make-believe.org

The two-four-two

This guy says that the perfect pop song runs for two minutes, forty-two seconds, no more, no less. He claims to have proof, which is sporadically convincing.

So I created a filter in iTunes: File->New Smart Playlist..., select Time from dropdown, 2:42 in the text field, OK. And my doubts disappeared. Not a bad set list, if from a small and biased sample.

The two-four-two

Joseph | 17 Apr 2008

Thu 17 Apr 2008, 11:15PM Huw

Interesting results. Some songs that pop up that are worth noting, listed by artist (a selection chosen by me): Beatles: Michelle, Lovely Rita, Yellow Submarine Blackalicious: Alphabet Aerobics (maybe their best song). Bob Dylan: You Aint Going nowhere, If Not For You, Song to Woody, Cat Power: Wonderwall (did she improve it by making it 2:42?) Elton John: Your Sister Can't Twist (but she can rock and roll) Neil Young: Walk On Puccini: Floria! Amore - as sung by Maria Callas and Giuseppe di Stefano Tom Waits: Black Box theme (the only 2:42 by him as far as I can see) Potential Falcon: Hey! (that's my band!)

Fri 18 Apr 2008, 9:07AM Joseph

That's impressive eclectics. But wait — no jazz?

I concur on Alphabet Aerobics as their best. That must be in my other iTunes library. Was a little disappointed that Tom Waits' Take care of all of my children missed the cut by a few seconds.

Fri 18 Apr 2008, 2:23PM huw

In fact there was quite a bit of jazz. They were recognisable highlights. Brad Mehldau, Charlie Christian, Uri Caine, Archie Shepp, Paul Grabowsky and Sun Ra all make the 2:42 cut, in some form.

Fri 18 Apr 2008, 7:52PM Virginia Murdoch

I did hope, momentarily, that Neil Young had written a song called "Walk On, Puccini" - but alas, it was not to be. And yes, Cat Power improved Wonderwall by making it 2:42. Nostaligiarama.

Fri 18 Apr 2008, 7:53PM Virginia Murdoch

Wait, Sun Ra has something at 2:42?

Sat 19 Apr 2008, 12:47AM Robert

I've got several from Sonny Boy Williamson, and several from the Pogues. Then there's my favourite Ella song (Paper Moon), the Weakerthans, Ween, John Williamson, the Living End, and the Gimme Gimmes version of Nothing Compares 2 U. Pearl Jam's represented by Oceans. And there's another Billy Bragg & Wilco song: Secrets of the Sea.

Sun 20 Apr 2008, 6:00PM Joseph

Ah, that last one comes in at 2:43 for me. And all the Pogues records are in my other iTunes library. It's funny — this little window into "what's in my music collection" has proved kinda embarrassing for its omissions. I didn't expect that.

Fri 2 May 2008, 4:16PM Kieran Degan

Oceans from Pearl Jam Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry Toast and Bananas by Blink 182

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