When time is of the essence and you need a quick fix you require some succinct songs to get you through the day. On the shortest day of the year your time is precious but you don’t have to forego anything, you just need to scale it down. When daylight is scarce and the temperature is dropping a short sharp super-charged dose of high octane music is just the ticket. To help you through the day we’ve put together a playlist of some of the best short songs we could think of. Our top ten has all you need and it comes in at less than 19 minutes in it’s entirety.
The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl.
It’s not the shortest song on the list but it certainly packs a punch. Fell In Love With A Girl is a classic White Stripes song, originally from their 2001 album White Blood Cells and more recently included on the band’s greatest hits, it showcases their ability to deliver a killer track that comes in at under two minutes. Jack and Meg are masters of crafting songs with self imposed restrictions so composing and performing such a speedy tune comes as second nature.
The Smiths – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What.
I mean come on, the title’s nearly longer than the song. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want is a sure fire slice of Morrissey and Marr heaven. The jangle of Marr’s guitar and the melancholy in Morrissey’s voice combine so beautifully to give up one of the many treasures to be found on the band’s 1984 album, Hatful Of Hollow.
Blur – Song 2.
If nothing else Blur’s Song 2 is sure to get your heart racing, it’s a riot from start to finish. From the first beat of Dave Rowntree’s drums and the wonderful guitar work of Graham Coxon through to Damon Albarn’s “Woo, hoo” 15 seconds in this song grabs you and doesn’t let you go. Alex James fuzzy bass line powers the track along together with the heavy rock beat and the combination is just sublime.
David Bowie – Breaking Glass.
From one of David’s most individual albums in many respects, Breaking Glass, appears on the first side of his highly regarded 1977 album, Low. The second track on the album is also the shortest at 1m51sec but it is also one of it’s most memorable. The guitar riff is to die for, the bass line is full of funk and the percussion crashes in and out as futuristic keys add colour. Its all to brief but definitely brilliant.
Simon And Garfunkel – The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).
It’s nearly as old as the street that it inspired it but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this little Simon And Garfunkel track is a real gem. You can’t help but be uplifted by the spirit of the song and it’s repeated refrain, “Feelin’ groovy”. Try not to sing-a-long, I dare you.
Queen – We Will Rock You.
Queen’s anthemic We Will Rock You was an instant success from the moment it was heard back in 1977. The pounding beat and the posturing delivery make it an irresistible choice for our shortest day playlist. Football stadiums around the world have been belting out this tune every year since and it’s appeal seems never to wane.
The Beatles – Please, Please Me.
More pleading but more pleasure. The Beatles wrote a few succinct songs but we’ve gone with one of their earliest, Please, Please Me. It was the band’s second UK single and first to be released in America. The melodies are divine and the harmonica just gives it that something extra. John’s attempt at writing a Roy Orbison was a pretty good one and at just two minutes long it was ideal for radio.
The Undertones – Here Comes The Summer.
The Undertones were master craftsmen at delivering a short, sharp dose of potent power pop and Here Comes The Summer is just that. The infectious toe-tapping beat and seaside scented keyboards soundtrack yet another Undertones tale of love and desire, “Ooh baby, baby, what can I do, you know you drive me crazy when I’m looking at you.” Here they are looking very youthful on Top Of The Pops!
The Vaccines – Norgaard.
Short and sassy, Norgaard, from The Vaccines is full attitude, full of fire and a real curiosity. From the debut album, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines in 2011 comes a song about a young Danish Model, Amanda Norgaard. The style of the song is typical of The Vaccines at that time, borrowing from Post-Punk and 60’s girl groups in one quick swoop. Blink and you’ll miss it because this is our shortest track on the playlist at 1m38sec.
The Clash – White Riot.
Another track from 1977 and another stone cold classic. The Clash’s White Riot is a frenzied Punk anthem that still gets pulses racing today. There’s no let up in the energy or the intent from the iconic band as they set about the blistering pace of the song delivering a snarly and provocative performance that still makes you pay attention today.