2. Rush - 2112 - 20:34
Long songs can come about for a variety of reasons but chiefly among them is having a story to tell. When it comes to bands that want to paint a picture, tell a tale, even create their own fantasy world then songs that pass that sacred ten minute mark are often a necessity. Perhaps the best example of such a band, and such a concept, are the Canadian prog rock greats themselves.
Rush’s 1976 album, simply titled 2112, is a tour-de-force of what it means to be taken on a journey musically. 2112 is split into seven parts that are all identifiably different from each other; from the bombastic Overture to the screeching scene-setter of Temple of Syrinx, from the naïvely joyful Discovery to the morose reality of Soliloquy. Whilst twenty minutes may seem like a long time to some, the sheer scope of emotion that Rush pack into the runtime of 2112 is baffling: beautiful, biting and dripping with otherworldly ambience.
More than anything, it isn’t just the music of Rush’s magnum opus that touches the hearts of the fans but the tale itself that describes a world that controls the freedom of expression and arts and a protagonist who finds and teaches himself how to play the guitar. The story is so beloved that it has since been adapted for comic books and the entire song featured as part of the video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock’s campaign mode, as narrated by the band themselves.