Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tunesday: Shorties but goodies

A typical single is about three to five minutes. It's rare for anything clocking in much longer than that sweet spot will become a hit. One rulebreaker is Oasis' full-length version of "All Around the World" (nearly 10 minutes long). The band reached no. 1 with the track on the U.K. charts in 1998 ... not unlike their major influence, The Beatles and their seven-minute "Hey Jude," which set the standard for a lengthy hit prominently featuring "nah" decades earlier.

I'm not the first (nor the last) to say this: Short and sweet can be a nice thing. Recently, NME and Paste championed the best sub-two-minute songs. Between the two, obvious tracks ("Fell In Love With a Girl" and "Vaseline") are listed, but there are some less-heralded quickies ("Tourettes" and "I Will") that receive their due. But there are others that I'm fond of, so why not give you a few:

"Frank Mills," The LemonheadsOnly Evan Dando can get away with covering this song from "HAIR." Growing up, I didn't have a clue about the song's origin. I just thought it was a cool, strange track. "It's a Shame About Ray" is a perfect rainy-day record that features five, sub-to-minute tracks. Just put it on and let it play over and over.

"Rave On," Buddy Holly: Lubbock's own. Most of his songs with The Crickets were less than three minutes long. And most of them are gems. A pure song-writing genius.

"Let's Go," Rancid: Sure, there are at least a few really good Minor Threat or Fugazi songs that could go right here, too. But when it comes to quick, catchy, piss-n-vinegar punk, I opt for Rancid.

"Flute Loop," Beastie Boys: Sampled from "Flute Thing" by The Blues Project, this song just makes me happy. And sometimes that's all a song needs to do. Am I right?

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