Groundbreaking in Brevity: Brutal Truth’s “Collateral Damage”
In an industry where length often equates to value, Brutal Truth took a defiant stance. Their music video for “Collateral Damage” was recognized in 2001 by the Guinness Book of Records as the “shortest music video.”
The track, a pivotal piece from their debut album, “Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses,” released in September 1992 through Earache Records, showcased a revolutionary blend. It wasn’t merely a grindcore album; it was an amalgamation of death metal’s ferocity, grind’s velocity, the hardcore elements of New York, and a dash of pure noise.
Earache Records, known for its roster of extreme metal luminaries, was the force behind this iconic release. “Collateral Damage,” as the seventh track on this influential album, encapsulated the essence of Brutal Truth’s uncompromising sound.
Short and not so sweet, Brutal Truth’s “Collateral Damage” set a precedent in the music video world, challenging the norms of length and content.
Produced in 1994, the “Collateral Damage” music video is an epitome of succinct storytelling. Lasting only 2.18 seconds and featuring 48 still images in a rapid sequence, topped with an explosive conclusion, it mirrors the audio’s intensity in visual form.
This record of the shortest music video, however, was later eclipsed in 2007 by Napalm Death with “You Suffer.” This shift underscored the ongoing evolution and competitive spirit within grindcore, highlighting the genre’s relentless quest for extreme artistic expression.
Pushing the Boundaries: Napalm Death’s “You Suffer”
Building on the precedent set by Brutal Truth, Napalm Death took the concept of brevity to a new extreme in 2007 with their music video for “You Suffer.” This creation set a staggering record as the shortest music video at just 1.3 seconds. The song “You Suffer” is also renowned for being the shortest song ever recorded, lasting a mere 1.316 seconds.
The origins of “You Suffer” date back to Napalm Death’s 1986 demo sessions for “From Enslavement to Obliteration.” Crafted by Nicholas Bullen, Justin Broadrick, and Mick Harris, the song’s ultra-brief nature was inspired by Wehrmacht’s 1985 song “E!” and was initially conceived as a comedic element. This sense of humor translated to their live performances, where the band often played “You Suffer” repeatedly, making its brevity a memorable part of the show.
“You Suffer” by Napalm Death, lasting only 1.316 seconds, holds the record for both the shortest song and music video ever recorded.
The music video for “You Suffer,” produced in March 2007 to coincide with the “Scum” DualDisc release, is a visual equivalent of the song’s abruptness. It features a girl jumping up and down, overlaid with striking fake blood and gunshot effects, effectively embodying the song’s transient yet powerful impact.
The lyric, “You suffer – but why?”, is the sole verbal expression in the song, encapsulating the enigmatic and thought-provoking nature of Napalm Death’s music. This brief query lingers in the minds of listeners, inviting contemplation and interpretation.
Napalm Death’s “You Suffer,” in its fleeting existence, not only claimed the title of the shortest music video but also exemplified the band’s innovative and avant-garde approach to music. Their ability to convey a potent message in a fraction of a second is proof of the power of minimalism in music and the enduring impact of even the most transient of artistic expressions.