back to article This year's comedy Xmas No. 1 contender: Silent song 4'33"

A motley crew of musicians backed by a Facebook campaign are plotting to hijack the poor beleaguered Christmas number one with a four-minute recording of silence. Following last year's triumphant, internet-bolstered, telly-talent-compo-orthodoxy-upending ascendance of the gleefully inappropriate and profanity-sprinkled Killing …

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Grenade

Offended

Who are you saying has never heard of "Enter Shikari"?

Do you think we live under stones or something?

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Stone dweller reporting for Duty

Someone in the office had to take me aside and explain who "Usher" was the other day.

Oh and apparently I need to listen to "Dizzy Rascal", I've plateaued gently into middle age before 30. I'm quite proud of that for some reason.

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Anonymous Coward

Enter Shikari

who?

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Saw them last week

Girlfriend took me to a 30 Seconds concert - they weren't that good, but Enter Shikari were a support act and they kicked ass.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Offended

I figured most Reg readers wouldn't, and would be vocal about it. I bet someone will before this thread is out. But well done you for having heard of them.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Enter Shikari

Hah.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Offended

Oh, they already have. Buahah!

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Is this the lady from Colombia

whose hips don't lie?

Waka waka?

Come on, they knew they were going to get that all the time when they started.

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@Thecowking

"Usher" is the bottom-dweller who "discovered" Justin Bieber. If you don't know who that is, I suggest you keep it that way as long as you can.

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@Thecowking

"I've plateaued gently into middle age before 30"

That probably means you are actually younger than some of the artists you haven't heard of.

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Happy

Everybody knows...

it should be Waka / Jawaka by Frank Zappa.

Do i look old in these pants?

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Damn! Good!...

...PUMPKIN!

They will never catch up to you, Frank.

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Anonymous Coward

Should be a reasonably small download

though do watch out for illicit bootlegs: not all silences are the same! Anyway, I'm all for it: fuck Cowell.

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Boffin

Expect It To Be...

...somewhat large, since background noise is random, and thus not compressable.

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Silver badge

Please have this song on endless loop in all shops and lifts

NT

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satisfying the needs of the title-facists!

Also in restaurants

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Troll

Redundant title

So presumably Cage will be receiving royalties for this cover version?

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Go

He (or rather his estate) will indeed...

...they have it all covered. The project has the blessing of the estate. I'm guessing there are a bunch of techies in radio stations across the country working out how to override the emergency DATs as we speak.

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Unhappy

RE: Cunningly Linguistic

How do you prove any silence is their copyrighted version?

Everyone will get sued for not paying royalties, even if they don't have music playing!

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Silences are not the same

My missus is a musician, and is into this kind of thing. On being told about 4:33 originally I asked the question. The point of 4:33 is the context of the performance, and each time it's performed it is utterly different. She then said the magic words: background noise.

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Gates Horns

Radio Gah Gah

It would be awesome if every station could agree to play the song at the exact same time on just one day.

Imagine people's confusion

(Bill not relevant)

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I'll buy it...

...if only to see how the radio stations handle trying to play it. How long til the Emergency DATs kick in?

Kicking Simon Cowell in the balls is just a bonus.

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Kicking Simon Cowell in the balls is just a bonus

I did not know that was included, I will gladly pay double for that and stand in line.

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Do we?

Do we get to kick Cowell in the 'nads once for every time the single sells? Sign me up for all I can carry, and a sturdy pair of steel-toecapped Doc Martens please!

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Coffee/keyboard

Very few comments get me like that

n/t

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright on this composition......

Didn't Mike Batt get into trouble for something like this track on an album he did a couple of years ago?

How would they alter it significantly enough to make it an original work?

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Copyright

They could make it 4'30", etc. The artistically critical aspect is the length of the silence. Some people have experimented with adding small amounts of varying level white noise but this is generally regarded as ruining the purity of the work.

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Anonymous Coward

I imagine they'll pay the licensing fee to release a new recording

much as Cowell's charges have to when they release a cover version

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Boffin

you can't do 4' 30" because...

...that would only be 270 not 273 seconds.

