Singles Longer Than Six Minutes

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is five minutes 55 seconds long, which got me thinking. Calum Galleitch, who knows, says: ‘You can get about six minutes on to one side; if you make compromises you can extend it – the limit is about nine or 10. There’s not an exact cut-off – we probably don’t have the skills today to press records like that.’

  1. ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan (6min 13sec, 1965). Nominated by Calum Galleitch.
  2. ‘MacArthur Park’ by Richard Harris (7min 21sec, 1968) and Donna Summer (6min 28sec, 1978). Thanks to Tim Mickleburgh.
  3. ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles (7min 11sec, 1968). Suggested by Mitchell Stirling.
  4. ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by the Rolling Stones, album track 1968 but released as a single in continental Europe (6min 18sec, 1973). Nominated by Ian Moss.
  5. ‘O Superman’ by Laurie Anderson (8min 21sec, 1981). From Chris Gibbon.
  6. ‘Mama’ by Genesis (6min 7sec, 1983).
  7. ‘I’m Not in Love’ by 10CC (6min 10sec, 1975).
  8. ‘November Rain’ by Guns N’Roses (8min 53sec, 1992). From Richard Tolbart and Luke Mussa.
  9. ‘Hallelujah’ Leonard Cohen’s 1984 version is 4min 36sec, but Jeff Buckley’s (2007) is 6min 53sec. From Moyeen Islam.
  10. ‘Belfast Child’ by Simple Minds (6min 39sec, 1989). Another from Tim Mickleburgh. Nominated by Jon Sopel.

Originally published in the Independent on 8th February 2015

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Authors in films of their books

Alan Robertson wondered whether Thomas Pynchon had really made an appearance in the film of ‘Inherent Vice’, as actor Josh Brolin claimed. Hunter S Thompson was in the film of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, and Irvine Welsh was in ‘Trainspotting’. Here are 10 more.

  1. Giles Foden Plays a reporter (and gets a line) in The Last King of Scotland (2006). Nominated by Alex Massie.
  2. Saul Bellow Drops in as “Man in hallway” in Seize The Day (1986). From Chris White.
  3. John le Carré Appears in The Little Drummer Girl (1984) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). Espied by Matt Korris.
  4. Peter Benchley A reporter in Jaws (1975). Seen by Patrick Hennessy and Brian Milne.
  5. PD James Cameo at the start of Children of Men (2006) as an extra in the café. Nominated by Tom Doran.
  6. David Mitchell “Makes a four-second cameo in the not-so-amazing film [2012] of his amazing book Cloud Atlas,” James Chapman informs us.
  7. Michael Bond In Paddington (2014), he is in a café when he sees Paddington speed past in a taxi, and raises a glass to him. Suggested by Robert Bruce.
  8. Arthur C Clarke One of the political leaders taking the world to war on the cover of Time magazine in 2010, the 1984 film of his book, 2010: Odyssey Two (1982). Nominated by Love and Garbage.
  9. Graham Greene His hands are in The Stranger’s Hand (1952), Christopher Hawtree tells us – and the rest of him pops up as an insurance salesman in François Truffaut’s Day for Night (1973).
  10. Jordan Belfort Appears at the end of The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the film of his memoir, to introduce Jordan (Leonardo DiCaprio) at a sales seminar. Nominated by Chujan Sivathasan.

Originally published in the Independent on 1st February 2015.

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