Music Monday: The Shortest #1 Song of All-Time

I don’t know why a desire to know the shortest song to make it to the top of the Billboards chart popped into my mind, but it’s nice to know that Google makes it easy to satisfy such desires.

Here’s a couple of hints: the song appeared in Dirty Dancing, and Jackson Browne did his own unique take on the song.

Any guesses?

The song is Stay, a doo-wop song written by Maurice Williams and first recorded in 1960 by Williams with his group the Zodiacs. The song was written by Williams in 1953 when he was 15 years old. He had been trying to convince his date not to go home at 10 o’clock as she was supposed to. He lost the argument, but as he was to relate years later, “Like a flood, the words just came to me.”

The original recording of “Stay” remains the shortest single ever to reach the top of the American record charts, at 1 minute 36 seconds in length. (Wikipedia)

Here’s the Jackson Browne version:

And speaking of short songs, here is the shortest commercial song ever released. It is You Suffer by Napalm Death, and is all of a whopping 1.3 seconds. Somehow the video has more than eight million views.

I wonder if my blog posts will get more views if I can keep them under three words…


51 thoughts on “Music Monday: The Shortest #1 Song of All-Time

  1. I like both versions. More often than not, I like the original best, but this time I have to say I like the Jackson Browne version. I’ll never get back those 1.3 seconds. Bizarre doesn’t begin to describe that “song.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. and the song that leads into that Jackson BRowne song is great as well – The Load Out.

      and I agree, it is just bizarre that such a song was released. I guess it just proves once again that there is a sucker born every minute (or perhaps every 1.3 seconds)…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When someone says “doo wop” this is the song that immediately pops into my head. But I am with Pete in that I think I like the Jackson Browne version better. With some great instrumental fills he stretches the length to the common radio length of three and one half minutes. And, no Jim, you cannot get away with three word posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 8,000,001 now. After listening to the Napalm Death song and chuckling, I tried to listen again. This time YouTube played one of their ‘real’ songs. Guess what? I loved the music. The singing I could do without, but the guitars were great. As a point of reference, I looked up the Beatles’ Her Majesty and found that it’s a whopping 23 seconds. I was going to guess that was the shortest commercial song. I wonder if the Apple Store charges 99 cents to download You Suffer. That would not only make it the shortest song, but the worst value.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had never heard of Napalm Death before either, but apparently one of my sons is a fan, and I listened to one of their songs as well, and it wasn’t bad.

      I was not familiar with that Beatles song – and that was pretty good! Amazing what you can do in 23 seconds.

      And yes, in terms of cost per second, You Suffer is the most expensive song on Apple Music…


  4. A great piece of nostalgia, though I much prefer Jackson Browne’s version. For me, Rosemary Butler’s co-lead vocal makes it a bit special. Out of curiosity I just checked our shortest chart topper: it was ‘What Do You Want’ by Adam Faith, from 1959, which beat yours by a second, coming in at 1 min 35 sec. They didn’t bother with value for money in those days, did they!


    1. both versions are great, I would have trouble picking a favorite…

      I just watched a video of Adam Faith singing that song – he seemed pretty full of himself. And I have trouble picturing that as a number one song…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was easy for me, as I’m a long time Jackson Browne fan. You’ve prompted me to watch Adam Faith – I see what you mean, but that’s what comes from being a teenage heartthrob, I guess. I think they were typical examples of music for that time, as I can’t see how either got to #1!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Quite possibly the only time they got it right. I often wondered if they bought the records and then, when they played them at home, they screamed their heads off to recreate the full experience…

        Liked by 1 person

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