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Old 06-03-2019, 09:34 AM
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What's the shortest single album track you know?


We've had the longest, now it's time for the shortest.

The shortest track I have is from Mozart's The Magic Flute. It consists of the spoken words "Ist es denn wirklichkeit, was ich sah?" or "Is it really what I saw?"

The track is 3 seconds long.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:37 AM
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Napalm Death - You Suffer (1.316 seconds)

ETA: Wikipedia article about the song.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-03-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:53 AM
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The shortest track I've heard that could still be considered a "song" by me is Weinerschnitzel by the Descendants at around 10 seconds. They also had a couple shorter tracks called some variant on "All" but I wouldn't consider those songs per se.

Last edited by Ludovic; 06-03-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 09:57 AM
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Snowboarder Bo's example may be impossible to beat.

They Might Be Giants' album Apollo 18 contains a medley of very short songs called "Fingertips," each of which is its own track on the CD. (It was written to take advantage of the then-somewhat-novel shuffle play feature on CD players.) The shortest songs ("I heard a sound" and "Who's knocking") are 4 seconds each.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:34 AM
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"I Say Fuck" by the Supersuckers is really short, but it's long compared to some of the offerings here. Maybe it qualifies as the shortest song with 2 verses and a drawn out ending. (At work, can't currently get a youtube link for a song with that title )

Last edited by bobot; 06-03-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot View Post
"I Say Fuck" by the Supersuckers is really short, but it's long compared to some of the offerings here. Maybe it qualifies as the shortest song with 2 verses and a drawn out ending. (At work, can't currently get a youtube link for a song with that title )
Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwJm0Utqieg

(My work has a pretty liberal internet use policy. I mean, I wrote it...)
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:05 AM
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The Beatles Her Majesty at 23 seconds.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:35 AM
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Stormtroopers Of Death's brilliant debut album Speak English Or Die (1985) featured 3 songs under 10 seconds:

S.O.D. - Hey Gordy! (:08)
S.O.D. - Diamonds and Rust (Extended Version) (:07) (yes, this is their version of the Joan Baez song; inspired no doubt by the Judas Priest cover on Sin After Sin)
S.O.D. - The Ballad of Jimi Hendrix (:06)

For their 1999 follow-up Bigger Than The Devil they kept that last joke alive with 2 songs:

S.O.D. - Ballad of Michael H. (:12)
S.O.D. - Ballad of Phil H. (:08)

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-03-2019 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:37 AM
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"There's a Riot Goin' On" by Sly and the Family Stone, listed on the (original album) label as 0:00!

Last edited by Helmut Doork; 06-03-2019 at 11:37 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmut Doork View Post
"There's a Riot Goin' On" by Sly and the Family Stone, listed on the (original album) label as 0:00!
I just searched my music folders for short tracks, and this was the shortest I came up with, but it's only 4 seconds of silence, so I thought it was a badly ripped file. I've ripped all my CDs and have never noticed this oddity when listening to the CD. The other short track I found is the last track on Kyuss' "Blues For The Red Sun" called "Yeah", a four second track of someone saying, well, "Yeah".

ETA: the shortest track I found with actual music is "No Money, No Honey (intro)" from "Stereopathetic Soulmanure" by Beck, 6 seconds.
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 06-03-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by EinsteinsHund View Post
"Yeah", a four second track of someone saying, well, "Yeah".
Queen's posthumous album Made In Heaven also includes a four-second track "Yeah."
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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Off the top of my head, I'd say one of Blink 182's joke tracks, Build this Pool, at 15 seconds.

ETA, Snowborder Bo's knocking it out of the park!

Last edited by Regallag_The_Axe; 06-03-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:30 PM
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Queen's posthumous album Made In Heaven also includes a four-second track "Yeah."
Well, in this case I guess that Kyuss paid tribute to Freddie.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:37 PM
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Government Issue - Stepping Stone (listed at 7 seconds, but there's about 1.5 combined seconds of silence at the beginning and end of the track, so more like 5).
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:38 PM
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Janet Jackson's album janet. includes a dozen tracks that are under 15 seconds each, with the shortest at 4 seconds long.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:02 PM
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My first thought was the "filler" tracks on CDs to space out the hidden tracks. E.g., on Cracker's Kerosene Hat. But those are apparently 4-6 seconds long. Surely there must be some really short such filler out there.

