Record Collecting

Ongoing History Daily: Silent records, part 2

One of the weirdest music genres I’ve ever encountered doesn’t involve music at all. These are “silent” records, which are exactly that: periods of silence that are given a title but don’t actually feature any audio at all.

Brian Eno has a track called “Silence” on a 2011 album entitled Drums Between the Bells. John Denver score some political points with his silent song “The Ballad of Richard Nixon.” Here’s a good one: If you go back to the 1999 album by The Bloodhound Gang called Hooray for Boobies, you’ll find a track labeled “The Ten Coolest Things About New Jersey.” It runs exactly ten seconds and is totally silent.

And get this: There’s even a compilation of tracks like this. It’s a 2013 album entitled Sounds of Silence: The Most Intriguing Silences in Recorded History. It features 30 tracks featuring…nothing.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38520 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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