35 Great Rock Songs That Are Less Than Two Minutes Long
Written by C.I. DeMann on April 4, 2018
Every couple months, my KPSU radio show Six Degrees of Rockination has a theme. In August 2015, that theme was “Two Minute Warning.” Every song was less than two minutes, which meant I could fit over twice as many songs as usual into my one hour show. What songs did I play?
The Presidents of the United States of America – “Ladies and Gentlemen, Part 1”
A good opening song, welcoming listeners to the show.
Bad Religion – “Superman”
Someday, I need to do a theme show with nothing but superhero songs.
Crash and the Boys – “I Am So Sad. I Am So Very, Very Sad”
If you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it. Now.
The Connells – “Dial It”
If I ever do an instrumental theme show, this might make the cut.
The Tragically Hip – “Last of the Unplucked Gems”
R.I.P. Gord Downie. You are missed.
Screeching Weasel – “Gotta Girlfriend”
Such a cute song, it really brings back the angst of my teenage years.
Napalm Death – “You Suffer”
At 1.316 seconds, this is in the Guiness Book of World Records for “Shortest Song.”
Moxy Fruvous – “Johnny Saucep’n”
Not just a short song. A live song, as well.
The CRY! – “Down in the City”
Possibly my favorite Portland band.
Strongbad – “Different Town”
This song is voiced by Strongbad, but it was written by They Might Be Giants.
The Vaccines – “Norgaard”
This is our 11th song and we’re still not even halfway through the show. It was quite the workout for me, constantly getting songs queued up.
Cosmic Departure – “Agent Ocean”
Surf rock from another Portland band.
Monty Python – “Bruces Philosopher Song”
Emmanuel Kant was a real piss ant.
Burning Brides – “Glass Slipper”
Hard rock out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Relient K – “The Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care”
I just wasted 10 seconds of your life.
Paramore – “Moving On”
One, Hayley Williams has a great voice. Two, ukulele alert!
Locksley – “She Does”
This is the only song this hour that would make my all-time Top 50. Possibly my Top 20. I love it so much.
Simon and Garfunkel – “Bookends”
Paul and Art prove that you don’t need 7 minutes to write a heart-breakingly beautiful song. Heck, you don’t even need 2 minutes.
Hank Green – “Edward Spoonhands”
I like the way this song builds, adding instruments along the way.
James Taylor – “Oh Baby, Don’t You Loose Your Lip On Me”
This song feels improvised, like he was making it up on the spot. I don’t know if it was, but it feels like it.
Prince – “The Rest of My Life”
R.I.P. Prince. There are no more virgins in heaven.
Dr. Horrible – “Freeze Ray”
If you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it. Now.
Calamine – “Sealab 2021”
Theme song for the Cartoon Network show.
Into It. Over It. – “Wearing White”
Everytime I hear this singer, I think he’s Benjamin Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. Spoiler alert: he’s not.
Crash and the Boys – “We Hate You, Please Die”
The second appearance by this fake band from a movie.
Brendan Benson – “Bird’s Eye View”
Benson might be better known as a member of the Raconteurs.
C’mon – “The Messenger”
I don’t know much about this band, I just know this song’s awesome. Total garage rock.
Barenaked Ladies – “Raisins”
Raisins come from grapes. People come from apes. This band comes from Canada.
The Smithereens – “Crazy Mixed-Up Kid”
Everything this band does sounds like it should have hit the Top 40 in 1964. I love them
The Rutles – “Ouch!”
If you haven’t seen The Rutles, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it. Now.
The Mountain Goats – “Dance Music”
John Darnielle is definitely one of my Top 5 lyricists.
They Might Be Giants – “Letter, Not a Letter”
I think this song is adorable. Each kindergartner has their own distinct personality.
The D4 – “Get Loose”
Your second favorite band from New Zealand.
NOFX – “What’s the Matter With Parents Today?”
I love the way they flip all the cliches on their heads. So clever.
The Figgs – “Kristy McNichols Boots”
The Figgs ask that age-old question: why don’t you quit your bitchin’?
And there you go! 35 great rock songs that are less than two minutes long. And guess what? This isn’t just a list I came up with. This was an actual hour-long radio show. Want to hear it? Here’s the link. A solid hour featuring a whole lot of really good, really short songs.