*Ian Hammond's - An indepth study of The Beatles Revolution Number 9!*

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After a brief piano introduction taken from an unreleased Paul McCartney song, a loop of a male repeating the words "number nine" (taken from an EMI test tape indicating a recording of the ninth take of a song) begins to be heard, (this phrase fades in and out throughout the recording as a sort of Leitmotif). Then there is chaos: feedback, impromptu screaming, rehearsed overdubs, and more tape loops.

As some portions of "Revolution 9" are recordings of other music (bits of Sibelius and Beethoven, for example), the piece can be seen as an early example of sampling. Other audio elements include various bits of apparently nonsensical dialogue, various found sounds, reversed sounds and recordings of American football chants.

It's starts off forward, where Paul sings his little ditty, 'Can I Take You Back'

Listen To Revolution Number 9 Backwards: CLICK HERE (mp3)


For a study of The Beatle and their contribution to avante garde music, Beatlesnumber9 presents Beatles At The Vanguard.

*Ian Hammond's Beathoven - An indepth study of The Beatles Revolution Number 9!*

Revolution Number 1 (Take 20)



[Bottle of Claret for you if I had realised…

Well, do it next time.

I forgot about it, George, I'm sorry.
Will you forgive me?


Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,
number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,
number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,

Then there's this Welsh Rarebit wearing some brown underpants
About the shortage of grain in Hertfordshire
Everyone of them knew that as time went by
They'd get a little bit older and a litter slower but
It's all the same thing, in this case manufactured by someone who's always
Umpteen your father's giving it diddly-i-dee
District was leaving, intended to pay for

Number 9, number 9

Who's to know?
Who was to know?

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,
number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9

I sustained nothing worse than
Also for example
Whatever you're doing
A business deal falls through
I informed him on the third night
When fortune gives

Number 9, number 9, number 9

People ride, people ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride
Ride! Ride!

9, number 9, number 9, number 9

I've missed all of that
It makes me a few days late
Compared with, like, wow!
And weird stuff like that
Taking our sides sometimes
Floral bark
Rouge doctors have brought this specimen

I have nobody's short-cuts, aha…

9, number 9

With the situation

They are standing still

The plan, the telegram

Ooh ooh

Number 9, number


A man without terrors from beard to false
As the headmaster reported to me
My son he really can try as they do to find function
Tell what he was saying, and his voice was low and his hive high
And his eyes were low


Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,
number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9,

So the wife called me and we'd better go to see a surgeon
Or whatever to price it… yellow underclothes
So, any road, we went to see the dentist instead
Who gave her a pair of teeth which wasn't any good at all
So I said I'd marry, join the fucking navy and went to sea

In my broken chair, my wings are broken and so is my hair
I'm not in the mood for whirling

Um da

Dogs for dogging, hands for clapping
Birds for birding and fish for fishing
Them for themming and when for whimming

Only to find the night-watchman
Unaware of his presence in the building

Onion soup

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9

Industrial output
Financial imbalance

Thrusting it between his shoulder blades

The Watusi
The twist


Take this brother, may it serve you well

Maybe it's nothing
Maybe it's nothing
What? What? Oh

Maybe even then
Impervious in London
Could be difficult thing
It's quick like rush for peace is
Because it's so much

It was like being naked
If you became naked


From The Web

0:00-0:15: Piano intro

0:02-0:15: "Number Nine" loop introduced

0:15: Sound effects faded in

0:21: Backwards mellotron

0:28: Orhestral loop ("A Day In The Life" overdubs? Strings
going up scale)

0:44: Orchestra loop (different, with cymbal crash)

0:50: Various reversed orchestra
First audible speech (John, right channel)

1:00: Backwards mellotron

1:00-1:20: Intelligible speech (John, right): "They found a shortage
of grain in Hartfordshire, and every one of them knewthat
as time went by, they'd get a little bit older and a little
bit slower...factory work...five percent in the, in the uh,
the district, they were intended to pay for..."

1:20: Backwards orchestra loop

1:35-1:48: Female laughter (left-to-right channel)

1:48: Baby like sounds
Intelligible speech (George, right): "Who was to know?
Who was to know?"

1:58: Backwards Indian instruments ("morphed" from the baby

2:00-2:12: "Number nine" loop

2:12-2:20: Orchestra loop (Sibelius, "Symphony No. 7" final chord)

2:14-2:17: Intelligible speech (John, right): "I informed him on
the third night, unfortunately he was..."

2:22: George Martin: "Geoff [Emerick, Abbey Road engineer]...
put the red light on..." (first appearance)

2:30-2:54: Miscellaneous crowd sounds (left)

2:33-2:50: Shouts by John ("Revolution 1", take 18?): "Right!"
(repeated eight times, last "right" is prolonged)

2:55: Glass breaks (right)
George: "Foot!" (? or possibly "fook"?)

3:00: Audible speech (John/George, left)

3:02-3:15: Orchestra loop (Beethoven, "Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra,
and Choir: Opus 80")
Car horns, traffic noise

3:17-3:20: Intelligible speech (John, right): "...fine(?) hand over
his shoulder..."

3:25-3:35: Tape spools back

3:39-3:45: Intelligible speech (John/George, right): George: "...on
heat with the situation..." John: "They are standing still."
George: "I found a telegram (?)"

