Small But Perfectly Formed: 50 Must-Have EPs

Good things come in small packages as they say, and there’s none finer proof than this catalogue of superlative EPs. Speakers at the ready…

50 Mogwai – ‘EP +6’

Scottish post rockers Mogwai originally released this comp of tracks in Japan in 2000 and then brought it to the UK the following year thanks to popular demand. Highlights include the ambient landscape of ‘Superheroes of BMX’ and the ode to fallen auteur ‘Stanley Kubrick’ who died in 1999.

Mogwai “Stanley Kubrick”

Mogwai “Stanley Kubrick”

49 Slayer – ‘Haunting the Chapel’

Although obviously doomy, the title here from America’s hardest thrash band sounds vaguely quaint when compared to some of the awful things metal bands call shit these days. Take a listen to the ‘Haunting the Chapel EP’ though and you’ll realise there’s nothing quaint about it. It sounds like molten lava being poured into your arsehole.

Slayer – Haunting The Chapel [Studio Version]

Album: Haunting The Chapel Lyrics: The holy cross Symbol of lies Intimitade the lives of Christian born Speak of death The words of hate Anticipation grows amongst the dead Hell has seen The priests attempt To bring forth their lord of the cross Strike of twelve Raise the dead The

48 Calexico – ‘Even My Sure Things Fall Through’

Not necessarily the coolest band on the list, but who gives a shit about cool when the songs are this good. ‘Crystal Frontier’ is a mariachi classic that sounds as hot as the desert plains that inform so much of their work.

Calexico – Crystal Frontier

Even my sure things fall through John Convertino Joey Burns

47 Anthrax – ‘Attack of the Killer B’s’

Anthrax aren’t quite the thrash metal force they were back at the end of the 80’s and early 90’s, but this still sounds absolutely ferocious. Put lead track ‘Milk (Ode To Billy)’ on and turn it up really fucking loud if you want to put a smile on your face and annoy your neighbours at the same time.

Anthrax – Milk (Ode to Billy)

From 1991 release “Attack Of The Killer B’s” Lyrics: I woke up, can’t wait to eat Got my cereal, boy was I beat Opened the fridge, and to my dismay There was no milk, my mother will pay I want some milk! My coffee grows cold I want some milk!

46 Beta Band – ‘Los Amigo Del Beta Bandidos’

If My Bloody Valentine had to work hard to compete with the splendor of their early EPs, then for the Beta Band the challenge to live up to their early work was just too insurmountable. ‘Los Amigo Del Beta Bandidos’ is one of three brilliant early EPs, though these folktronica spearheaders never quite lived up to their early promise elsewhere.

The Beta Band – Needles in My Eyes

from “Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos” (1998) and part of “The Three E.P.’s”

45 NWA – ‘100 Miles and Runnin’

Coming out in 1990 on Ruthless Records after the departure of Ice Cube, this EP appeared two years ahead of the LA Riots and yet it is rife with the tensions with police that would explode following the beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1992. The tracks themselves still sound exhilarating even now.

N.W.A – 100 Miles And Runnin’

N.W.A – 100 Miles And Runnin’ [Greatest Hits]

44 The Pogues – ‘Poguetry in Motion’

Recorded with producer Elvis Costello between their two best loved LP’s ‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’ and ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’, this EP became the Pogues first hit and includes four great songs, one of which – ‘Rainy Night In Soho’ – is a bona fide classic.

The Pogues – A Rainy Night In Soho

The Pogues 3030 The Essential Collection is available for Pre-Order Now! Containing the Irish legend’s biggest hits spanning 1984 to 1996. Included among the 30 tracks is the nation’s favorite Christmas song and 1million seller ‘Fairytale of New York,’ the top10 single ‘Irish Rover,’ as well as the classic ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and fan favorite ‘Fiesta.’

43 The Fall – ‘Slates’

Mark E Smith was in scything, rasping form on this early Rough Trade EP recorded with longtime collaborator Grant Showbiz and featuring a young Mark Riley on bass. ‘Prole Art Threat’ takes props for the most paradigmatic Fall title.

