Sunday, January 16, 2011

Revolution 9

"Revolution 9" is a track from the White Album, and was recorded on May 30, 1968 at Abbey Road Studios, with more special effects added in June of that year. It is a well known Beatles fact that this Lennon-Yoko collaboration was controversial and was unpopular with George Martin and the rest of the Beatles, who unsuccessfully tried to keep the track off the White Album. Paul especially disliked the piece.

"Revolution 9" is not a song, but a musical collage of sorts, employing tape loops arranged by Lennon and Yoko, as well as certain screeching and howling sounds. Lennon acknowledged that both he and the track were under the direction and influence of Yoko Ono. George Martin actually lent some support in recording various tape loops on a two track recorder. Part of the track contains a monologue by Yoko and the sound of banging water glasses. Other noises were created and taped one night by Lennon and long-time friend (and former Quarryman) Pete Shotton after they had smoked marijuana and ingested LSD.

The name of the track comes from Lennon's obsession with the number nine (see articles under sitemap for more information on Lennon's belief that the number nine had a special significance in his life).

This track also fed into the "Paul Is Dead" hysteria. A voice repeatedly says during the course of the track "Number nine, number nine, number nine." Many have said that when played backwards, these words become "Turn me on, dead man." Lennon always said this was a coincidence.

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