3:50: Noises by John (take 18?)
"Number nine" loop
Football loop, first appearance (right): "On the 30..." or
"Number 30..."

3:54-4:05: Intelligible speech (John/George, right): George:
"... a bit of farce(?) as the headmaster reported to..."
John: "Who could tell what he was saying, his voice was
slow and his (?) was high, and his eyes were low..."

4:05-4:18: John: "Hold it!", crowd noises (right)

4:13-4:17: Intelligible speech (John): "...on fire, but his
glasses were saved...(?)"

4:18-4:50: Various effects in a melange

4:50: Loud noise across channels

4:53-5:14: Intelligible speech (John, right): "So the wife
called, and we better go to see a surgeon, but what
with the prices and all, the prices have snow balled,
it's so absurd, yeah, no wonder they're closed. So anyhow,
he went to see the dentist instead who gave him a pair
of teeth, which wasn't any good at all. So instead of
that, he joined the bloody navy and went to sea..."

4:56: George, right: "...there were nine of them..."

4:59-5:03: Tape spooling back
Scream, (John, right)

5:04-5:25: Football chant (left-to-right): "Block that kick!"
(first appearance)

5:30-5:36: Intelligible speech (John, right): "Here I sit in my broken
chair, my wings are broken and so is my hair. I am not
in the mood for..."

5:35-5:42: Crackling paper (fire?)
Backwards choir loop

5:40-5:50: Orchestra loop (Sibelius)
Various noises by John (take 18?)

5:46-5:50: Science-fiction effects, gunfire?

5:50-5:59: Intelligible speech (john, right): "The dogs were dogging,
the cats were catting, the birds were birding, the fish
were fishing..."

6:00-6:08: Melange of sound effects

6:07-6:13: Intelligible speech (George, right): "...only to find
the nightwatchman, unaware of his presence in the building..."

6:11: John (right): "Onion soup..."

6:15-6:23: George Martin loop
"Number nine" loop Orchestra loop (Beethoven, Opus 80)
Reversed choir loop

6:24-6:40: Intelligible speech (John/George, right): John: "Personality
complex...industrial imbalance...
the Watusi...the Twist..." George (left): "Eldorado"

6:32: George (right): "...pushing it between his shoulderblades..."
Backwards piano loop (intro reversed?)

6:42: Marching band (left)

6:43-6:44: Intelligible speech (John): "Take this brother, may it
serve you well..."
Humming by Yoko Ono

6:47-7:45: Audible speech by Yoko

6:49: John: "What? What? Hmmmm..." (in response to Yoko?)

6:50-7:00: Radio static

7:00-7:30: Unidentified singing voice (beginning with "good fish
in the kettle(?)..."
Low mumbling by John

7:33-7:42: Backwards piano loop

7:43: Intelligible phrase (Yoko): " become naked."

7:47-8:13: Football chant to fade (left-to-right): "Hold that line...
block that kick..."

And so, "Good Night"...

two virgins And it ends with a crowd chanting "block that kick." I've listened to this song quite a few times and it's grown on me. It was mostly put together by John and Yoko with some help from George Harrison, George Martin, and Alistair Taylor. The latter two may not even have known there conversation was being recorded, just as Paul can be heard. There were the Paul is Dead freaks that thought this was all about that. The sounds from the left speaker do record what sounds like a car crash, fire and sirens. It goes to show this track can mean about anything you want it to.

I think it was John's attempt to take the listener to a different level of musical reality than your a typical pop song. It was a take off of Revolution Number 1, and in the earlier recordings, parts of the song Rev #1 were very prominent, but became buried in the loops of sounds of the finished product. I think it was John's way of having a Revolution 'in your head.' (You better free your mind instead...) And it may well have been John distancing himself from The Beatles. Paul hated the song and fought to keep it off the album. Only recently has it been argued that Paul didn't want it on the album because he didn't want John to be known as the avante-gard Beatle (this came from Paul himself in a recent interview). Paul was also experimenting with tape loops and sounds, but being pop-minded never released his recordings to the public. I think this is unfortunate.

When John was asked about the creation of the track, he said, ''I thought I was painting in sound a picture of revolution - but I made a mistake. The mistake was that it was anti-revolution''.

animated fractal
A few facts:
John Lennon wrote this with contributions from Yoko Ono. No surprise there.
This was made by layering tape loops over the basic rhythm of "Revolution #1."
Lennon was trying to create an atmosphere of a revolution in progress.
The tape loops came from EMI archives.
The "Number 9" voice heard over and over is an engineer testing equipment.
Paul McCartney and Beatles producer George Martin hated this and tried to keep it off the album (Though as mentioned above, this may not have been Paul's motive).
It's the longest Beatles song. It runs 8:15. It also took longer to complete than any other track on album.
The most controversial track on the album. You have to have a very open mind to appreciate it.
Lennon: "This is the music of the future."

This helped fuel the "Paul is dead" rumors. If played backwards, you were supposed to hear the car crash Paul died in, and a voice saying "Turn me on, dead man."
Marilyn Manson released his own version of this on the B-side of the single for "Get Your Gunn." It was called "Revelation 9" and ran 12:57.

*Ian Hammond's Beathoven - An indepth study of The Beatles Revolution Number 9!*

aniblack fractal

I'm David Holmes

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