Over the past two years, I’ve come across 3 songs that transcend the typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format to music tell stories on an epic scale. While progressive rock often has atypical song structures and immense stories of fantasy, these songs are accessible to the masses (sill sound like pop/rock) and tell life stories.

The first has been around a while: Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant“. For seven and a half minutes it uses various musical styles to tell the rise and fall of a relationship and ties it all together with a casual storyteller-style. A “greatest hit” for good reason.

The second is “Deathbed” by Relient K. At over 11 minutes, it’s hard to get more epic! Like “Scenes..” it starts in the present, then goes on to tell the back story. Its musical variety includes slow, poignant reflections, upbeat memories, and inspirational progressions. The 30-second sample on AmazonMP3 doesn’t tell the whole story, spend the change in your pocket and try it out.

Switchfoot’s “Faust, Midas, and Myself” may not be quite as epic (and it’s less then 4 minutes long), but it tells the story of temptation and meaning so beautifully that it feels epic. The music ties in with the story perfectly.

These three songs have captured my imagination. Leave a comment and tell which capture yours…