The Fall Middle Mass

The Fall Middle Mass

42 Elvis Costello – ‘New Amsterdam’

Elvis Costello is maybe the finest songwriter of his generation (though he has plenty of competition) and back in 1980 he knocked out songs for fun, including the three minute waltz of the title track and three more rarities besides. ‘New Amsterdam’ was released the previous year on his much-loved fourth studio album ‘Get Happy!!’

New Amsterdam – Elvis Costello

“New Amsterdam” from Elvis Costello’s 1980 album “Get Happy!!”

41 Broadcast – ‘Extended Play Two’

Following the release of their ‘The Noise Made By People’ album, Broadcast still had some great material left to release and so out came this EP in 2000. Listening to the vitality of ‘Illumination’ now still makes it hard to believe that Trish Keenan is no longer with us.

Broadcast – Illumination

from the album “Future Crayon”

40 Biffy Clyro – ‘Thekidswhopoptodaywillrocktomorrow’

Despite exhibiting an early penchant for dodgy nomenclature, the title of this year 2000 Biffy Clyro EP turned out to be prescient on two levels: a) rock and pop are cyclical and b) we’ve all stopped bothering with the spacebar. What they probably didn’t envisage is how hard the kids would rock out to Biffy Clyro in the future. Mon!

Biffy Clyro – Justboy (2005)

Biffy Clyro – Justboy (Reading 2005)

39 Interpol – ‘The Black EP’

‘The Black EP’ is an unusual release in that it is a compilation of the best moments the New York miserabilist-revivalists recorded on French radio. A full-length Black Session bootleg is also in existence, and trickier to track down too.

Interpol – Obstacle 1 – The Black EP

Crank up the volume.

38 Coldplay – ‘The Blue Room’

The Blue Room was Coldplay’s second EP, and the first to be put out by spanking new label Parlophone in 1999. Expecting big things from their new signings, they immediately ran up a whopping 5,000 copies.

See You Soon (Coldplay: The Blue Room E.P.)

Track 3 from Coldplays E.P. The Blue Room. Music is owned by Coldplay. No Copyright infringment intended.

37 Guns n Roses – ‘Lies’

Is it an album or is it an EP? The fact this 1988 release sold five million copies in the US alone probably means that Guns ‘n’ Roses couldn’t care less either way. ‘Lies’ is a game of two halves, with kick ass rock (and an Aerosmith cover) on one side and some sultry acoustic ballads on the other, including bona fide G’n’R fave ‘Patience’.

Guns N’ Roses – One in a Million – with Lyrics

Guns N’ Roses – G N’ R Lies 1988. Rose is no racial bigot; the band’s guitarist, Slash, was born July 23, 1965, the son of a white Englishman and a black American woman. He grew up in Stoke-on-Trent but later moved to California where the band was formed, and although he was no juvenile delinquent he is clearly cut from the same cloth as Rose.

36 The National – ‘Cherry Tree’

‘Cherry Tree’ is a lauded EP from Cincinnati’s The National – launched five years into their career – and for those of you with spare pocket money who like their music tangible, there are said to be red 10” picture discs out there somewhere just begging to be snapped up.

The National – Wasp Nest

The National – Wasp Nest. Track No. 1 ‘Cherry Tree’ EP (2004). Label: Brassland Records

35 Boards of Canada – ‘In A Beautiful Place Out in the Country’

Boards of Canada have been releasing acclaimed music via Warp Records for over 20 years, including the much-loved ‘Music Has The Right To Children’. But the EP that followed that album – ‘In A Beautiful Place Out in the Country’ – may just be the Scot electro artists’ most incredible moment to date.

