Tool's 'Fear Inoculum' Breaks Record as Longest Billboard Hot 100 Hit & First to Run More Than 10 Minutes

Tim Cadiente
Tool

The song passes David Bowie's 9-minute, 57-second-long 'Blackstar.'

Songs are noticeably succinct in 2019, with, for instance, 19-week Billboard Hot 100 leader "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X the shortest No. 1 hit by song length since 1965.

Still, the record for the lengthiest Hot 100 hit by run time is rewritten this week, as Tool's "Fear Inoculum" debuts at No. 93 on the Aug. 17-dated tally, becoming the first song in the chart's history to make the list with a time exceeding 10 minutes. At 10 minutes and 21 seconds, it bests David Bowie's "Blackstar," which, running 9:57-long, reached No. 78 in 2016.

Here's an updated look at the longest, as well as shortest, Hot 100 hits all-time (as researched by the invaluable Paul Haney of Joel Whitburn's Record Research, and going by the longest version of a song for the first list and the shortest for the second):

The Longest Hot 100 Hits
(10:21) "Fear Inoculum," Tool, No. 93 peak (to date), 2019
(9:57) "Blackstar," David Bowie, No. 78 peak, 2016
(9:30) "Better Place to Be (Parts 1 & 2)," Harry Chapin, No. 86, 1976
(8:55) "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)," Hillsong UNITED, No. 83, 2014
(8:55) "November Rain," Guns N' Roses, No. 3, 1992
(8:50) "4 Your Eyez Only," J. Cole, No. 29, 2016
(8:37) "American Pie (Parts I & II)," Don McLean, No. 1 (four weeks), 1972

The Shortest Hot 100 Hits
(0:45) "PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)," Piko-Taro, No. 77, 2016
(1:02) "Little Boxes," The Womenfolk, No. 83, 1964
(1:13) "Pete Davidson," Ariana Grande, No. 99, 2018
(1:16) "Difference (Interlude), XXXTentacion, No. 84, 2018
(1:17) "Some Kind-A Earthquake," Duane Eddy His Twangy Guitar and the Rebels, No. 37, 1959
(1:19) "Forward," Beyonce feat. James Blake, No. 63, 2016
(1:20) "What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)," Andrew Seeley & Vanessa Anne Hudgens, No. 67, 2006

"Fear" additionally debuts at No. 20 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart, with rock radio historically known for playing long songs (such as "November Rain" and "American Pie," as noted above). On the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart, the track starts at No. 28 with 2.6 million in first-week audience, according to Nielsen Music. It opens at No. 2 on Rock Digital Song Sales and No. 8 on the all-genre Digital Song Sales chart with 17,000 downloads sold and drew 3.5 million first-week U.S. streams.

The song is Tool's first new track in 13 years, as the band has made all its previous albums available on streaming and digital services for the first time.

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