Last week, we counted down the best songs over thirty minutes long, essentially a list of weirdos. On the opposite side of the spectrum, it is rare for an artist to call a song complete before it enters triple digits on the time counter. But great works have been made under the sixty second mark, be it by relatively normal groups (see: entries 6 and 2), total crazies (see: entries 5 and 3) or mad scientists (see: entries 4 and 1). Here's the list of the best songs under one minute. Feel free to add your favorites to our comments, but take your time. No rush.
6. Green Day - The Ballad Of Wilhelm Fink
In 1999, punk label Fat Wreck Chords released Short Music For Short People, a compilation of 101 bands performing thirty second songs. The absurdity of this platform led to some humorous contributions, like Nerf Herder's masturbation anthem "Doin' Laundry" and Blink 182's profanity-laced "Family Reunion." Green Day trumped the youngins with "The Ballad Of Wilhelm Fink," in which Billie Joe Armstrong squeezes late night trespassing, littering, jail, sex, disappointment and Boone's Farm wine into an economical half minute. It's the most developed track on Short Music, and possibly the best thing the band released between Nimrod and American Idiot.
5. The Locust - "Live From The Russian Compound" For a band like San Diego grinders the Locust, it doesn't take two verses and choruses and a bridge to get the point across. The group originally came out of the short-song-shock-rock school, not too many stylistics steps away from (note: I hate typing these two words) Anal Cunt. By the time the Locust signed to Epitaph's Anti label in 2003 and recorded Plague Soundscapes, the band had become something completely alien. Album standout "Live From The Russian Compound" covers so much ground - blast beat intro, synth gurgle breakdown, that part that sounds like Arab On Radar, the part after it that sounds like Arab On Radar covering Devo - it feels much longer than its fifty nine seconds.
4. Madvillian - "Supervillian"
Madvilliany, the now-legendary collaboration between rapper MF Doom and beat maestro Madlib is interspersed with interludes, brief sound collages, and other various styles of non-song. "Supervillian" is the closest thing to a full track in the album's under-a-minute category, centered around a mischievous spy movie loop and Madlib's signature AM Radio funk drum samples. It cuts off too soon perhaps, but so do genius Madvillian tracks like "Accordian" and "Figaro." An extra thirty seconds on the backend would yield a more conventional song, but the replay value would be greatly diminished.
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