Boards Of Canada – kid for today

FREE tune to download from me….ENJOY

34 Parquet Courts – ‘Tally All Things That You Broke’

They might owe a debt of gratitude to slacker rock, but Brooklyn rockers Parquet Courts are no slackers. In amongst a hectic touring schedule this last 18 months, they’ve managed to put out two albums and this tremendous EP.

he’s seeing paths – parquet courts

parquet courts album: tally all the things that you broke EP what’s your rupture? [2013]

33 Echo and the Bunnymen – ‘Shine So Hard’

Back in the 80s, live EPs used to regularly chart and here was one by Echo and the Bunnymen which slipped into the top 40 in 1981, becoming their first hit single in the process. A live version of ‘Crocodiles’ from the 1980 album of the same name leads the EP.

Echo And The Bunnymen – Shine So Hard

Echo And The Bunnymen – Shine So Hard

32 Motörhead – ‘Golden Years’

Everyone knows Motörhead are best experienced in the live arena and here you have four live tracks, including a cover of the slept on Motown classic ‘Leaving Here’ written by Holland-Dozier-Holland. Remarkably Lemmy’s version is the more successful in Britain – it made no.8 in the UK charts in 1980.

Motorhead – EP The Golden Years – Stone Dead Forever

Motorhead live 1980 golden years stone dead forever

31 Janelle Monáe – ‘Metropolis: The Chase Suite’

Janelle Monáe’s career to date is as enigmatic as it is slightly frustrating. Released in 2010, debut album ‘ArchAndroid’ – although good – failed to live up to the promise of this earlier 2007 EP. Expecting her to play safe and cover all bases in 2013, Monáe brought out a double album, the last refuge of the bighead.

Janelle Monáe – Metropolis


30 Muse – ‘Muscle Museum’

It’s weird to think that back in 1999 Muse were dismissed by many as fly-by-night Radiohead copyists. “I have played in every toilet,” sang Matt Bellamy on the title track, who has now played every major festival as well as two sold out two-night stands at Wembley Stadium in 2007 and 2010.

Muse – Muscle Museum (Official Music Video)

Artist: Muse Song: Muscle Museum Album: Showbiz (1999)

29 Ride – ‘Fall’

From the mighty drum track on ‘Dreams Burn Down’ to the static fadeout and waves crashing away at the end of ‘Nowhere’, the ‘Fall EP’ is 19.09 minutes of unexpurgated shoegazing heaven. Released originally in 1990, it certainly sounds of its time, but a recent revival has made this an influential classic for bands of a neo-psychedelic ilk.

Ride – Dreams Burn Down


28 Warpaint – ‘Exquisite Corpse’

Warpaint are a brilliant live proposition, though on record when they’re at their most experimental they can seem a little impenetrable. In fact some would argue that 2008’s ‘Exquisite Corpse’ was their most coherent moment in recorded sound to date.

Warpaint – Stars

Official music video for “Stars” by Warpaint, taken from the Exquisite Corpse EP (Manimal Vinyl). Filmed in the ashes of the Angeles National Forest by Adam Harding. Edited and directed by Adam Harding and Burke Roberts © 2009

27 Ice Cube – ‘Kill at Will’

Following the phenomenal success of NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’, Ice Cube split soon after being presented with what he saw as an unfavourable contract. He certainly didn’t suffer out there on his own, with ‘Kill At Will’ going gold in 1990 and platinum in ‘91, the first hip hop EP to do so.

Ice Cube-The Product-Kill At Will

Artist:Ice Cube Title:The Product Album:Kill At Will Year:1990 Lyrics:

26 Cocteau Twins – ‘Sunburst and Snowblind’

With a typically evocative title, the music within the sleeve certainly doesn’t disappoint in its richness. The Cocteau Twins – and especially Liz Frazer – dazzled on this luminescent trio of tracks from 1983.

Cocteau Twins, Sunburst And Snowblind

0:00 – Sugar Hiccup 03:39 – From the Flagstones 07:17 – Hitherto 11:11 – Because of the Whirljack None of the content is mine

25 Suede – ‘Stay Together’

It was a no.3 hit and for Suede fans ‘Stay Together’ is one of their finest moments, though the band themselves have disowned the song (the release preceded the departure of guitarist Bernard Butler, which may be significant). ‘The Living Dead’ and ‘My Dark Star’ are also excellent, and can now be found on B-sides album ‘Sci-fi Lullabies’.

