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Revolution by The Beatles

Album: Past Masters, Vol. 2Released: 1968Charted:
  • This was the first overtly political Beatles song. It was John Lennon's response to the Vietnam War.
  • John Lennon wrote this in India while The Beatles were at a transcendental meditation camp with The Maharishi. Lennon told Rolling Stone: "I had been thinking about it up in the hills in India. I still had this 'God will save us' feeling about it, that it's going to be all right (even now I'm saying 'Hold on, John, it's going to be all right,' otherwise, I won't hold on) but that's why I did it, I wanted to talk, I wanted to say my piece about revolution. I wanted to tell you, or whoever listens, to communicate, to say 'What do you say? This is what I say.'"
  • Revolutionaries take different approaches to reach their goals. In a 1998 interview with Uncut, Yoko One gave her thoughts on Lennon's approach and how he expressed it in this song: "John's idea of revolution was that he did not want to create the situation where when you destroy statues, you become a statue. And also what he means is that there's too much repercussion in the usual form of revolution. He preferred evolution. So you have to take a peaceful method to get peace rather than you don't care what method you take to get peace, and he was very, very adamant about that."
  • The original slow version appears on The White Album. The fast, loud version was released as a single. In the slow version, Lennon says "count me in" as well as "count me out" when referring to violence. This gives the song a dual meaning.
  • This was released as the B-side of "Hey Jude." Lennon wanted it to be the first A-side released on Apple Records, the label The Beatles started, but "Hey Jude" got the honor.
  • There are so many versions of this song because Paul McCartney didn't like it. Lennon really wanted this song to be the 'A' side of the single instead of "Hey Jude," and kept changing it around to come up with something that would make Paul see it his way. He basically wrote the song because he felt like he was being pulled in so many directions by different people, all of whom wanted his backing, politically. It was also him questioning his own belief in the revolution that was going on... whether he was "out" or "in." In truth, he was writing about a revolution of the mind rather than a physical "in the streets" revolution. He truly believed that revolution comes from inner change rather than social violence. (This is discussed in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook)
  • Nike used this for commercials in 1987. Capitol Records, who owned the performance rights, meaning The Beatles version of the song, was paid $250,000. Michael Jackson, who owned the publishing rights, meaning use of the words and music, also had to agree and was paid for the song (Jackson acquired the rights to 251 Beatles songs in 1985 when he outbid Paul McCartney for them, fracturing their friendship in the process).

    The commercials caused a huge backlash from Beatles fans who felt that Nike was disrespecting the legacy of John Lennon, who likely would have objected to its use, but the ad campaign, called "Revolution in Motion," was successful, helping Nike expand their market by featuring ordinary joggers, gym rats and cyclists. "We're trying to promote the concept of revolutionary changes in the fitness movement and show how Nike parallels those changes with product development," the company stated. "Because of this 'revolution,' we were able to draw a strong correlation with the music and the lyrics in the Beatles song."

    It wasn't just fans who had beef with the ads: the surviving Beatles, along with Yoko Ono (representing Lennon's estate), sued Nike, bringing even more publicity to the campaign. The ads ran for about a year, and eventually a settlement was reached in the lawsuit. As years went by, it became more acceptable to use songs in commercials, but Beatles songs remained off-limits, as any use would result in a lawsuit and hostile reaction by fans. What was "revolutionary" about the Nike commercials were that they were the first to do it.

    In 2002, "When I'm 64" was used in a commercial for Allstate insurance. Many Beatles fans were not pleased, but it didn't get nearly the reaction of the Nike commercials, partly because it was not a political song, but also because it was sung by Julian Lennon, which implied endorsement by his father.
  • On September 4, 1968, The Beatles made a promotional film for this song and "Hey Jude" at Twickenham Studios in London. These were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who did the previous Beatles videos: "Paperback Writer" and "Rain."

