Monday, February 23, 2009

If this is a fraud, it's a cool one

As one of those twisted freaks who considers "Revolution 9" one of my top 10 Beatles songs of all time, I had to notice this.

In one of John Lennon's final interviews, he explained how "Revolution 9" began: "The slow version of 'Revolution' on the album went on and on and on and I took the fade-out part, which is what they sometimes do with disco records now, and just layered all this stuff over it." Supposedly, this is the original 10:47 take of what became "Revolution 1" with screeching psychedelic guitar drones, shoo-be-doo-wop harmonies and John primal-screaming and panting (all the unnerving shouts and gurgles that percolate through "Revolution 9"), and a segment of the murky, highly-distorted last few minutes of the latter song/collage stuck at the end. (The bit after "take this brother, may it serve you well" always sounded like a completely separate piece recorded on cheap equipment by John & Yoko, compared with the previous six minutes of frighteningly vivid tape loops, so it's plausible that smaller bit was always intended to a part of the original "Revolution".)

BUT...is this for real? These days, some creative electronic wizards specialize in mash-ups, throwing separate songs together for copyright-infringement comedy fun; there are even dance clubs devoted to this stuff. So is this really just some seamlessly-edited Frankensteinian fantasy of lost Beatle-lore, a Piltdown Man of Merseybeat? Or is this a genuine, rejected version of a Beatles song? The main body of the song is SO similar to "Revolution 1" that I'm a tad suspicious. But I'm not sure how much I really care about the track's authenticity; at the moment, real or fake, it's become my favorite version of "Revolution".

9 comments:

Righteous Bubba said...

It's gone.

J Neo Marvin said...

Don't know how long it'll last, but here is the download link.

I demand a 12-inch vinyl disco single with "Carnival Of Light" on the B side. Do it, Paul!

Ian Schultz said...

I never liked The Beatles, they are just really bland, I just never got why they are considered the greatest band ever or any good to be honest. The vocals are just soo annoying. I like almost all the other British invasion bands but I just despise the Beatles. I only Beatle who I think has any worth is George Harrison and that is because he gave Terry Gilliam to make Time Bandits.

J Neo Marvin said...

Well, it's true that they were a shameless rip-off of the Rutles. The resemblance in some songs is simply uncanny.

Seriously though, if you don't like 'em, you don't like 'em, and that's fine. (Not even "Helter Skelter"?) The most popular band of all time doesn't need me to defend them.

Ear Candle Productions said...

This sounds like the real thing.

Ian Schultz said...

I like the version of Helter Skelter Siouxsie & the Banshees did...

J Neo Marvin said...

On that we can agree. Excellent version.

I used to work for a crappy record store chain in the 80s, and I was forced to hear Motley Crue's lame cover version over and over. Now that was anemic. I mean, if you can't rock harder than Paul McCartney, you should hang it up now. I mean really.

Ian Schultz said...

This is just as good as any other thread...
Neo, you might like my friend's band The Manhattan Love Sucides, very Jesus & Mary Chain. They are playing San Francisco, check them out, tickets should be like $4, I have made a music video for them and i'm currently making a another for them.

www.myspace.com/themls

J Neo Marvin said...

Hey, they do a Daniel Johnston cover! That's very cool.

Our friend the classical guitarist is staying with us that weekend and they might be too minimalist for his tastes, but...you never know.