Suede – Stay Together (Long Version) (Audio Only)

Subscribe here: Suede’s fifth single: “Stay Together”, released 14th February 1994 Available Here:

24 Metallica – ‘The $5.98 E.P.:Garage Days Revisited’

Between albums Metallica these days make massive 3D films with hokey premises and play bigger and bigger festivals, but back in the 80’s they’d knock off incredible EPs like ‘The $5.98 E.P. : Garage Days Re-Revisited’, where they covered classics by Killing Joke, Misfits and Diamond Head.

Metallica – Helpless

Track 1 from the 1987 extended play, The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited. Originally performed by Diamond Head. LYRICS: (Ready? And…) I gotta see you moving fast. See you come my way. See the dreams, I hope they last. Never fade away. Gotta see the lights above. Make it loud tonight.

23 Sufjan Stevens – ‘All Delighted People’

Sufjan was all set to release ‘Age of Adz’ in December 2010, so it seemed a peculiar decision for him to drop an EP of unrelated material a few months prior (which was actually a lot longer than many albums). Like his old chum God, Sufjan moves in mysterious ways, and ‘All Delighted People’ treads a fine line between crazy and praise-y.

Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People (Original Version) HD

From “All Delighted People EP” I do now own anything All Rights to Sufjan Stevens and EMI

22 Bright Eyes – ‘There Is No Beginning To The Story’

Conor Oberst is another artist who can’t be accused of resting on his laurels, and despite a prolific output of his poetic Omaha country blues, he maintains a fair level of consistency. ‘There Is No Beginning To The Story’ is the apex of his creativity.

Bright Eyes – Loose Leaves

Bright Eyes – Loose Leaves, from the EP There Is No Beginning To The Story.

21 Jeff Buckley – ‘Live at Sin-é’

Live at Sin-é first appeared as a live EP in 1993, recorded in the coffee house of that very name in New York City, though if you’re expecting it to be Central Perk smug then you’ve got another think coming. It was later extended and turned into a posthumous live album ten years later.

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah live at Sin-é

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah live at Sin-é I haven´t seen this version on youtube, so I uploaded it. In my opinion most beautiful version ever, Just listen! Peace & Love

20 The Coral – ‘Skeleton Key’

Scouse psychedelic Beefheart fans The Coral certainly got the critics into a froth when they emerged in the early part of the century: on ‘Skeleton Key’ it’s easy to see why.

The Coral – Skeleton Key

Video for the 2002 single.

19 LCD Soundsystem – ‘45:33’

Corporate commissions are hard not to judge cynically, so it’s interesting to hear dancepunk legend James Murphy pulling out all the stops on this assignment by Nike; you suspect he was in such good form that he just couldn’t help himself. Originally only available on the trainer maker’s iTunes store, DFA eventually brought it out on their own label in 2007.

45:33 (Parts 1 and 2)

The first two parts of LCD Soundsystem’s masterpiece 45:33. Though this portion of the song is a personal favorite, I recommend listening to the whole piece here: 45:33 is the property of James Murphy, DFA Records, and Nike. All rights belong to them.

18 Pavement – ‘Watery, Domestic’

Few bands were as sharp or incisive as Pavement in 1992, and ‘Watery, Domestic’ ably demonstrates why Malkmus and co are considered gods of the indie rock genre, influencing everyone from Weezer to Blur.

Pavement – Frontwards

frontwards by pavement from ‘watery domestic’ re-released on ‘ Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe’ buy the track or album: or

17 Burial – ‘Kindred’

Few EPs in modern times have been met with the sort of universal adulation that Kindred’s ‘Burial EP’ received when it was released in 2012. Clocking in at 11 and a half minutes, the ambient lead track of the same name epitomises everything that was forward thinking, innovative and deliciously experimental about the 2-step garage scene.

