“Guest blog: What is the longest song of all time?

It’s so hard to say what makes music heavy

Music that is really meaningful or intense is “heavy,” like John Lennon’s “Mother” or Radiohead’s “Myxamatosis “

But heavy usually refers to the intensity of the impact, which is why most people think of the many branches of heavy metal, such as grindcore, as what is heavy

Well, music can be heavy, it just is

It has been said that it is very difficult to explain music because it is so easy to understand

I have one song when I want to hear a “song” that’s really heavy: “In The Meantime” by Helmet

There is heavier music than this, but after a certain point I can’t listen to any songs

Heavier than that, all I can say is if the drummer is using a heavy shock as a ride

But in terms of pure wall of noise, I say the heaviest song is “Weasels Ripped My Flesh” by Frank Zappa

It’s so heavy I can hardly believe it exists, let alone that Frankie liked to touch it

But then Zappa also wrote “Civilisation”, which is the most complicated piece of music out there, I think

The only other piece of music I know of that is in this league is John Zorn’s “Kristallnacht” album

Although only parts of this album are as heavy, or perhaps heavier, than “Weasels” Wikipedia describes it as “ranging from fairly conventional roots music to extreme almost industrial mayhem ” Although I can’t tell you which songs I’ve only listened to once, but the broken glass parts sounded heavier to me

I’m guessing it was “Never Again,” because that song contains a warning in the liner notes:

“Caution: ‘Never Again’ contains high frequency extremes at the limits of human hearing and beyond, which may cause nausea, headache and ringing in the ears

Interestingly, both of these pieces of music were recorded live

Maybe because it would be impossible to play that heavy more than once?

But the heaviest stuff I’ve ever heard was live: Sonic Youth opening for Neil Young, or maybe half of “Like a Hurricane,” which Neil did in Barrie in ’96 for the “Year of the Horse” tour

“Sedan Delivery” from this show is on the live album, and “Like a Hurricane” is on the Jim Jarmusch film, but the middle section of the song was replaced by a 1976 version

Which is really cool, but not that heavy

To hear what a sonic metaphor for a hurricane sounds like, you should listen to one of his 90+ live albums: “Arc” These excerpts are found in the half hour of noise he released from the tour with Sonic Youth, which you could also describe as “extreme almost industrial chaos” or a bit like an arc welder

Black Emperor, and they get really heavy at the end of the songs

I may have heard Yanqui UXO recorded

Their practices sound like their albums

All the heaviest music I’ve ever heard was live or recorded live

I think it might be because playing like that is really hard, and a performance sometimes will be the most you can get out of other musicians

What do you think is the heaviest song?

And if you haven’t heard “Weasels Ripped My Flesh,” you should, because if you know anything heavier, I’d be surprised

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