And if you don't think silence isn't a song, tell that to John Cage. Well, or his ghost or whatever.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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Another four-second track: The Flower Kings, "Ikea by Night", Flower Power.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:21 PM
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Just for posterity: remember the Broken EP by Nine Inch Nails? On the CD: tracks 1-6 were songs, then tracks 7-97 were each 1 second long silent tracks, and tracks 98 & 99 were two more "hidden" songs. Maybe other artists employed this trick too, but this is the one i remember/am aware of.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:23 PM
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Not that it's going to beat anything already here, but I just want to add "Harvey the Wonder Hamster" by Weird Al Yankovic from the Alapalooza album clocking in at 21 seconds.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:57 PM
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"Ban the Game" by Men Without Hats. There's a longer version, but the one on the Rhythm of Youth album was 48 seconds.

Last edited by mbh; 06-03-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clawdio View Post
Just for posterity: remember the Broken EP by Nine Inch Nails? On the CD: tracks 1-6 were songs, then tracks 7-97 were each 1 second long silent tracks, and tracks 98 & 99 were two more "hidden" songs. Maybe other artists employed this trick too, but this is the one i remember/am aware of.
Pretty sure Marilyn Manson did this exact same thing with Antichrist Superstar.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:14 PM
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Well most of these examples are jokes and gimmicks or non-musical tracks, but for the shortest examples you really can consider songs, I knew that I had to look no further than for the Minutemen and Wire:

Wire - Field Day For The Sundays (0:28)

The Minutemen - Ack Ack Ack (0:28)
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Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 06-03-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:32 PM
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For chart hits, the shortest track to chart Top 40 was the 1960 number one "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs at 1:36, and for a very long time the shortest to chart top 100 was "Little Boxes" by the Womenfolk, I think in 1963, I think at 1:02. That is until 2016 when something called "PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)" (?) charted at #77, clocking in at 0:45.

Last edited by Helmut Doork; 06-03-2019 at 03:33 PM. Reason: added a date
  #24  
Old 06-03-2019, 03:55 PM
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Sgt Pepper's Inner Groove is apparently just short of 2 seconds, following the orchestral climax (and air conditioning system turning on) of A Day In the Life. I've just been to a few blogs and several fora discussing that track alone.

I don't have the track any more, but I think Her Majesty was two verses and 12 seconds long. Mine was from the Beatles' Rarities album, but apparently the original was on one of the later albums which I never bought (I stopped with Abbey Road and got into other bands).

--G!
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsHund View Post
Well most of these examples are jokes and gimmicks or non-musical tracks, but for the shortest examples you really can consider songs, I knew that I had to look no further than for the Minutemen and Wire:

Wire - Field Day For The Sundays (0:28)

The Minutemen - Ack Ack Ack (0:28)
Old Mother Reagan by the Violent Femmes comes close at 0:32 and is also definitely a song. Although my previous example of Weinerschniztel is arguable: at what point does yelling with little or no music turn into an a capella song with little or no music?
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:12 PM
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Fire and Rain by Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies comes in at 1:23 while its not the shortest by the standards of this thread but they were the first band I though of and its their second shortest song. Of course number 1 for them is Sodemy at only 0:30 which is at least competitive.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clawdio View Post
Just for posterity: remember the Broken EP by Nine Inch Nails? On the CD: tracks 1-6 were songs, then tracks 7-97 were each 1 second long silent tracks, and tracks 98 & 99 were two more "hidden" songs. Maybe other artists employed this trick too, but this is the one i remember/am aware of.
Ministry did it at least twice, with 10 or so songs, then dozens of ~4s blank tracks, followed by a 69th track. Tool did the same on Undertow, but also the last track is in 2 sections with crickets chirping in the middle 7 minutes.

