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"Revolution 1"

Categories: Beatles songs

"Revolution 1" was the number one song to be recorded during the Dolls' House sessions, later renamed The Beatles, though universally known as The White Album.

With work commencing at the end of May '68, John Lennon had every intention of issuing it as the band's next 45 — their first on Apple — but was rapidly overruled by his fellow-fabs on the grounds that it was 'too slow'. "Hey Jude", though hardly a rousing rocker itself, became the single (released in August), with the raucously revamped "Revolution" on the other side.

Professor Pollack has proposed that the single version was actually the original, on the grounds that it's a far more appropriate demonstration of the song's sentiments. Moreover, the acoustic Kinfauns rendition, recorded just a couple of days before they moved back in to Abbey Road does bear more resemblance to the fast take. It's an interesting theory — in spite of plenty of evidence to the contrary — and it has led me to wonder if the incorporation of that ridiculously laid-back horn section was a later plan on the part of JL, just to get his own back on the other three...

And, when you talk about destruction, bootleg sources reveal that, by the time they got to 'Take 20', he was already scheming its evolution into "Number 9" — surely the ultimate revenge!

Whatever, and however incongruous the arrangement may be as a call to arms, I can't help but like "Number 1". It's a superbly lazy Lennon vocal, and the whole thing chugs along nicely: Paul playing piano, as opposed to Nicky Hopkins on the fast take, and shooby-doo-wopping his socks off along with George, who clearly had a good time playing a little chilled blues. Ringo's as solid as ever:

Uh-uh, alright!
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