The Ten Best Multi-Part Songs Ever
No. 5Radiohead - Paranoid Android
Heavily influenced by The Beatles’ Happiness is a Warm Gun, Paranoid Android is inspired by one of Thom York’s terrible experiences at a bar in Los Angeles. Its name comes from Marvin, the depressed android in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and consists of four sections. The antagonist is depicted as a somewhat inane and depressed individual who heads to a bar to take a break from reality. He realizes that the woman he encounters is a materialistic pig who can’t even remember his damn name. Fed up, he leaves the bard and his suicidal tendencies emerge once again as we are lead to believe the he takes his life with the last sentence “the panic, the vomit, god loves his children, god loves his children.. yeah”. Paranoid Android is pretty warped and we wouldn’t expect anything less from Radiohead.
No. 4Pink Floyd – Echoes
Pink Floyd has many multi section tracks in their repertoire and choosing just one is like choosing your favorite child. You obvious can’t say which one you like best, but don’t worry, we know that you secretly have one. We’ve chosen echoes because it was such a great finale to an already awesome album. Musically, it’s quite possibly the most diverse in Pink Floyd’s catalog with every member contributing in the writing process. They later split up echoes into two parts as the opening and closing act of their film, live at Pompeii.
No. 3Lynyrd Skynard – Free Bird
When you’re at a concert, and the band gets off stage, it’s customary to shout out “Free Bird” and for good reason. This 1974 classic is Lynyrd Skynard’s masterpiece which was included in every single one of their albums. Free Bird has transformed many times over the years and more and more parts have been added to it. In their 1976 live album, Lynyrd Skynard had not played Free Bird is part of their setlist; in fact, it was also omitted in their encore. Fans were outraged and began to shout “Free Bird”. The band came back for a second encore and played a 14 minute version of the song and that’s how the tradition was born.
No. 2The Beatles - Happiness is a Warm Gun
While the other songs on our list range from seven to twenty something minutes in lenght, depending on the version you listen to, The Beatles managed to squeeze five different sections into a song the doesn’t even hit the three minute mark. Still, that was more than enough time for the song to be considered a classic. The title comes from a gun magazine whose headline read exactly that: “Happiness is a Warm Gun” which fascinated Lennon since it meant that the gun was just fired.
No. 1Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the most popular multipart songs ever. The song consists of six sections: an intro, the ballad, the guitar section, the opera (which got a second wind in the early 90s thanks to Wayne’s World), the hard rock section and the outro. Bohemian Rhapsody is as bizarre as its title suggests. Each section is vastly different from one another and there is a complete lack of transition as it all happens abruptly and fast. Mamma Mia let me go.