The X-Files soundtrack did it best with a Nick Cave 0th track. You had to start track 1 and then rewind past 0:00

Not music, but there is the 1 Second Film.

An entire album: Short Music for Short People.

The real question is what is the shortest song in your music collection? I have You Suffer.
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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Short Songs--Dead Kennedys
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:04 PM
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I don't think inner/runout grooves should count as "tracks" but if they do: The James Gang "Yer Album" had short ones (1 second?) on both sides. Voice saying "Turn Me Over" on side a; "Play Me Again" on side b.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
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Old Mother Reagan by the Violent Femmes comes close at 0:32 and is also definitely a song. Although my previous example of Weinerschniztel is arguable: at what point does yelling with little or no music turn into an a capella song with little or no music?
I’l see your 0:32 Violent Femmes and raise (well, lower) with 0:25 Carpenters .

ETA: Apparently I’m also seeing Wire and Minutemen.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 06-03-2019 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:29 PM
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"Receive Him" by Vengeance Rising is shorter than the 5 seconds it's allotted on You Tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzK9IBSW-H0

Bet you never thought Christian music could sound like that.
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:03 AM
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Il see your 0:32 Violent Femmes and raise (well, lower) with 0:25 Carpenters .

ETA: Apparently Im also seeing Wire and Minutemen.
Wire's first album has 6 tracks under 1:00 (of 21 total, or 23 in the reissue).
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Dolores Reborn View Post
The Beatles Her Majesty at 23 seconds.
Nvmd

Last edited by Saint Cad; 06-04-2019 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:03 AM
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It's relatively long by the standards of this thread, but We Are 138 by the Misfits is exactly 1:38 long and that fact amuses me.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:46 AM
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Brutal Truth - Collateral Damage (2.18 seconds)
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:26 PM
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"Nutopian International Anthem" from Mind Games. Three seconds of silence. Nutopia was a conceptual country described in the liner notes, a country with no borders and no passports. One of the clear influences of Yoko Ono's avant-garde conceptual art on John Lennon.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:34 PM
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An actual song you can get an earworm of, Michael Hurley's Ol' Ratface won't set any records either but it comes in at a buxom 24 seconds.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:47 PM
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Possibly the shortest prog track out there, Ayreon's "The Argument 1" is only 25 seconds. Off the 42 track The Theory of Everything album.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:25 PM
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4'33 by John Cage. If you exclude the fade-in and the fade-out.

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Old 06-10-2019, 08:27 AM
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I forget, was "I'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group" its own track, or tacked onto a longer one?
  #41  
Old 06-10-2019, 08:52 AM
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I forget, was "I'm Jimmy Carl Black and I'm the Indian of the group" its own track, or tacked onto a longer one?
Quote:
His trademark line was "Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group." The line can be heard several times on The Mothers of Invention's album We're Only in It for the Money (for example, on the tracks "Are You Hung Up?" and "Concentration Moon"). The line can also be heard in Haskell Wexler's 1969 'Medium Cool'. He was also addressed as such by Theodore Bikel in the film 200 Motels.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carl_Black

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-10-2019 at 08:53 AM.
  #42  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Snowboarder Bo's example may be impossible to beat.

They Might Be Giants' album Apollo 18 contains a medley of very short songs called "Fingertips," each of which is its own track on the CD. (It was written to take advantage of the then-somewhat-novel shuffle play feature on CD players.) The shortest songs ("I heard a sound" and "Who's knocking") are 4 seconds each.
They also had "Minimum Wage," on Flood. That track is 48 seconds long.

Last edited by Scribble; 06-10-2019 at 11:13 AM.
  #43  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:14 PM
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"Nutopian International Anthem" from Mind Games. Three seconds of silence. Nutopia was a conceptual country described in the liner notes, a country with no borders and no passports. One of the clear influences of Yoko Ono's avant-garde conceptual art on John Lennon.
This is what I came in to say.
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