Infinite sadness: how to endure the longest albums of all time

Music has always been dotted with overly long albums, often by musicians at the peak of their powers, and sometimes by Gareth Gates. Heres what we learned by listening to them all

Gareth Gates

Go Your Own Way 1hr 15 mins


Photograph: Dave Hogan/ Getty Images

It is hard to listen to this as a complete album and not a kind of dark relic of failure. Gareth Gates, with his dimples and his spikes and his wholesome teen-friendly good looks and his voice, pure like an angel- something between MJ and George Michael – why, ever, did Gareth Gates not really make it? And then you listen to Go Your Own Way and realise: he wasn’t horny enough. GYOW is nominally a double album about grinding in clubs( Club Hoppin ‘), being in love with a movie star( Perfectly) and being a mega-celebrity who was still down to Earth( Enough of Me ), and none of it voices convincing, because you cannot, genuinely, imagine Gareth Gates doing or being any of those things.
Number of times I listened, agog, to Spirit in the Sky, complete with ad-libs from The Kumars at No 42 Three.
Number of hours I had to furiously turn the album off because the ballad Foolish on Disc 2 was so fundamentally bad One.

Lana Del Rey

Lust for Life 1hr 12 mins

Photograph: Neil Krug

Listening to Lana Del Rey at length is a bit like is available on a vintage store looking at a really long rack of cowboy shirts that, ultimately, will never fit you at all: 20 minutes of it happening softly is fine, an hour is far too long and then, for some reason, anything over an hour circles round and becomes all right again. Lust for Life was nice to have on in the background while I was cooking, but by the time that Radiohead rip-off song came on at the end I was actually ready for it to be over and to never hear her being slowly , nostalgically sad ever again.
Times I managed to mess up cook noodles, somehow Two. Two!
Times the Bluetooth speaker operated out of battery and announced” battery low” while I, hands contained within ruined noodles, screamed at it Three!

Alanis Morissette

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie 1hr 12 mins

Photograph: Marcus Krueger/ Action Press/ Rex

Tried listening to this while doing an entire weekend’s worth of cleaning up, and this album attained my least favourite chore worse somehow. Listen, I’m sure Alanis Morissette is the right wave for some people- the album sold 5.2 m internationally in the year of its release, so you would figure- but seeing as I’m not on a mid-2 0s road trip-up with my gals, heinously stoned in a New York apartment circa 1998 or in a complex relationship with an adult skateboarder, this one didn’t really work for me. It’s just someone with sinuses hollering XoJane It Happened to Me confessionals over a guitar.
Number of plates I managed to use in one weekend Every single plate in the house, inexplicably.
Number of T-shirts ruined by running a tap too quickly on to an aforementioned plate and get ketchup water all up me One.


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