Thursday, April 17, 2008

some dude suggests that 2 minutes and 42 seconds is the perfect song length:
" You need more proof? Jerk. Let’s look at Sgt. Pepper. “Lovely Rita” is two minutes, 42 seconds. It delivers that psychedelic vibe and a coda but then gets the hell out of your life.

Compare that to 'With a Little Help From My Friends.' It’s a mere two seconds longer but feels like it drags on for hours. Maybe it’s Ringo, maybe it’s the tedious melody—or maybe it’s the two goddamn seconds.

Then over here we have 'Good Morning Good Morning,' rightfully discarded by the masses as a throwaway. Why? Two minutes, 41 seconds."
he then mentions a few 2:42 songs by r.e.m., tom petty, the breeders and the smiths, among others. i'd add yo la tengo's "center of gravity". it might actually be a perfect song. all songs that sound like the velvet underground's "after hours" are perfect songs, imo. anyone else have favorite 2:42 tunes?

yo la tengo--center of gravity

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Watts

-oliver

1:19 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I'm not even sure if you need those extra 42 seconds. Cases in point: GBV's "Queen of Cans and Jars" [1:55], Soft Boys' "Queen of Eyes" [2:01]. Or maybe the word "queen" in the titles makes up for the length. But my iTunes also tells me that Marshall Crenshaw's "There She Goes Again" misses the mark by two seconds, and that song certainly doesn't leave anything to be desired.

Whatever the case, this post attains the exact right degree of Anglophilia.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is the perfect length because, sans the stupid colon, it is a palindrome, and because 2 is the square root of four. You can't argue with science (by which I mean math).

3:24 PM  
Blogger Cap said...

2:42 songs I have:

Okkervil River - the Pres is dead
Johnny Cash - Folsum Prison Blues (live)
Them - Gloria
the Clean - Tally Ho
Hank Sr - Lost Highway
Bob Dylan - If Not For You

7:17 PM  
Blogger Boris Parsley's Mobile Blog said...

You are definitely on to something.

Baby It's You - The Shirelles
Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
Grinding Halt - The Cure
Up Around The Bend, Hey Tonight - CCR
Make It Easy On Yourself - Jerry Butler
Jolene - Dolly Parton
He's A Whore - Cheap Trick

Hmm, 90+ more in my library meet the spec. Thanks for programming next week's show for me!

10:46 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

now that i think about it, "david watts", "queen of cans and jars", "queen of eyes", "gloria", "tally ho" and "if not for you" really are 6 of the best songs i've ever heard.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

doesn't it depend a little bit on version of the tune?
be my baby - the ronettes
please don't wake me - the cinderellas
and, surprisingly (or not?), many songs associated with stephin merritt

4:26 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

I think this post now has the most comments of any post on this blog. Bravo, Aaron.

It has suddenly occurred to me who our anonymous commenter must be. Don't know how I didn't realize before.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't say I was totally sold on this 2:42 thing, until...

"Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got" by Jimmy Ruffin. Case closed.

Alright, also notable:

"12 Men"-Chelsea
"I Picked Up the Pieces"-Jon Langford
"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"-Nancy Sinatra
"High School"-MC5
and "Another Saturday Night"-Sam Cooke. But let's be real, a Sam Cooke song is perfect at any length.

8:49 AM  
Blogger npsacks said...

Ones that haven't been mentioned:

The Smiths- "What She Said" (one of their rockier and more repetitive tunes, which I think would make a great soundtrack for a fight in a video game)

The Jesus Lizard- "Lady Shoes" (another very rocking tune)

The La's- "There She Goes" (not my favorite song on the album, but damn it's tuneful)

Dead Kennedys- "Viva Las Vegas" (featured at the end of "Fear and Loathing," the only non Jann Wenner sanctioned song apparently)

Neil Young- "Walk On"

The Clash- "Corner Soul"

Fugazi- "Facet Squared"

Frank Black- "White Noise Maker"

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

soft cell - tainted love
ronettes - be my baby

6:07 PM  
Blogger BoarKing said...

I fell in love to Yo La Tengo's "Center of Gravity"

And the aforementioned,
the Clean - Tally Ho
The Smiths- "What She Said"
Dead Kennedys- "Viva Las Vegas"
are all big faves, so:
"It's clear to me, according to a rule I learned one day in school"
2.42 is the magic number...

7:40 AM  

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