What Do Taylor Swift, Guns N' Roses, Meatloaf, and David Bowie Have In Common?
Taylor Swift just proved that the new trend we've been seeing of two-to-three minute, bite-sized songs isn't necessarily a formula for success. The extended version of her popular song "All Too Well," which she recently retooled for release under her own label, just broke the record for the longest song to ever hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at 10 minutes and 13 seconds.
The previous record was held by Don McLean's "American Pie (Parts I & II)," which has a runtime of 8 minutes and 37 seconds. The song, released in 1971, held the record for nearly 50 years.
Swift took time to thank her fans for helping her earn this accomplishment in a tweet:
I’m so proud of this song and the memories I have with you guys because of it. You truly chose this one and now you did THIS?! I’m floored. A ten minute song is at the top of the Hot 100.🤯— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 22, 2021
Taylor may have blown the previous record out of the water, but she's not alone in penning long songs that still manage to capture the attention of everyone who hears them. That said, there haven't been many - that's because, before the late 60s, radio stations usually refused to play songs longer than four minutes. The song that finally broke through that arbitrary rule was the Beatles' famous "Hey Jude," which was 7 minutes and 11 seconds long.
Other near-misses - songs on the Hot 100 that never quite managed to break into that number one spot - include Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," at 8:28 runtime, Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" at 8:57, and David Bowie's "Blackstar" at 9:57.
The extended version of "All Too Well (Taylor's Version)" also broke the record for longest song to ever enter the Billboard Hot 100 charts - by exactly one second. The previous record was held by Tool's "Fear Inoculum" in 2019 - and that song only debuted at No. 93. Before that, the record was Bowie's.
You can listen to All Too Well (Taylor's Version), as well as the rest of Red (Taylor's Version) wherever you stream your music. You can also see Taylor Swift's All Too Well Short Film on YouTube.