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To Close Out February, We Give You Our Top 28 Short Songs For A Short Month
February 28, 2013
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Ramones.jpg

In today's world, where everything seems fast, it's doubtful a 17-minute song like Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida would be released today.

If you don't know it, it's off their 1968 album of the same title and takes up the entire second side. And it's even longer live!

You could do your taxes during this song. Check it out here.

But today being the last day in February - the shortest month of the year - we decided to go the other way.

We put together a list of classic tunes that fly by with no time for guitar, drum solos or any ornamentation of any kind.

So, without further ado (time is at a premium) here are 28 Short Songs For A Short Month.

1. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. - Motorhead (1:27)

Lemmy's tribute to the Ramones, the king of songs that last as long as an alarm clock's ring. Joey Ramone called it "the ultimate honour".

2. Judy is a Punk - Ramones (1:33) link
This rocker graces the soundtrack of The Royal Tenenbaums, and is Joey Ramone's tribute to two juvenile delinquents he knew. Ramones songs were disproportionate to Joey's height.

3. Tommy, Can you Hear Me - The Who (1:36) link
Pete Townsend's song interestingly, became the theme song for UNICEF in 1972.

4. Carry that Weight - The Beatles (1:38)

If under two is what you need, the Fab Four has your number and there are too many short Beatles songs to choose from.

For such a small bite, it packs a symphonic punch with a slate of strings, double bass, four horns, three trumpets and two, count 'em two kinds of trombone.

5. Fell in Love with a Girl - White Stripes (1:50)

The accompanying LEGO video was heralded as the best of the decade by Pitchfork, but the building blocks of this song are a killer riff and yelping vocal from Jack White.

He screams "my left brain knows that all love is fleeting". The song is too, at just under two minutes.

6. White Riot - The Clash (1:58) link

In the spirit of The Ramones, Mick Jones counts off the intro 1 2 3 4! !

7. Gimme Gimme Gimme - Black Flag (1:48)

Killer drum intro and another count off followed by some buzzsaw guitar to jump start the day.

8. My Mummy's Dead - John Lennon (0:50)

According to The Beatles Bible site, this lo-fi track was recorded in Bel Air, California, where Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed while undergoing primal scream therapy (an intervention that thankfully didn't carry over into the recording studio).


9. Busted - as performed by Johnny Cash (live version at Folsom Prison - 1:28)

The original was longer than Cash's seminal performance at Folsom Prison - unfortunate in this case, as time was all his audience had.

10. Underneath the Bunker - REM (1:41)

Atypical REM with 60s surfer guitar and lightly swinging Latin rhythms

11. Knowledge - Operation Ivy (1:42) link

The band, whose name was derived from a series of nuclear tests in the early 50s, blew up briefly with their blend of ska and punk. This was before singer Tim Armstrong moved on to other incendiary projects (Rancid's Time Bomb for example).

12. Record Body Count - Rheostatics (1:56)

National treasures the Rheos rock a peppy reggae feel for a song about suicide.

13. 'Til the Morning Comes - Neil Young (1:21) link

Neil's Crazy Horse band has jams that last longer than many celebrity weddings. Live, their 16-minute dirge Walk Like a Giant makes In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida sound like Take Me Out to the Ballgame. However for this tune, he pulls everything back.

14. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochrane (1:50) link

From the Caddyshack soundtrack, this rockabilly hit was redone several times by country and rock artists alike. You can "raise a fuss and a holler" but we're checking our watch.

15. Pigs on a Wing - Pink Floyd (1:40) link

According to drummer Nick Mason, this was a love song Roger Waters had written for his new wife. Waters' wife that is, otherwise that'd just be awkward - as awkward as a love song to your amour referencing a pig.

16. Ballad of Jimi Hendrix - SOD (incredibly short) link

Sneezes go on for longer.

17. New Thrash - Sublime (1:29) link

Great line: "the real world always gets the last word..."

18. Rebirth - Public Enemy (1:22)

The always brilliant Chuck D - "you never know, if you only trust TV and radio." The inimitable Flavor Flav counts the beat down.

19. Flute Loop - Beastie Boys (1:55)

A fly flute riff Anchorman's Ron Burgandy would be proud of.

20. Tame - The Pixies (1:55) link

From the same album Doolittle, there's also Frank Black's tribute to an out of control roommate Crackity Jones (1:24) in which he shouts "you're crazy!" The other tune is literally tame by comparison.

21. I Will (No Man's Land) - Radiohead (1:59)

Weird outro of "little babies... eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes" comes in just under the wire.

22. Minimum Wage - They Might be Giants (0:48)

A song about earning minimum wage with too many refrains would be depressing. This tune features the title phrase, a crack of the whip and that's it.

23. Tonight you Belong to Me - Nancy Sinatra (1:47)

Bop along on the upbeat with this. Eddie Vedder and Cat Power do a nice version of this 1926 pop standard too.

24. Six Shooter - Queens of the Stone Age (1:21) link

This six bullet burst is so good, even the NRA would like it.

25. Old Mother Reagan - Violent Femmes (0:32) link

The most lyric-dense short song on the list, the ol' mom is stopped at the Pearly Gates.

26. Biz VS Nuge - Beastie Boys (0:33)

Check Your Head and check the running time.

27. Communist Daughter - Neutral Milk Hotel (1:58)

In Communist Daughter, entle horns lull you in...you can check in and out of this Hotel in under two minutes.

28. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment - Ramones (1:37)

"Peace and love is here to stay and now I can wake up and face the day."

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