    Unlike those clips, which were shot outdoors, the "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" videos were shot in a studio setting and meant to look like the band was performing it live. They both aired September 8 on Frost On Sunday, a popular UK show hosted by David Frost, who was at the Twickenham shoot to introduce the clip for the segment on his show, making it appear that the band was really there.

    Another edit of the footage was later broadcast on Top Of The Pops, and yet another was shown in America on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. When the Beatles compilation 1+ was released in 2015, a restored version of the video was included in the set.
  • Before this song was used to shill for Nike, Yoko Ono was fine with using John Lennon's music in commercials; she authorized "Imagine" for a Japanese ad and said it was "making John's music accessible to a new generation." Nike bypassed the living Beatles, but went to her for approval, since the lead vocalist (the "principal performer") of a song needs to grant permission under certain statutes. Also, as the keeper of Lennon's legacy, it helped to have her consent for publicity purposes. Nike claimed the song was used "with the active support of Yoko Ono Lennon."
  • This is one of the Beatles songs ("Help!" and "In My Life" are other examples) where John Lennon's falsetto makes an appearance. He takes it up high for the word "be" in the line, "You know it's gonna be all right."
  • Nicky Hopkins played the piano. When The Beatles needed keyboards, they usually used Hopkins, Billy Preston, or their producer, George Martin.
  • The dirty guitar sound was created by plugging the guitars directly into the audio board. The guitar sounded so scratchy that many who bought the 45 RPM single tried to return it, thinking it was defective. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dwight Rounds, author of The Year The Music Died, 1964-1972
  • The word "Revolution" is mentioned just once, in the first line.
  • John Lennon wanted his vocals to have an unusual sound, so he recorded most of them lying on his back in the studio. The famous scream at the beginning is a double-tracked recording of Lennon. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France and Jonathon - Clermont, FL
  • The version on the Hey Jude compilation, released in February 1970 in the US, was the B-side of the "Hey Jude" single. The Hey Jude compilation album peaked at #2 in the US and consists of a collection of singles and B-sides that had not previously appeared on US non-soundtrack album releases. The album cover was taken at the final Beatles photo session, at Lennon's (later Starr's) country estate in Ascot, England. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Thompson Twins performed this song at the Philadelphia stage of Live Aid on July 13, 1985. The concert, which raised money for famine relief in Africa, had a global audience of at least 1.5 billion. Thompson Twins were joined on stage for the performance by Madonna (who contributed backing vocals and tambourine), Steve Stevens (best known as Billy Idol's guitarist) and Nile Rodgers, who was also on guitar.

    Thompson Twins included the song on their album Here's to Future Days, which was released a few months later and produced by Rodgers.
  • The Stone Temple Pilots performed this at Madison Square Garden as part of the 2001 special, Come Together: A Night For John Lennon's Words And Music. Their version was released as a single, with proceeds going to charity.
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Comments: 116

