The shortest albums ever

26 February 2021, 19:22 | Updated: 26 February 2021, 19:34

"Wow, that album was over quickly," is what they&squot;re probably saying here
"Wow, that album was over quickly," is what they're probably saying here. Picture: Getty Images

Sometimes "long player" doesn't exactly mean that. Radio X looks at some of the swiftest records ever made.

In the early 1960s, the pop single was king and the album was a mere afterthought. So those Beatles and Stones-era LPs were pretty short. As the decade progressed, so did the music. Soon, double and triple albums became a thing - but not always. There are still many examples of the short-but-sweet album to be found.

To be clear, we're only including albums with at least 8 songs on them, and none of those mini-LPs or EPs will find their place here. Neither will any hardcore thrash metal albums where there's 28 tracks in nine minutes.

  1. Weezer - The Green Album: 28:20

    Weezer - The Green Album:
    Weezer - The Green Album:. Picture: Press

    This 2001 entry in the nerd rockers' portfolio clocked in at 28 minutes and 20 seconds, but still managed to pack in three singles: Island In The Sun, Hash Pipe and Photograph.

  2. Green Day - Father Of All: 26:16

    Green Day - Father Of All
    Green Day - Father Of All. Picture: Press

    The US trio's punk roots meant that the vast majority of their songs are taken at high speed, but their 2020 album was particularly speedy, cramming in ten tracks in just over 25 minutes.

  3. The Kinks - Kinda Kinks: 27:37

    The Kinks - Kinda Kinks
    The Kinks - Kinda Kinks. Picture: Press

    The British rockers laid down these twelve tracks in just two weeks, but even by the standards of the time, this is short. The LP does include an all time classic: Tired Of Waiting For You.

  4. The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night: 30:10

    The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night
    The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night. Picture: Press

    Early Beatles albums typically lasted just over half an hour, but their 1964 soundtrack/studio collection is the quickest yet: 13 tracks in 30 minutes and 10 seconds. And all written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the first time.

  5. The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray: 29:46

    The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
    The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray. Picture: Press

    Evan Dando's fifth album from 1992 is quite briskly dealt with, although a re-release included the hit Mrs Robinson as a 13th track, thus ruining it for our purposes here.

  6. Prince - Dirty Mind: 30:14

    Prince - Dirty Mind
    Prince - Dirty Mind. Picture: Press

    Only 8 tracks on Mr Nelson's third album from October 1980, just scraping the half hour mark. Maybe he had to get back home and wash his raincoat.

  7. Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline: 28:14

    Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
    Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline. Picture: Press

    One of rock's most influential artists eased himself out of the 60s with this laidback collection of 10 tracks, including Lay Lady Lay. His next, Self Portrait, would be a double.

  8. Nick Drake - Pink Moon: 28:22

    Nick Drake - Pink Moon
    Nick Drake - Pink Moon. Picture: Press

    The hugely influential singer-songwriter released his third and final album in February 1972 comprised of 11 brief, acoustic tracks. Drake died two years later, aged just 26.

  9. Ramones – Ramones: 29:04

    Ramones – Ramones
    Ramones – Ramones. Picture: Press

    The brothers Ramone's stage act was a barrage of quick and dirty punk songs, so their ground-breaking debut album follows suit, with 14 tracks unleashed in 56 seconds short of half an hour. That's a new song every two and a quarter minutes!

  10. Beach Boys - Wild Honey: 23:58

    Beach Boys - Wild Honey
    Beach Boys - Wild Honey. Picture: Press

    The Beach Boys were obviously an act in a hurry: this was their thirteenth album in five years and Their previous album, Smiley Smile, was only 27 and a half minutes long. This was their Christmas 1967 offering and knocks out 11 tracks in two seconds under 24 minutes. What's the rush?


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