Longest and shortest albums ever?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mad Matt, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Mad Matt

    Mad Matt New Member

    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    OK, here's the latest music-geek trivia question:

    What were the longest and shortest (running time) non-classical album releases of all-new material ever? Here's the ones I have in my personal collection, but I'm sure they can be beat on both ends...

    (note: nominees for shortest must have been considered full-length LPs upon initial release, no EPs!)

    longest: Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Gershwin Songbook, 1959... 5 LPs and a bonus EP, running time about three hours 20 minutes. (I have the great 4 CD reissue with a bonus disc of outtakes and mono mixes)

    shortest: The Misfits, Earth AD, 1983, about fourteen minutes both sides (this has been reissued multiple times with several bonus tracks, but the initial release was just nine tracks). I'm sure that there's gotta be a Dwarves album or two that's even shorter.

    -Matt
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Well, this isn't quite fair. The Gershwin was in volumes.

    For example, Ella's "Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie" was almost one hour of music on one disc. The Doors' first album was damn long too. It should not be how many pieces of vinyl are in the package, it should be how long a single LP set was, correct? Or am I being too strict here? Some Jazz compilation LP sets can run into 100 individual records. That shouldn't count.

    Roger Miller's Greatest Hits LP was 10 minutes a side.
  3. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    Van Halen 1 is damn short for a rock album. So were most of the early Beatles US LPS. Sorry don't have any exact length times here at work!
  4. Mark

    Mark I Am Gort, Hear Me Roar Staff

    I recall that some of the recent John Mellencamp discs are very short, a couple clocking in around 30 minutes or so. Dylan's "Desire" and, I think, "Blood on the Tracks," were quite long.
  5. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Holding Pattern

    I think the original Smash GOLDEN HITS Lp ran around 25 minutes, total. 12 songs, short'n'sweet. Randy Newman's 12 SONGS is certainly under a half-hour.

    The Dave Clark Five's Epic Lp's were very short. Usually no more than ten or eleven songs, also short'n'sweet. But Miller's albums hold up better than the concoctions Epic came up with for the DC5.



    ED:cool:
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    My Roger Miller CD version times out at 20:10.
  7. Graham Start

    Graham Start New Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    The Village People's first (and still best) album is barely 20 minutes long. Does anyone know if this was priced as an EP? It only had 4 songs, but had Casablanca's NBLP designation, as opposed to their 12" singles...

    Klaus Schulze released a 25-CD box set, entirely previously unreleased material, and the shortest disc was 72 minutes. One track spanned two entire discs.
  8. Mark

    Mark I Am Gort, Hear Me Roar Staff

    Man, that's longer than Canned Heat's "Refried Boogie!" LOL
  9. romanotrax

    romanotrax Active Member

    Location:
    Aurora IL
    Longest I know of:

    Inititation - Todd Rundgren... one side was approx 32 min. the other 36 minutes (1 lp). It actually had a warning on the inner sleeve the said something to the effect... if you play this album using a worn needle you will most likely ruin it. Oh yeah, almost no bass to be heard on the vinyl either. Much better on cd.

    Shortest:

    1st Village People LP. It actually could have been considered a 12" single with each side timing in at under 11 minutes each.
  10. PMC7027

    PMC7027 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Are you thinking of Todd Rundgren's Utopia LP? It had "The Ikon" which was the entire second side. Itis quite a weird song, nbut I love it!
  11. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Memory tells me that one of Todd Rundgren's 1970s LPs was almost 60 minutes long on one slab o' wax. Def Leppard's Hysteria was something like 51 minutes long on LP, too.

    Probably the all-time longest, though, were some albums put out by the Fleetwood label in the 1970s using what it called "Microsonic" technology. By cutting the record really soft, Fleetwood put out 90-minute albums ON ONE RECORD! I have an Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops compilation on this label and I think I have at least one other one (Mantovani, perhaps).

    Meanwhile, in the mid-1960s I'd say the average length of an LP -- the whole thing -- was about 30 minutes.Many of the Dave Clark Five's LPs were closer to 20 minutes. You can make a lot of three-fers on CD-R from albums of this era! If you hit 35 minutes, that was a long one.
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Mastering Your Host

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Remember though, folks, the OPTIMUM cutting time per side for an LP is 17-18 minutes.
  13. pick-me-up

    pick-me-up Straight shooter from S/FI

    Location:
    Fennoscandia
    Good to know Steve!
  14. Graham Start

    Graham Start New Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yup. *Very* few disco albums exceed 16 minutes per side, and many are much shorter. They wanted lotsa room for the bass...

    Although there are supposedly albums out there that exceed 40 minutes per side, the longest in my personal collection is once again... Klaus Schulze. "Sense", from his 1980 Live album, at 32 minutes. And now, the clincher -- when this album finally came out on CD, we finally got to hear the unedited version of this piece -- at over 45 minutes long.

    On his Timewind LP, the first side is 30 minutes long... yet the 80s mid-price UK pressing still has about an inch of dead wax left.
  15. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    Most 60s Beach Boys LPs are under 25 min. One of the shortest LP SIDES is side 6 of Bangla Desh, about 9 min long including mucho applause.
  16. aceman400

    aceman400 Black Triangle Fan

    Location:
    mn
    Sonic Youth put out a CD that came in at 79 minutes and some seconds as did 2 live crew - As Nasty as They Want to be. That's one thing I don't like about CD's is bands thinking they need to fill the disc and half of it just isn't that good. IIRC Metallica released And Justice for all and it was close to or more than 30 minutes per side.

    Aaron
  17. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Holding Pattern

    It's also missing the final track from the '65 Lp, "It Happened Just That Way." The reissue vinyl from the late '70s dropped that song, and the CD was referenced from the reissue, obviously.


    ED:cool:
  18. Claus

    Claus Fireblade Rider

    Location:
    Germany
    All CCR's were very short listenings...
  19. KBanya

    KBanya Active Member

    Location:
    CT
    I don't have it nearby, but REO Speedwagon's first 'Decade' hits album...side 3, I believe, was incredibly long (for vinyl). It was the side with the live tracks. Must be almost 1/2 hour long!
  20. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    NOT Cosmo's Factory!
  21. Grant

    Grant Forum Resident

    Prince's "Dirty Mind" album clocks in at just over 30 minutes.
  22. Grant

    Grant Forum Resident

    Also, a lot of R&B albums from the early 80s are under 35 minutes...
  23. Joni Mitchell's - Hejira album clocks in at a second or two shy of 52 minutes. Her next album Don Juan's Reckless Daughter was only a few minutes longer, but was released as a double LP.
  24. bartels76

    bartels76 Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    CT
    Alot of vinyl in the late 80's did about 60 minutes (30 min average a side) mostly rock bands.
    Kiss- Hot In The Shade, Dokken- Back For The Attack, Metallica- Justice For All, Def Leppard- Hysteria, etc.
  25. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Central VA
    Metallica's And Justice for All was a 2-LP set. The others were single records.

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