Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two Four Two

According to this article, the ideal length for a pop song is 2:42.

The author cites this 2:42 song as his exhibit A, and these three Sgt. Pepper songs as exhibits B through D.
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. Hey, Beatles, maybe next time think about tacking on an extra second to give a song the grandeur and majesty it deserves.

And since we're in the second quarter of 2008, the article includes a muxtape of 2:42 songs.

Here are some other 2:42 songs that I have on my iTunes.

Cheap Trick - He's A Whore
The Feelies - Let's Go
Fountains Of Wayne - Leave The Biker
Guided By Voices - Echoes Myron
Half Man Half Biscuit - Twenty Four Hour Garage People
The Loud Family - Screwed Over By Stylish Introverts
Love - Can't Explain
The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreamin'
New Pornographers - Streets Of Fire
Tom Petty - Breakdown + Don't Do Me Like That
R.E.M. - Get Up
The Rolling Stones - As Tears Go By
The Rutles - Cheese & Onions
The Smiths - Shelia Take A Bow
Teenage Fanclub - About You + Mellow Doubt


PCarino said...

I must concur. Short and sweet, that's how it goes.

I have 26 songs in my iTunes that are exactly that length,and 1,890 that are under three minutes...

Joe said...

2:42 songs on iTunes at work:
I'm On Fire - Bruce Springsteen
The Fish - Yes
Leave The Biker - Fountains of Wayne
Michelle - The Beatles
Strict Time - Elvis Costello

The La's song went by without me even noticing it...

125records said...

I have TWO Teenage Fanclub songs that are exactly 2:42. I'm thinking all of their songs should be 2:42. One of my all time fave pop songs, "The Way We Get By" by Spoon, is sadly only 2:40.

2fs said...

I could barely get past the first few paragraphs of this guy's self-satisfied I'm-such-a-cool-fuck prose, but...uh, okay, fine: 2:42. Someone should make a list of truly awful songs that are 2:42.

Steve said...

I listed two TFC songs (About You & Mellow Doubt) and two Tom Petty songs (Breakdown & Don't Do Me Like That) that are both 2:42.