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.
17 Apr 2008
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!)
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.
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.
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.
Wait, Sun Ra has something at 2:42?
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.
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.
Oceans from Pearl Jam
Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry
Toast and Bananas by Blink 182
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Two weeks with the apple and the lone star (illustrated).