10 Great Punk and Alt-rock Songs That Run Under Two Minutes

In 1987, Napalm Death managed to make a statement in all of 1.316 seconds with “You Suffer.” According to the Guinness Book of Records, it’s the shortest song ever recorded, and it’s great if you like a burst of noise. Here are ten songs that last a bit longer, but still do what they do in a relatively short period of time.

1. The Ramones were not well known for demanding a lot of patience of their listeners. At one and a half minutes, “Judy Is a Punk” is the shortest song on the band’s 1976 self-titled debut album .

2. “Career Opportunities” narrowly beat out “White Riot,” also from The Clash’s 1977 self-titled debut full length, for a spot on this list.

3. Dead Kennedys talk the talk and walk the walk with their ode to short songs, “Short Songs.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjq3Dp1yQ50

4. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1985 not-quite single “Catholic School Girls Rule” is a punk-y, funky blast. *NSFW video*

5. The Vaselines released “Molly’s Lips” on their 1988 EP Dying for It. Kurt Cobain was a big fan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nmrEAmYV94

6. The Breeders’ lovely, poppy “Fortunately Gone” appears on their 1990 debut album Pod.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlFJufLRQMU

7. “Touched,” the third song on My Bloody Valentine’s 1991 shoegaze classic Loveless, is less than a minute long.

8. From 1993’s In Utero, Nirvana’s “Very Ape” is very short and fairly ape.

9. Released in 1996 on the Boys for Pele album, Tori Amos’s “Mr Zebra” is sometimes pretty, kind of weird, maybe just a bit creepy, and only a little longer than one minute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIhrMSghjy4

10. Finally, there’s The White Stripes’ 2002 hit single “Fell in Love with a Girl.”

What can you add to this list? Let us have it.

6 thoughts on “10 Great Punk and Alt-rock Songs That Run Under Two Minutes

  • July 7, 2015 at 10:40 am
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    How is Minor Threat not on here. One of the most important punk bands ever and damn near EVERY song is under 2min. Your record collection is seriously lacking

    Reply
    • July 7, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      Not really, no. I made a list of ten. I never said they were the only great songs under two minutes, or even the only great songs under two minutes that I know.

      Reply
  • July 7, 2015 at 10:52 am
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    Rancid is not on this list?
    Don Giovanni (from Rancid 2000) is 35 seconds (or so).

    Reply
  • July 7, 2015 at 11:09 am
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    I would add Allison by the Pixies and Knives by Therapy?.

    Reply
  • July 7, 2015 at 7:04 pm
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    Well the Descendants have a song called “Coffee Mug” which lasts about 35 seconds. I’d add that song to this list

    Reply
  • July 9, 2015 at 10:11 am
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    Must include “Highly Evolved” by the Vines, from the album of the same title.

    Reply

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