ummm, Thick As A Brick?

    Closer to Home!

    Low Spark?

    If you’re talking the Who, there are stupendous choices spread across Tommy and Quadrophenia. Who’s Next is almost pop bubble gum in comparison to those two stupendous rock operas.

    Nights In White Satin.

    Foreplay/Long Time.

    I won’t even start to mention so many legendary 7+ minute Yes songs.

    And OMG, OMFG, Emerson, Lake and Palmer – not just KE9 but even Take A Pebble.

    And get your drugs ready for the album “Todd Rundgren’s Utopia” and his folluw up “Initiation”. Brace yourself.

    Then I might add some personal choices, Layla and Let It Rain by Derek and the Dominoes (that’s Clapton and sometimes Allman)..
    Side 2 of Chicago II has a 12 minute medley that I and some revere.
    Wish You Were Here has some worthy entries.
    Green Grass and High Tides!
    Southern Man. Down By The River!
    And something by the Dead – how about Morning Dew, maybe Boston ’73

    Again, these are just personal
    Hocus Pocus by Focus
    The Fool – Quicksilver
    Numerous long Kansas songs
    Vanilla Queen and several others by Golden Earring
    The World Is A Ghetto
    Hey Joe – Roy Buchanan
    Superwoman – Stevie Wonder
    As, Another Star – Stevie Wonder
    And OMG….Ribbon in the Sky, the Natural Wonder version.

    • Earl says:

      I like where you’re heads at Wild Bill. Certainly CCR’s cover of Susie Q is worth mentioning.
      Chamber Bros Time Has Come Today another.
      Eric Burton Sky Pilot

  13. SHELBY says:


  14. paulo Cauz says:

    it’s real simple, you can’t do just the top ten, you’ll exclude too many great tunes, either it should top 25 or 50, I mean where’s “Stairway to Heaven”, “L.A. Woman”, “November Rain”, “Kashmir”, “Bat Out of Hell”, “Fool’s Overture”, just to name a few you missed

  15. Jim Short says:

    It surprises me how many I didn’t think of. On my list I would include Slow Ride by Foghat and Do You Feel Like We Do by Frampton. Probably Paradise by the Dashboard Lights / Meatloaf also.

  16. 9spaceking says:

    where’s Stairway to Heaven?

  17. Buffalobill says:

    Ccr heard it through the grapevine

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