Five fantastic long songs that you never want to end

These songs still end too soon.
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“I’D DO ANYTHING FOR LOVE (BUT I WON’T DO THAT)” by Meat Loaf – 1993 (12:01)

As with other long songs that were released as singles, this exists in several versions. The full album version, which runs twelve minutes, is the best. It is a glorious return to Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell days in the late ‘70s. Jim Steinman wrote another operatic epic that allowed Michael Lee Aday (Meat Loaf) to unleash his pop opera voice. And Lorraine Crosby (AKA “Mrs. Loud”) is on hand to provide the foil for him to bounce off, much as he did with Ellen Foley on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

It begins with what sounds like a car engine revving up underwater before the keyboard identifies an actual rhythm. Soon, power chords, screeching solos, and other noises explode on the scene. We are two minutes in and set up for something big.

Aday’s voice is nothing if not big. It starts slow and somewhat restrained in a tortured sort of way, but soon enough, we are into the type of classic pop power ballad that Steinman wrote as well as anyone ever has. For eight or nine minutes – depending on the intro you are hearing – we get Meat Loaf, a band, and a backing choir soaring to the heights. Then, the final chapter brings Crosby into the conversation.

Her voice matches Aday’s in drama and power, and her presence puts perspective into the song that wouldn’t have existed had the boy been the only voice. You will run across the occasional question about why Crosby was never publicly credited, and why she was omitted from the music video, but she doesn’t seem bothered by any of that. Many years later, the world knows who she is. Even if it still likes to argue over “that” – the thing our narrator will not do for love.