The magic number

Latest posts by Ed Park (see all)

Lovely Rita…is 2:42!

From The Morning News:

I’d hit upon the perfect song length. I fist-bumped somebody.

What else is at 2:42? “Don’t Do Me Like That” by Tom Petty. “Divine Hammer” by the Breeders. “Helplessly Hoping” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. “Get Up” by R.E.M. “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas & the Papas. “This Charming Man” by the Smiths.

You need more proof? Jerk. Let’s look at Sgt. Pepper. “Lovely Rita” is two minutes, 42 seconds. It delivers that psychedelic vibe and a coda but then gets the hell out of your life.

Compare that to “With a Little Help From My Friends.” It’s a mere two seconds longer but feels like it drags on for hours. Maybe it’s Ringo, maybe it’s the tedious melody—or maybe it’s the two goddamn seconds.

Then over here we have “Good Morning Good Morning,” rightfully discarded by the masses as a throwaway. Why? Two minutes, 41 seconds. Hey, Beatles, maybe next time think about tacking on an extra second to give a song the grandeur and majesty it deserves.


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  1. Avatar Josh Glenn wrote:

    Yeah, but “Michelle” is also 2:42, and that’s one of their worst.

  2. Avatar Josh Glenn wrote:

    I’m leaning toward 2:12.

    The Ramones, “Blitzkrieg Bop”

    Beatles, “Good Day Sunshine” — a song I like better than the other
    Beatles songs mentioned

    Elvis Presley, “One-Sided Love Affair” and “A Little Less
    Conversation” — both excellent

    Minor Threat, “Steppin’ Stone”

    The Kinks, “Village Green”

    Frank Sinatra, “I’ve Got The World On A String”

    Ray Smith, “Rockin’ Bandit”

    Adam and the Ants, “Jolly Roger”

    Specials, “Do the Dog”

    Pavement, “Flux = Rad”

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