5 songs written in five minutes


Songwriting can be a long and laborious process. Other times, the perfect song comes in a burst of inspiration, and in just a few minutes.

Lorde wrote his 2013 mega hit ‘Royals’ in half an hour, while Elton John wrote his 1970 hit ‘Your Song’ with Bernie Taupin in 20 minutes, and Lady Gaga penned three of her greatest hits (individually): “Just Dance”, “Poker Face” and “Born This Way” — in just 10 minutes. Working at a different speed, there are a number of other artists who even nailed a song in a fraction of those times.

Here are five songs that came together in five minutes.

“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, Queen (1979)

“‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or 10 minutes,” Freddie Mercury said in 1981. “I did it on guitar, which I can’t play for madmen, and somehow way, it was kind of a good thing because I was limited, only knowing a few chords. It’s good discipline because I just had to write in a small frame. I couldn’t work on too many chords, and because of this restriction, I wrote a good song, I think.

“(You have to) fight for your right (to party)”, Beastie Boys (1986)

It was 1986 and the Beastie Boys were working on their debut Licensed at Ill, released later that year. Drinking vodka and grapefruit juice with producer Rick Rubin, the group began writing “Fight For Your Right” on napkins in the Michael Todd VIP room at the Palladium. “We wrote it in about five minutes,” Mike D said in a 1987 interview. sitting at a table, really determined to accomplish something. It was like it is now, trying to fit it all in.

“Sweet Child O’Mine”, Guns N’ Roses (1987)

“It was kind of an interesting pattern,” Slash said of appetite for destruction hit “Sweet Child O’Mine. “I never thought it was going to be a song.” Peaking at No. 1, the Guns N’ Roses hit stayed on the charts for 24 weeks and was written in five minutes when vocalist Axl Rose heard Slash and Izzy Stradlin having fun over guitar riffs in another room and brought his poem/lyrics about then-girlfriend Erin Everly to the song.

“Losing My Religion”, REM (1991)

REM guitarist Peter Buck was learning to play the mandolin and came across a special riff, and from there the Out of time the track was born in “about five minutes”. Singer Michael Stipe even recorded his vocals in one take. “I always thought it was the best song of [the album], even before it was a single,” Buck said in a 1993 interview. “I really didn’t expect it to be a hit; I just loved the song and the lyrics. Hailing from the mandolin, “Losing My Religion” shifts all minor chords and explores unrequited love,” with lyrics inspired by “Love In the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of the singer’s favorite songwriters. Michael Stipe Originally called “Sugar Cane”, the band soon changed the title to “Losing My Religion”, which became the hit single from the band’s seventh album, Out of Time, in 1991, winning two Grammy Awards in 1992.

“All the Lights”, Kanye West, with Rihanna, Kid Cudi (2010)

Kanye West had retired to Hawaii after fallout from interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. There he began work on his fifth album, My beautiful dark twisted fantasy. Released in November 2010, the album produced the hits “Power”, “Runaway” and “Monster” and the latest “All of the Lights”, which came together in an “explosion of inspiration”, according to co-producer Jeff Bhasker, who started playing the song on the keyboard when West jumped on it to add drum hits and the missing tracks. “It was their last day in the studio in Hawaii and they had just returned from playing basketball together,” Bhasker said. “I just walked into the room and had my keyboard in place and just started [playing]and started playing the beat to ‘All of the Lights’ on a keyboard in front of him [West].”


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