Burial – Ashtray Wasp (CD quality)

Kindred EP, 2012

16 Blur – ‘Popscene’

Popscene came at a funny time for Blur, when after an initial flurry of success they had inexplicably slipped down the dumper. It would take a further change of direction for them to become household names, but ‘Popscene’ remains a fan favourite and total banger that would have charted higher in this list if its other tracks matched its greatness.

Blur – Popscene

Blur 21 — Celebrating 21 years of Blur. To find out more, click here: #blur21 Follow Blur on Twitter: Find Blur on Facebook: Music video by Blur performing Popscene.

15 Alex Turner – ‘Submarine’

Alex Turner took his first foray into solo artist territory with the contemplative soundtrack to offbeat Welsh comedy ‘Submarine’ from first time director Richard Ayoade. Acoustic and intimate, songs like ‘Hiding Tonight’ and ‘Piledriver Waltz’ have become AM fan favourites.

Alex Turner- Stuck On The Puzzle- Submarine with lyrics

Check out my band – we’re Psychedelic/Surf/Garage Written by Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys for the movie ‘Submarine’ LYRICS: I’m not the kind of fool who’s gonna sit and sing to you, about stars, girl. But last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue, and they’d gone backwards.

14 My Bloody Valentine – ‘You Made Me Realise’

It still sounds as fresh and face-melting as it did when it first came out on Creation Records in 1988, back when Kevin Shields was a sprightly Irish lad with an ear for a weird tune and not the time lord of procrastination we know and love him for these days. My Bloody Valentine were an explosion in vitality.

My Bloody Valentine – You Made Me Realise

Music video by My Bloody Valentine performing You Made Me Realise. (C) 2008 Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Limited

13 Buzzcocks – ‘Spiral Scratch’

Dating back to January 1977, this is the sound of punk rock delivered by people who could actually write a decent song or four. In fact the four tracks here – all essential listening – weigh in at under 10 minutes. Straight ahead playing, unpretentious production and Pete Shelley’s ear for a tune all add to what is considered one of the classic EPs of all time


Buzzcocks-Boredom From their first album Spiral Scratch EP. When Howard Devoto was in the band.

12 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’

When Yeah Yeah Yeah’s burst onto the scene in 2001, ‘Bang’ – the opening track on their self-titled EP – became a favourite at London superclub Trash and then with hipsters everywhere. It’s been uphill ever since for the New York three-piece.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Bang!


11 Joy Division – ‘An Ideal For Living’

Joy Division’s ‘An Ideal For Living EP’ is an interesting document in the development of a band, and when held up against it’s bleaker musical siblings of the future it can almost be described as hopeful. The band had recently changed their name from Warsaw, though the title is captured for posterity in the punk rock of the opening track.

Warsaw – Joy Division

1978 Anonymous Records. (I DO NOT OWN THIS)

10 Radiohead – ‘Airbag’

The quality of songs bequeathed on charity albums are invariably poor, but that wasn’t the case with ‘The Help Album’ (which sought to aid the war stricken in Bosnia). And then Radiohead brought ‘Airbag’ to the table. It was no surprise this incredible tune surfaced again as ‘OK Computer’ opener, and preceded the release fronting a glorious EP for the North Americans.

1. Airbag

Airbag Radiohead OK Computer In the next world war In a jackknifed juggernaut I am born again In the neon sign Scrolling up and down I am born again In an interstellar burst I am back to save the universe In a deep deep sleep of the innocent I am born again In a fast german car Im amazed that I survived An airbag saved my life In an interstellar burst I am back to save the universe In an interstellar burst I am back to save the universe (various moaning)

9 Jesus and Mary Chain – ‘Some Candy Talking’

It’s difficult to convey what a breath of fetid air the Jesus and Mary Chain were in the synth saturated mid-80’s, but the Scottish rockers infused the then highly unfashionable Velvet Underground and Phil Spector in one perfectly packaged EP and caused a proverbial riot. They went on to cause some actual riots.

