Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Revolution 9

"Revolution 9" is a recorded composition that appeared on The Beatles' 1968 self-titled LP release (popularly known as "The White Album").

The recording began as an extended ending to the album version of "Revolution", to which were added vocal and music sound clips, tape loops, reverse sound/music and sound effects influenced by the musique concrète styles of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varèse, Luigi Nono, and John Cage, further manipulated with editing and sound modification techniques (stereo panning and fading). At over eight minutes, it is the longest track on the album, as well as the longest Beatles track ever officially released, excluding the unreleased track "Carnival of Light" (which clocks in at 13 minutes, 48 seconds), which is said to carry avant-garde influences as well.

The work is credited to Lennon/McCartney, but Paul McCartney did not actively participate in the track's creation. In actuality, "Revolution 9" was primarily the work of John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, although Yoko Ono made small contributions (and, perhaps more importantly, her avant-garde influence on Lennon's compositional style is clear throughout the work.)

Believing the track to be too uncommercial for even the Beatles to get away with, McCartney and producer George Martin fought hard to keep the track off the The Beatles, but Lennon and Ono won out, and the track was included as the penultimate track of the album's fourth (and final) side.

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