Do you dread the time the mic gets passed your way during Karaoke functions? We have the answer.
Of all Japan’s great inventions, karaoke stands out as one that’s loved by men and women of all ages. In most urban areas you can’t throw a rock without hitting a parlor renting private rooms pre-loaded with hundreds of thousands of songs to choose from and sing at your heart’s content for a reasonably low price.
However, naturally not everyone enjoys singing in public. Tone deafness is an affliction that strikes approximately one in 27 people (source: number pulled out of thin air) and for them a trip to the karaoke room can be a nightmare.
Rather than be a wet blanket who refuses to sing, the least painful option is to choose a really short that will send the microphone on its way as soon as possible. But just how short can a karaoke song get? You would be surprised, because we sure were.
To find the shortest karaoke song, we sent our reporter Ryo to the local Shidax karaoke center. There he rented the Joysound catalog of over 200,000 songs that he could search through. The clerk told Ryo that the times of each song were listed on the queue screen, but the number varied with each system. Sometimes, they include the lead-in times as well.
That was good enough for Ryo to get a start anyway, so he went in search of the shortest possible song. It actually didn’t take long before he found a contender. This was the jingle for magazine called Shukan The Television. The commercial, titled “Kadogawa The Television No Rogo” is simply the words “the television” sung to a catchy little melody, originally by Yutaka Mogi.
You can hear the jingle in the closing seconds of this commercial.
▼ “Okay…Here we go!”
♪Tat-Ta La La Laaaa♫
▼ “Aaaand that’s a wrap!”
Unfortunately due to copyright issues, we can’t show the actual karaoke performance, so here’s Ryo doing an a cappella version back at the office.
Despite the monitor displaying 11 seconds, Ryo clocked in the actual song time at around six seconds. Surely this was the shortest song there. Not only that, it’s a song most people in Japan would be familiar with and should make an impact despite its short length.
However, just in case, Ryo consulted the internet to find “the world’s shortest song.” According to Guinness World Records the shortest song by a major artist was from the UK metal band Napalm Death called “You Suffer.”
As interesting a fact as that is, what are the chances that such an obscure track from Britain would be in a Japanese karaoke ro… Oh, there it is!
However the display read 22 seconds, that was surely more than his jingle. But as the staff had told him the numbers are deceiving, the only way to be sure was to boot it up and see.
“What the?! Did a song just play?” thought Ryo as he tried to comprehend what he just heard. Some kind of English-ish lyric flashed on the screen and what sounded like a guitar farting could be heard. Total playing time was around one second.
Again, due to legal issues we can’t show you the karaoke session, but here is the music video for “You Suffer” by Napalm Death.
With these two tracks even the most karaoke-phobic person can skate through a singing session with ease. Also, if you happen to be the type who initially feels nervous these tracks can also help loosen you up for some real songs later on.
We can’t with 100 percent certainty say that Napalm Death’s “You Suffer” is unequivocally the shortest karaoke song in existence but we feel pretty confident that it is. If you happen to know of a track that might rival it, let us know and we’ll dust off our atomic clocks to find out.