The Jesus And Mary chain-Some Candy Talking original 80’s video

the official video of this classic.1985 single

8 Nirvana – ‘Hormoaning’

Pressed up only in Australia and Japan when Nirvana were on tour in 1992, this highly sought after collectors item featured a Wipers cover, a Devo cover and two Vaselines covers (which later appeared on ‘Incesticide’). A cursory look on eBay sees ‘Hormoaning’ going for silly money.

Nirvana – Hormoaning – Aneurysm MUSIQUE DU GROUPE NIRVANA ALBUM Hormoaning TITRE Aneurysm KURT COBAIN

7 Aphex Twin – ‘Come to Daddy’

1997 was a pivotal year in Britain. With the rise of New Labour and Noel and McGee off to 10 Downing Street, there was a feeling of optimism in the air. Aphex represented the urban menace that had been forgotten, the scary housing projects and the hinterland of your nightmares. Warped drum ‘n’ bass vied with creepy nursery chimes on this mini magnus opus.

Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy (official video) 1080p HD


6 Sonic Youth – ‘Kill Yr Idols’

Sonic Youth consistently made vital music for three decades, and classic moments trip off the tongue, from ‘Daydream Nation’ to ’Goo’, not to mention their one album as Ciccone Youth. But nothing sounded more intense than their incredible second EP ‘Kill Yr Idols’, out on Geffen in 1983 after originally only being available in Germany via Zensor.

Sonic Youth-Kill Yr Idols

I couldnt find the recorded version of this song on youtube so i thought id upload it. Comment if you want me to upload any other Sonic Youth stuff or another good song.

5 Pulp – ‘The Sisters EP’

Pulp were around longer than even they’d care to mention before being snapped up by Island, and ‘The Sisters EP’ – the first for the major – is a fantastic advertisement for persistence. Jarvis’ sharp, observational words twinned with his very English and ever-so-slightly kinky proclivities merge together for this legendary EP. Every song’s a winner.

Pulp – Babies

Music video by Pulp performing Babies. (C) 1993 Universal Island Records Ltd. A Universal Music Company.

4 Arctic Monkeys – ‘Who the Fuck are Arctic Monkeys?’

It’s funny to think that when the question ‘Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?’ was posed back in 2006, a lot of people didn’t have a clue. Britain’s biggest band were on vital form back then ahead of releasing the fastest selling debut of all time, back when singer and lyricist Alex Turner was still but a 20-year-old.

Despair In The Departure Lounge – Arctic Monkeys

single del disco Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys

3 The Beatles – ‘Magical Mystery Tour’

EPs are the square peg in the round hole, the bastard offspring and the black sheep all rolled into one. And you don’t get more maverick than this, which featured John’s ‘I Am The Walrus’ and George’s far out ‘Blue Jay Way’.

The Beatles – I Am The Walrus

The Beatles – I Am The Walrus One of their most…wierd,but great songs! written bu John Lennon,credited Lennon/McCartney BETTER STEREO QUALITY!!!!!

2 Pixies – ‘Come On Pilgrim’

These days everyone rips off the Pixies, but in 1987 they sounded like they were from another planet (a planet of sound). ‘Come On Pilgrim’ – fairly lengthy as EPs go – featured ‘Nimrod’s Son’ and opened with ‘Caribou’, announcing a band that inadvertently shaped alternative rock as we know it.

Pixies – Caribou

Stereo: Lyrics I live cement I hate this street Give dirt to me I bite lament This human form Where I was born I now repent Caribou [3x] Repent Re-pe-ent Give me white Ground to run And foregone Lets me knife Knife me lets I will get What I like Caribou [3x] Repent Rep-pent

1 The Strokes – ‘The Modern Age’

If you wanted to distill what 2001 sounded like in three easy numbers then it would be hard to look any further than the three songs from ‘The Modern Age EP’, which launched the five New Yorkers to superstardom in January of that year. ‘The Modern Age’. ‘Last Nite’. ‘Barely Legal’. And from there, this EP started everything.

Last Nite (The Modern Age EP) – The Strokes

Last Nite from their debut “The Modern Age EP” released back in 2001