Top 10 Classic Rock Songs Under 2 Minutes
via Alexandre Felipe Présente/YouTube
These rock songs are short but sweet. They clock in at less than two minutes but that’s all they need to leave an impression. Let’s check them out:
The Beatles – I Will (1:46)
Written by Paul McCartney, it’s one of the songs he wrote during the productive period in Rishikesh, India. Its music came together quickly but the lyrics were unfinished even as The Beatles started recording in London. McCartney called it “one of my favorite melodies that I’ve written” and later commented on the song, “You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them; quite a complete tune.”
The Smiths – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (1:50)
The B-side of 1984’s “William, It Was Really Nothing”, it’s been featured in several films and was covered by other artists including
Slow Moving Millie, Muse, Deftones, Hootie & The Blowfish, and The Halo Benders. Morrissey told Melody Maker, “To me, it’s like a very brief punch in the face. Lengthening the song would, to my mind, have simply been explaining the blindingly obvious.”
Ramones – Judy Is A Punk (1:32)
Featured on their 1976 debut album, it has a pretty vague story of the protagonists Jackie and Judy. Written by lead singer Joey Ramone, it’s fictional and he got the idea for the first line after passing by an apartment building that he revealed was “where all the kids in the neighborhood hung out on the rooftop and drank.”
Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz (1:46)
This a cappella song perfectly showcased Janis Joplin’s immaculate and powerful vocals. It’s an interesting song because she famously drove her iconic ’65 Porsche 356 C complete with psychedelic art. There are varying accounts as to where she found the inspiration but she played it at her last concert a few weeks before she died.
The Clash – White Riot (1:58)
It’s the band’s debut single and has two versions. Because its lyrical content touched on class and race, it became controversial. Co-founding member Joe Strummer clarified that it wasn’t racist and they didn’t advocate violence. It became one of their signature songs.
The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl (1:50)
Written and produced by Jack White, it was met with critical acclaim. And not just the song, its music video was also innovative because they used Legos. Because they were unable to strike a deal with Lego, they had to purchase several boxes for the MV.
The Beach Boys – Our Prayer (1:07)
This wordless hymn was composed by Brian Wilson. It was originally intended for their unfinished “Smile” project as its intro. Wilson recalled, “The boys were overtaken by the arrangement. I taught it to them in sections, the way I usually do.”
Queen – Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon (1:08)
“A Night At the Opera” has so much variety that there’s an eight-minute song and another one that just a little over one minute. Written by Freddie Mercury, it referenced a couple of other Queen songs. He told Record Mirror, “It’s quite a sort of test… I love writing things like that and I’m sure I’m going to do more than that… It’s quite a challenge.”
Pearl Jam – Lukin (1:02)
Eddie Vedder revealed to Rolling Stone that this was inspired by an actual female stalker. He said, “Someone who had severe mental problems and chemical imbalances ended up targetting me and thinking that all the songs were written about her, and that I was the father of her two children.” The title is named after Vedder’s friend, bassist Matt Lukin. Lukin was also the reason why the song was only a minute long – because he used to tease Vedder about Pearl Jam’s songs being so long.
Cheap Trick – Hello There (1:41)
Cheap Trick often opened their concerts with this song. Written by Rick Nielsen, he called it the “perfect welcome to the show intro piece.” There’s a companion track to this titled “Goodnight Now” also penned by Nielsen.