It’s not so much a song as a listening experience: Chris Butler’s “The Devil Glitch” is a song that lasts 69 minutes. Be warned, though: Once you start listening, it’s hard to stop.
Butler released the song as a CD in 1996 and, in 1997, Guinness World Records recognized it as the planet’s longest pop song. Most of it is a chorus with many, many variations on the line, “Something you can fix something by …”
The pieces of advice range from serious to whimsical — and often contradict each other — though there’s probably a bit of wisdom, and usefulness, in all of them.
Here’s a brief sampling:
“Sometimes you can fix something by being right-brained/And good at pattern recognition.
Sometimes you can fix something by being left-brained/Focused linear thinkin’.
Sometimes you can fix something by just swinging that club/Sometimes ya gotta be a caveman.
Sometimes you can fix something by just being unique/Defy categorization.”
After about 13 minutes, Butler continues singing, but various other musicians — including Jersey bands of the time such as The Gefkens, Fear of Falling and The Whatnots — provide the music.
Butler is best known as the songwriter and guitarist for The Waitresses, who had two big hits in the New Wave Era (“I Know What Boys Like,” “Christmas Wrapping”). He’s originally from Ohio, but lived in Hoboken for many years (he was there when he put together “The Devil Glitch”) and now resides in Jersey City.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.