Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Beatles "Revolution"

John Rehearses Give Peace A Chance By Roy KerwoodImage via Wikipedia

The Beatles Revolution Sparks a Rock Resurgence by Vince P Platania

The Beatles Revolution was one of the wake-up calls to rock musicians in the 1960's who were looking for a way to add a harder edge to their sound. The song was written by John Lennon in 1968, and has been recorded in a several different versions. The most familiar one, however, begins with a heavily distorted guitar riff and a piercing scream. The track then moves into a sludgy shuffle, led by raunchy mid-range crunch on the lead guitar and a heavy drum beat.

Musicians had for some time been experimenting with ways to create a heavier guitar sound. The most common method used was to overdrive a guitar amplifier by turning the gain up very high until it was so loud that it began to distort the amplifier's speaker cone. Some bands, such as the Kinks, even began vandalizing their equipment to get the tone they were looking for, slashing speakers in order to make them dirty up the audio signal.

No-one, however, had released anything that matched the sheer aggression inherent in the guitar backing The Beatles Revolution. Interestingly, the song was originally far slower than the one that was included as a B-side to 'Hey Jude'. Lennon had been keen to release the milder, lyrically identical version as a single itself, but other band members felt it was far too slow to achieve any success.

Irritated, Lennon set out to make a virtual caricature of the original song that he had written, channeling all of his stifled rage and energy into the primal scream that precedes the opening verse. Whether this proved to be therapeutic for Lennon or not is unknown, but he was appeased by having his original version of the song, re-titled as 'Revolution 1', released on 'The White Album'.

The words to The Beatles Revolution were decidedly political. Lennon claims to have been inspired by the 1968 revolt in France, and the track bears his typical caustic evaluation of events, letting people know that while he considers real political change to be welcome, using the tools of violence to achieve that change is far from acceptable. The release of this song marked the beginning of a new period in Lennon's songwriting, one that was more focused on the external world and less interested in navel-gazing and emotional exploration. It was also the beginning of the tensions that would plague the band as it tried to balance political expression, fame, and internal discord. is the mystical rehearsal studio for rockers DEMON TWEAK. Listen as they prepare for battle with the evil trickster Loki by playing home brewed classic rock direct from Ragnarok. Also read articles on your favorite classic rock band written by resident historian VIRGIL THE STORYTELLER.

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