The Beatles, John Lennon And Revolution: One, Two, Many Revolutions   1 comment

It a long way from the early John Lennon demo tape for Revolution 1 to the Nike Ad.

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know you can count me out/in

We can start with the demo tapes done before the White Album.

We recorded the song twice. The Beatles were getting real tense with each other. I did the slow version and I wanted it out as a single: as a statement of The Beatles’ position on Vietnam and The Beatles’ position on revolution. For years, on The Beatles’ tours, Brian Epstein had stopped us from saying anything about Vietnam or the war. And he wouldn’t allow questions about it. But on one of the last tours, I said, ‘I am going to answer about the war. We can’t ignore it.’ I absolutely wanted The Beatles to say something about the war.

John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

According to Wikipedia:

The White Album (Kinfauns) demos (1968)

In May 1968, The Beatles met at Kinfauns, the Esher home of George Harrison, to review and record demos of songs under consideration for their next album; twenty-seven songs, mostly acoustic, have become public from this session.[40] Seven of the songs were released on Anthology 3, including “Junk“, a song McCartney would later record for his first solo album. Of the twenty demo songs not officially released, fifteen would be recorded and released on the White Album, while “Not Guilty” and “What’s the New Mary Jane” would be recorded for the album but not make the final line-up.

And here is The “Kinfauns Acoustic Demo” (I love this one):

Kinfauns Acoustic Demo

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We don’t love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We’re doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Then the Beatles as a group played the track many, many times.  Here is Take 20 with some post processing:

Revolution 1 Take 20 (Rejected Mix)

From Wikipedia again on Take 20:

Take 20

Low-quality monitor mixes of the full-length version of Revolution appeared on various bootlegs, such as From Kinfauns to Chaos, throughout the 90s.[16] Then in 2009, a high-quality version labeled “Revolution Take 20″ appeared on the bootleg CD Revolution: Take…Your Knickers Off![17][18] The release triggered great media fanfare and activity among fans. This version, RM1 (Remix in Mono #1) of Take 20, runs 10 minutes 46 seconds (at the correct speed) and was created at the end of the 4 June session, with a copy taken away by Lennon.[19] It was an attempt by Lennon to augment the full-length version of “Revolution” in a way that satisfied him before he chose to split the piece between the edited “Revolution 1″ and the musique concrete “Revolution 9″.

Finally we get the White Album mix which is pretty sweet:

White Album Revolution as Released.

George thought this was TOO SLOW for a single and John wanted the song out NOW.  And so on July 10, 1968 the fast, loose and out of control version (more in keeping with the times really) was recorded.

We got into distortion on that, which we had a lot of complaints from the technical people about. But that was the idea: it was John’s song and the idea was to push it right to the limit. Well, we went to the limit and beyond.

George Martin
Anthology

Here is “GetGBackEsto”’s restored version of a live studio performance of the fast version of Revolution (with backing vocals absent from the released single):

Live Take of Revolution Post July 10

The Video of this performance with the raw sound mix can be seen:  Beatles Revolution Fast

Finally he is John’s mix for the single Revolution (this was the “B” side to Hey Jude):the-beatles-revolution-apple-4

Fast Revolution as Released

This is the one I bought in High School and it was before the White Album and slow version of Revolution was released.  Listening to it had a big effect on me.

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

The less said about Nike’s use of the fast version of Revolution for a shoe ad the better.

From 1983 through 1990 The Grateful Dead pulled out Revolution as an encore closer.  Hear them below:

19831012 Madison Square Garden Revolution 05:11
19831017 Olympic Arena Revolution 05:18
19831022 Carrier Dome, Syracuse U Revolution 05:21
19831031 Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium Revolution 05:20
19841009 The Centrum Revolution 04:57
19841020 Carrier Dome, Syracuse U Revolution 05:30
19850408 The Spectrum Revolution 05:08
19850702 Civic Arena Revolution 04:51
19851108 Community War Memorial Auditorium Revolution 06:02
19900328 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Revolution 05:09

This just in

One response to “The Beatles, John Lennon And Revolution: One, Two, Many Revolutions

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  1. Pingback: The Beatles White Album | Cloud2013 Or Bust

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