Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Loudest Band in the World
Which band is the loudest band in the world is a subject of some dispute in musical circles. Many bands have claimed to be the loudest, measuring this in various ways including with decibel meters at concerts and by engineering analysis of the compact discs on which their albums are published. Ashare attributes this competition to a notion that "loudness equals greatness", a notion that he states to be clearly false.
This notion pervades rock music, however, to the extent that it has been satirized. In the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap Nigel Tufnel states that Spinal Tap "is one louder" than all other bands because the knobs on the band's amplifiers are calibrated up to 11, instead of up to 10. Ironically, as a consequence of this real bands and musicians started buying equipment whose knobs went up to 11, or even higher, with Eddie Van Halen reputedly being the first to do so.
The Who was once listed as the record holder, at 126 decibels, measured at a distance of 32 metres from the speakers at a concert at Fillmore East on 1976-05-31. Other previous record holders include Deep Purple (117 decibels), The Rolling Stones (which replaced Deep Purple), and KISS. Metallica has styled itself the "loudest band in the world". However, after one concert on 1997-11-11, which the band dubbed the "Million Decibel March", the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that "neighbours who [had] feared the worst from the self-styled Loudest Band in the World complained more about the sound from the news choppers circling overhead".
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