A 10-minute blank track has taken iTunes by storm (and it actually has a specific use)
In 1965, The Sound of Silence reached number one in the Billboard Top 100 charts. Anyone who bought it expecting literally nothing will have been left sorely disappointed, though any records of people complaining to Trading Standards are sadly lost to history.
Still, anyone who does feel short changed 52 years later can finally put that aggrievement to rest. Someone has released a ten-minute recording of silence to iTunes, and it’s doing rather well. Or it was, rather. While Engadget reported that earlier this morning it had hit the dizzy heights of 67th in the charts – ahead of acts that for the purposes of this article I’ll pretend to have heard of such as Kendrick Lemar and the Chainsmokers – it now doesn’t appear in the iTunes top list. You can still buy it here, though, if you like.
While it may seem like a ridiculous stunt, there is actually a good reason for it to exist. The song, by Samir Rezhami, is titled A a a a a Very Good Song, so it will appear at the top of any iTunes playlist. That’s not a vanity thing – it’s deliberately designed that way because certain car audio systems will start playing the first song they find on iTunes when an iPhone is connected. By replacing that song with ten minutes of silence, you have time to put something else on – although if you forget about it, you’re in for a rude awakening ten minutes later when your next track kicks off.
Whether or not it’s been removed from the charts or fallen away of its own accord, one thing is quite clear: a song of utter silence has ironically struck a chord with people. At the time of writing, the tweet has 14,460 likes, and people clearly were buying it.
A nice little earner for Rezhami, if nothing else. If only iTunes were around in John Cage’s day – although I suppose you could call this an extended cover version.