There are many lists (like this one) of songs on albums that go for 10s of minutes, and performers have often extended their songs in concerts to go for a long time, but is there a list available of the longest songs (songs with the greatest duration) that hit one of the big charts (e.g. American Top 40)?

I'm asking specifically about the length of the version of the song that hits the charts - for example, apparently Jethro Tull made a recording of "Thick as a Brick" that runs for over 40 minutes, but that's not the version that hit the charts so it wouldn't "count".


I was sure it would be Don McLean's "American Pie" weighing in at eight minutes and thirty-six seconds - The single had to be split into two parts but it did chart as one piece.

But recently it was surpassed by David Bowie, whose "Blackstar" which clocks in at at 9:57

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  • Excellent! Are you just doing web searches for songs you believe are long, or is there a database out there somewhere? – Betty Crokker Oct 15 '18 at 20:36
  • I always "knew" it was American Pie, must have heard it years ago (the fact, not the track haha). I admit I searched for "longer than American Pie" or similar just to check haha, and turned up that gem. I am happy I discovered it myself, and also happy that it's a superb track and not some kind of novelty. – mayersdesign Oct 15 '18 at 20:43
  • Good answer! You should consider adding the method you used to find this to the actual answer text so there is some context. – sanpaco Oct 16 '18 at 20:30

I searched for "American Pie Duration" and in the Google results I saw "is the fourth longest song to enter the Billboard Hot 100, at the time of release it was the longest". Wikipedia then had a link to this:

The Longest Hot 100 Hits

(9:57) "Blackstar," David Bowie, No. 78 peak, 2016

(9:30) "Better Place to Be (Parts 1 & 2)," Harry Chapin, No. 86, 1976

(8:55) "November Rain," Guns N' Roses, No. 3, 1992

(8:37) "American Pie (Parts I & II)," Don McLean, No. 1 (four weeks), 1972

(8:16) "Untitled 07 L Levitate," Kendrick Lamar, No. 90, 2016

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