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"Revolution" (single version)

Categories: Beatles songs

Lennon's proposal to issue the original slow, bluesy "Revolution" as their first Apple single was counted out by the others, on the grounds that it was too slow. And so, he decided to change its constitution.

Alright, alright: if you want it fuckin' fast, we'll do it fuckin' fast.

And fuckin' loud.

Jacking his guitar directly into the mixing desk, he found a real solution for his frustration, vying with George to blow the fuses. The quiet one, although he thought the song was "pretty good", didn't actually like said guitar sound very much, describing it as "noise". Our Ringo, on the other hand, seemed to've got well into it all, serving up one of his most devastating onslaughts. Paul, despite his initial reservations over the song's overtly political message, wasn't backwards in coming forwards either, even taking over that introductory Lennonian scream for the live-vocal promo-film so that Johnny had enough breath left to launch into the verse. The whole thing was topped off by the magnificent Nicky Hopkins on electric piano.

It may be overstating things to claim that The Beatles invented metal with this track, but it's certainly one of the heaviest slabs of music that they ever produced. And when you talk about destruction, dear old George Martin must've been having kittens while trying to keep everything balanced!

The message was very John, no longer willing to hold his tongue about Vietnam and all the other social unrest that was cracking off back then. Even more typical was his apparent uncertainty as to which side he wished to be counted in/out of. He did, however, apologize for the 'mistaken' reference to Mao. As he told that kid who sneaked into his hotel suite with a tape recorder the following year: 'The militant revolutionaries — ask 'em to show you one revolution that turned out to be what it promised...' And, in one of his final interviews, he reiterated the point: 'The lyrics stand today. It's still my feeling about politics. I want to see the plan. Count me out if it's for violence'.

All we are saying...

The original slow, bluesy "Revolution", subsequently subtitled "1" to distinguish it from the single cut (the B-side to "Hey Jude"), was 'relegated' to be counted in for release on the White Album. The promo version ended up being something of a hybrid, with Paul and George including the shooby-doo-wops from the former for the occasion.

And then, of course, there's the Kinfauns acoustic demo, which actually preceded One, Two and Nine...

Don't you know it's gonna be
Alright?
Alright!
Alright!!!
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