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20 Huge Hit Songs Written in Minutes

Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to write a huge hit song!

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    "Skyfall" by Adele (2012) The beautifully evocative lyrics to the most recent Bond theme apparently came to Adele in just 10 minutes! What's more, she was ill and recovering from vocal problems! The song went on to win her a Golden Globe AND an Academy Award. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Single Ladies" by Beyonce (2008) According to producer The-Dream, the tune that launched a thousand Halloween costumes was completed in just 20 minutes. “When Bey came in, she had that smirk that I see when I know a record is happening,” Dream said. She got a huge hit song, and a killer video that some feel is the "greatest of all time." Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie (1971) The Thin White Duke wrote one of his best Ziggy Stardust songs as a sort of parody of Frank Sinatra's My Way, a lounge classic for the ages. " I took a walk to Beckenham High Street to catch a bus to Lewisham to buy shoes and shirts but couldn't get the riff out of my head," Bowie recalled in later years. "Jumped off two stops into the ride and more or less loped back to the house up on Southend Road. Workspace was a big empty room with a chaise lounge; a bargain-price art nouveau screen; a huge overflowing freestanding ashtray and a grand piano. Little else. I started working it out on the piano and had the whole lyric and melody finished by late afternoon. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)" by Beastie Boys (1987) The Beasties' claim they wrote the lyrics to their breakthrough hit on napkins in five minutes. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles (1959) Ray began playing this soul-filled groove merely to fill time at the end of a late night set, but the crowd's ecstatic reaction caused him to reevaluate. He laid it down in the studio soon after, earning Ray his first gold record. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath (1970) Bassist Geezer Butler claims that the iconic song was written merely as a “three minute filler for the album.” Tony Iommi then added the riff that transformed it into one of the most beloved and influential tracks in metal history. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Under Pressure" by Queen (ft. David Bowie) (1981) Bowie and the boys in Queen spent a night in a Swiss recording studio getting this classic duet fleshed out. There are some who say that the instantly recognizable guitar riff was added later, while others say it was already a part of the song. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "My Sharona" by The Knack (1979) The quintessential one-hit-wonder track was based around a riff that guitarist Berton Averre had kicking around for years, but lead singer Doug Feiger insists that the remainder of the song was written in under 15 minutes. We hate to say it, but it kind of shows... Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. (1991) Lead guitarist Peter Buck was giving himself mandolin lessons, and decided it would be a good idea to record his early noodlings one night. The next morning he played the tape back and pulled out the haunting hook for “Losing My Religion." Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes (2003) Jack White wrote the first riff everyone learned on guitar while doing a soundcheck before an Australian show. Most of the lyrics came later, but he did have the songs title in place so he could help remember the melody. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Song 2" by Blur (1997) The Brit Pop favorites wrote this song in 10 minutes as a mocking parody of the grunge crazy that was sweeping the US. Ironically, it went on to be their biggest hit on this side of the pond. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "All Falls Down" by Kanye West (2004) Yeezy apparently wrote his innovative re-imagining of Lauryn Hill's "Mystery of Iniquity" in just under 15 minutes. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Sweet Child 'O Mine" by Guns N' Roses (1987) "It was a fluke," Slash says about penning the riff known to rock fans/anyone who has ever played Guitar Hero. "I was sitting around making funny faces and acting like an idiot and played that riff. Izzy started playing the chords that I was playing, strumming them, and all of a sudden Axl really liked it. The riff came together in five minutes, and the rest of the song soon followed. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Yesterday" by The Beatles (1965)Although he labored for a long time on the lyrics (originally it went under the working title of "Scrambled Eggs," Paul McCartney has claimed that he awoke one morning with the iconic tune in his head. He leaned over to a piano beside his bed and found the chords to what would become the most covered song in history. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Loser" by Beck (1993) Beck's first hit had a fairly down-home beginning. It was both written AND recorded in his producer's kitchen, going from brain to wax in under six hours. Beck wrote the lyrics over a drum beat and the tune's signature guitar lick, but was self conscious about his rap skills. Hence the song's chorus, “I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me.” Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Rock 'n' Roll" by Led Zeppelin (1972) While working on Led Zeppelin IV, the band were working on a track called 'Four Sticks'. But...it wasn't going so hot. So drummer John Bonham launched into the intro for Little Richard's classic "Keep A Knocking" to break the tension. "We just followed on," singer Robert Plant said later. "I started doing pretty much that half of that riff you hear on ‘Rock and Roll’ and it was just that exciting so we thought, ‘Let’s work on this’.” The song was finished in 15 minutes, and went on to become the second song on the album. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones (1965) Keith Richards wrote the unforgettable guitar hook in his sleep, recording it on a bedside tape recorder and then dozing off! He totally forgot about it until he played the tape back the next day, hearing the famous lick and ”then me snoring for the next forty minutes.” Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift (2012) T-Swift was inspired to write her latest revenge song after hanging out with a friend of her ex-BF, who casually inquired whether or not she and her ex were ever going to reunite. Judging from the title of the song, her answer is pretty clear. She went home, picked up her guitar, and within 25 minutes had the bones her 2012 smash. Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Cherry Pie" by Warrant (1990) Warrant were putting the final touches on their latest album when Columbia Records President Don Ienner approached lead singer Jani Lane, asking him to include a more radio/MTV-friendly rock hit. Lane put pent to paper and in under 15 minutes he had written the biggest song of his career. Unfortunately, he kind of hated it. "I hate that song. I had no intention of writing that song," he told VH1 in a 2006 interview. "All of a sudden the album's called Cherry Pie, I'm doing cherry pie eating contests, the single's 'Cherry Pie' . . . my legacy's 'Cherry Pie.' Everything about me is 'Cherry Pie.' I'm the Cherry Pie guy. I could shoot myself in the f--king head for writing that song." Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images
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    "Royals" by Lorde (2013) Lorde proved she was Queen Bee by penning her Grammy Song of the Year in half an hour...when she was only 15! She originally wasn't planning on putting the track on her debut album, Pure Heroine, but we bet she's glad she did! Source: VH1 Photo: Getty Images