I'll leave you to make the connection, otherwise think Kelvin but not Mackenzie

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Anonymous Coward

This could cause a problem for radio stations

They have emergency playlists that kick in after a bit of dead air. I think some may be at the transmitter site level (link down, etc).

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Joke

Sir

Easy, the DJ will just talk all over it like they usually do.

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Badgers

Desert Island Discs

Ian McMillan (the bard of Barnsley) recently selected this track for dessert Island discs.. they didn't play a very long clip, but they did conceed to playing a bit!

Badgers obviously.

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Pirate

They only ever play clips

Desert Island Discs (and pretty much every other Radio 4 show I've listen to) never play play full songs. I always assumed this was to save cash as you don't have to pay royalties if you only play an excerpt.

Would this make them freetards?

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Quite good it were too

And he chose it as his "if you could only take one" disc as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you shhee

said with a 40's New York gangsta slur?

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I was thinking more...

...Sam Neil with his eyes gouged out.

"Do you see? DO YOU SEE?"

"Yes....I see."

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Re: I was thinking more...

Upvote, double* upvote and triple* upvote

* Dear pedants, I know.

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WTF?

How is this going to hurt Simon Cowell?

The X-factor single won't sell any less, the customers are completely separate. Who knows? the X-factor single may sell even more since the fans might be annoyed at the annoyed-at-X-Factor brigade.

Mind you it's probably going to be the best work from Billy Brag and Pete Doherty ever!

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Flame

You are missing the point. Simon is a puppet.

In the absence of incidents like last year Simon's puppet masters think of all of us as one giant apathetic amorphous blob. They still think that last year was a one off so they just need to agitate their puppet a bit more to get back to business as usual.

If stuff like last year's X-factor happens more than once and becomes are recurring feature some of the concepts currently taught in management schools may have to be rethought. The concept of "cheap tripe with marketing always wins", the concept of "consumer will always buy something they can be made to associate with" and a few others.

The mere fact that the "consumer" actually can think and results of marketing campaigns are no longer predictable is enough to cause a "brown pants incident" in some circles.

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Silver badge

The rebel...

...become the establishment. Just as "Rolling Stone".

If it works this year, a big corporate will simply hijack the idea next year and coin it in.

The revolution will not be televised, but it sure as hell will be monetised!

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Badgers

re: How is this going to hurt Simon Cowell?

By graphically demonstrating how small and insignificant his work (and indeed the industry) is.

The music industry projects itself as being a big deal. Most of the stuff pumped out isn't popular. As more and more people become disillusioned with it, you see them targeting younger and younger children whose critical faculties are less well developed. They end up promoting sex to pre-teens, which is quite revolting.

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It will hurt Syco because ...

Every christmas, all the previous years' Christmas number ones get played, so getting a Christmas No 1 means regular annual royalty income for ever more. Joe McEldry's cover of Hannah Montanna's Climb probably won't ever get played again on radio, because it only reached No. 2 on the Christmas charts, and No 1 on the New Year chart which doesn't count.

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Coat

I've already bought lots of copies of it over the years

under its previous name, Blank Tape.

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FAIL

@ Haku

Except blank tape is not silent. You must have forgotten the hiss and crackle it makes when played, even at moderate volume.

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FAIL

On the contrary, YOU fail!

The entire point of 4'33" is that it's impossible to stage a performance of it with real musicians present and achieve absolute silence; all the random environmental and human noises which occur within the time period /become/ that performance. The silence is not the important ingredient - it's the lack of silence!

So the imperfections of each copy of Blank Tape make it a unique limited-edition of 1!

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Conundrum

Were the blank tapes performance plus alternate takes or the maximum dance mix?

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Linux

The Bird?

Not sure why, but I thought this years novelty contender was The Trashmen - Surfin Bird

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Yeah but

I've already got Surfin' Bird. 7", big hole in the middle. I don't want 4:33 though. I'm not playing this game.

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For the right causes deep pockets...

And keeping Cowell executing another christmas number one sounds like one of them to me :)

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FAIL

Been there, done that

This might have stood a better chance of succeeding if it hadn't already been done this year. Admittedly this idea was conceived before the Remembrance Day track was done but still, I don't think the public are going to go for this twice.

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