Break out the ear-plugs! The August issue of Q magazine, on sale 1 July, features the 20 loudest albums of all-time, a run down of perfect neighbour bothering material from Motorhead to the Aphex Twin. Here’s the list and some suitably time-wasting Youtube clips.
20 - Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat (Verve, 1967)
Lou Reed doing Sister Ray from White Light/White Heat on Italian TV in the ‘80s, with the late Robert Quine, ex-Voidoid and Reed sidekick, on guitar.
19 – AC/DC, Back In Black (Columbia, 1980)
You can’t argue with the second best selling album of all time.
18 – Sunn0))), White (Southern Lord, 2006)
Cowl-wearing avant garde metal terrorists beloved of eggheads and people that like to really terrify the neighbours. Turn the sound down a bit before you click the link. Seriously.
17- Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced? (Track, 1967)
There’s nothing more to be said about how Hendrix revolutionized electric guitar. Just watch this footage of an ecstatic Purple Haze instead.
16 – Aphex Twin, I Care Because You Do (Warp, 1995)
Richard James’ most confrontational album. Here’s the video for its most aggro track Ventolin, which may have its uses in Guantanamo Bay.
15- Black Flag, Damaged (SST, 1981)
Early ‘80s blue-collar punks who defined what became known as ‘hardcore’ in the US. Their no-frills, commitment-is-everything approach is exemplified by this demolition of Damaged’s key track, Depression, in a friend’s garage.
14 – The Birthday Party, Prayers On Fire (4AD, 1981)
The scrawny, evil garage punks that loosed Nick Cave on the world. Here they are with Nick The Stripper. Cave looks like he could do with a sandwich.
13 – Motorhead, No Sleep Til Hammersmith (Bronze, 1981)
One of the few instances of a live album defining a band as much as a studio one. The perfect excuse to revisit Motorhead’s infamous performance of Ace Of Spades on The Young Ones in 1984.
12- Led Zeppelin, Led Zepplin (Atlantic, 1969)
Check out this vintage footage of Communication Breakdown and watch four men from the West Midlands inventing hard rock.
11 – Neil Young – Arc Weld (Reprise, 1991)
Arc Weld captured Young’s 1991 tour in all its noisy glory. Here’s a particularly rumbling Rockin The Free World.
10 – Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks (Virgin, 1977)
Time may have neutered the album’s menace but this vintage footage of Lydon and friends hurtling through God Save The Queen still seems pretty irate. Also features Steve Jones in trademark knotted hanky.
9 – Atari Teenage Riot – The Future Of War (DHR, 1997)
German dance punk anarchists Atari Teenage Riot are well named: here they are performing during an actual riot, in Berlin in 1999. The police don’t scrimp on teargas and general brutality either.
8 – My Bloody Valentine, Isn’t Anything (Creation, 1988)
Here’s the video from Feed Me With Your Kiss, from the album that invented the blurry, feedback heavy ‘shoegazing’ sound of the late ‘80s. By 1991’s Loveless My Bloody Valentine’s live shows were loud enough to ruin eardrums for life.
7 – Napalm Death, Scum (Earache, 1987)
On record, Scum’s pivotal track, You Suffer, is 1.316 seconds of belching fury and the shortest recorded song ever according to the Guinness Book Of World Records. Live it’s delivered as stand up comedy, at least in this clip.
6 - The Who, Live At Leeds (Track, 1970)
Recorded at Leeds University and widely regarded as the ultimate live album. Sadly, Youtube seems to be shy of relevant clips, apart from some pretty poor quality footage of the band’s return to the venue last summer. So here’s The Who’s appearance at 1970’s Isle Of Wight Festival instead.
5 – Big Black, Songs About Fucking (Touch And Go, 1987)
Steve Albini’s ‘80s noiseniks might have looked like librarians but they made a vicious racket, as this particularly mean live version of L Dopa proves.
4 – The Jesus And Mary Chain, Psychocandy (Blanco Y Negro, 1986)
Along with My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything, The Jesus And Mary Chain’s Psychocandy introduced indie rock to sheets of white noise during the ‘80s. Here’s a particularly ragged Never Understand.
3 – Public Enemy, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (Def Jam, 1988)
The tried to start a revolution using sirens and a man wearing a giant clock round his neck. It almost worked, too. For proof of why Public Enemy remain hip hop’s greatest ever group, watch this live performance of Rebel Without A Pause.
2 – Slayer, Reign In Blood (Def Jam, 1986)
Slayer’s Reign in Blood was the morbid genesis of thrash metal. Here’s footage of its nastiest track Angel Of Death, about murderous Nazi doctor Jose Mengele, from 1996.
1 – The Stooges, Funhouse (Elektra, 1970)
Iggy Pop and friends live in Cincinatti, Ohio, 1970, shortly after the release of their definitive album, Funhouse. Only Iggy could get away with those bacofoil gloves.
11:14 AM | 28/06/2007
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