VU Meter turns 70 years old


You don't have to be a bigshot recording wiz to know what the VU meter is. If you've forced yourself to sit through an episode of VH1's Behind the Music, you've undoubtedly seen a VU meter needle bouncing, likely as a cut-away from the part of the episode where Joe Satriani returns to the studio to record one more time, despite the advice of everyone who knew better.

Developed in 1939 by Bell Laboratories, the VU meter has scarcely seen a day off in 70 years. As a show of thanks for all its hard work, Gimme Noise offers this video dump of the loudest songs ever recorded. These are the works that pushed that little needle further to the right of the dial thingy than anything we can think of. Well, without bursting a brain vessel at 6 in the morning, anyway. Enjoy!

5. A Quick One While He's Away-- The Who. The song starts off calmly enough, and plays nice for about 5 straight minutes.  But symphonics and vocal harmonies soon give way to Townshend and Moon exchanging musical haymakers.

4. Jet Generation-- Guitar Wolf. The loudest band ever? Loud enough to kill the bassist.

3. Fight the Power-- Public Enemy. So loud, it almost started a revolution.

2. Raining Blood-- Slayer. We have a vendetta against this song for being unconscionably difficult on Guitar Hero, even at a moderate difficulty setting. Still, loud as hell.

  1. Sex Problem-- Harry Pussy. Thank God it only lasts 50 seconds.