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Revolution (song)

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"Revolution 1"
Song by The Beatles
Album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 30 May – 21 June 1968
Genre Rock, blues-rock
Length 4:17
Label Apple
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles track listing
It was certainly not unknown for the Beatles to record re-makes of certain songs during their sessions at Abbey Road, from 'Please Please Me' to 'Strawberry Fields Forever.' What was unusual was for them to release the original and re-made versions of the same song. The Beatles did this in 1968 with John Lennon's stunning new composition 'Revolution.' Briefly, the version on The Beatles was the first to be taped, and it was titled 'Revolution 1.' On the same album was 'Revolution 9,' the second to be recorded. The third version appeared only on the B-side of the group's next single, and this was, simply, 'Revolution.'

On this first day (18 May 1968), takes one through to 18 were recorded ... of the rhythm track — each of varying length but averaging about five minutes. ... Take 18 was different, substantially different, and it was the basis of the final LP version. It began so soon after the previous take that Geoff Emerick, in punching the talkback button simultaneously with the start of the song, announced "Take 18" over John Lennon's vocal, the first take with vocals, in fact. John deliberately kept Emerick's words as part of the song and thus they appear on the album. Secondly, this take did not stop after five minutes. It kept on and on and on, eventually running out at 10'17" with John's shout to the others and to the control room "OK, I've had enough!"

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, 1988

On 'Revolution' I'm playing the guitar and I haven't improved since I was last playing, but I dug it. It sounds the way I wanted it to sound.

—John Lennon, 1968

I should never have put that in about Chairman Mao. I was just finishing off in the studio when I did that.

—John Lennon, 1972

The statement in 'Revolution' was mine. The lyrics stand today. It's still my feeling about politics. I want to see the plan. That is what I used to say to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Count me out if it is for violence. Don't expect me to be on the barricades unless it is with flowers. For years, on the Beatles' tours, Brian Epstein had stopped us from saying anything about Vietnam or the war. And he wouldn't allow questions about it. But on one of the last tours, I said, 'I'm going to answer about the war. We can't ignore it.' I absolutely wanted the Beatles to say something about the war.

—John Lennon, 1980

"Revolution Take 20" is "Revolution 1" with much of the stuff included in "Revolution #9".

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