This song (Revolution) has nothing to do with the Viet Nam war .. It is about when the weather Underground came to John Lennon for a " contribution and they were " carrying pictures of chairman Mao " ..Heck , it might have even been William Ayers himself ...Robert - New Jersey
Can someone please tell me what the paper crumpling sounds are in the intro of the song? And if they were just that, does anyone know whose idea it was or who made the sounds? Thanks!Devon - Chicago
At approx. 1:50 - 2:00 into the song anyone notice VERY SUBTLE near orgasmic sounds in this song?Ricky - Ohsweken, Ontario Canada
18 Feb 2014: I love the guitar intro on "Revolution." The original was "Revolution #9" on the Beatles' White Album, but I prefer the version that became the B-side to the "Hey Jude" single. When "Revolution/Hey Jude" was climbing the charts "back when" I had gotten my orders to Vietnam (I was in the U.S. Army) for duty with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. I loved "Revolution" back then----and I love it now. Back in those years, there were many anti-war demonstrations & protest marches all across the USA. There was far more activism in my younger generation than compared to now with the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. In the late Sixties, some of the bigger stars and bands recorded relevant protest songs besides The Beatles, for example, Steppenwolf, CSN&Y, and the big folk stars. So, "Revolution" brings back some memories of good times, but also times of turmoil in the USA and political unrest.Rocky - Fort Smith, Ar
Great video. From the mop tops to the in-your-face- long hair bearded late 60's. Oh, and the song kicks ass too.Jim - West Palm Beach, Fl
16/3/13: I wouldn't agree that this was The Beatles' "first overtly political song" as stated in the so-called 'facts' above. "Taxman" - which pre-dates Revolution by 2 years - was George's swipe at the UK Government's ridiculously high tax rates in the mid-60s.Martin - Ringmer, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
This is so awesome I love this song!!!Mary - Grand Rapids, Mi
It certainly wasn't the first song with full distorted guitar, but it hits the mark.Jim - West Palm Beach, Fl
Breanna, Henderson, NV, if it was really that important to him, he didn't do a very good job of publicizing it, otherwise you wouldn't be in such a tizzy about correcting 7 billion people who call him John Lennon. I like the man's music, I don't worship him; he wouldn't want you to either.Josh - Champaign, Il
Nicky Hopkins (I used to know him before he passed on) told me he did the solo while the Beatles broke for lunch. He said he got paid 5 pounds, which in American money at the tme was about $15! BZ, Los AngelesBill - Glendale, Ca
If you look closely at th film of the Beatles performing the song on the David Frost show - you can see George sayto paul "John's mike is crap" (meaning rubbish). About the song being used in a TV ad - I think Lennon would have gone ballistic - he would have had a lot to say about that happening.Chris - York, United Kingdom
I like that song and it still works day because hey look, another war.Julia - Gresham, Or
Pee Wee Crayton - Do Unto Others , has a nice guitar intro.Mark - 11385, Ca
Don't forget Nina Simone's version of the song. Pretty ferocious, especially her added line, "Get off our backs!"Bob - Berkeley, Ca
The fact that Hey Jude was on the A side of this single is ridicoulous.I used to like Hey jude but you have to admit that it is a song that gets old fast.Revolution has balls.I have nothing against piano but for me Rock and Roll should always be predominately guitar based music.One thing about about the Beatles is even thier harder rock music such as Revolution and Helter Skelter had melody.So few songs today do.I am a major Beatles fan they are the best band ever.Hey Jude is one Beatles song that when it comes on the radio I have to shut it off.Like i said I have nothing agaist softer music played on piano.I love Let it Be The long and winding road ,good day sunshine.For me however Hey Jude is boring and monotonous.I remember in the early to mid 90's when Mccartney was touring a lot every time they showed a highlight on tv it would be Hey jude wich he ended all his shows with.I saw Mccartney live in 1990 and it was an incredible show.For the next few years however he continued to play basically the same set over and over and I got really bored with him at this point.With all the material he had to work with from the Beatles to his solo years this was ridiculous.He always played the most popular.I realize just about all the Beatles music is popular but he seemed to play all the overplayed oldies music stations selections.I have seen him on tv recently however and has added some gems like Helter Skelter,. I've got a feeling.Even some of his wings music was all the same such Band on the run and maybe I'm amazed[how many times have we heard these].I always wanted to hear Juniors' farm[my favorite from his wings years] and High High High.Any way enough of my Mccartney rant.Revolution is a great lennon song that was influenced by Chuck Berry.Unlike the Beach Boys however who just stole Chuck Berrys' music and added thier own lyrics.[Surfin U.S.A.] and claimed it was a tribute.Until Mr Berry sued however I wonder if they had any intention on giving him credit or royaltiesBrian - Boston, Ma
Ok this one's to Ociee117, Rochester, MN. So that's John's name FYI. He legaly changed it to John Winston ONO!!!! Lennon. Legaly he couldn't drop the Winston from his name but he went by John ONO!!!!!!!!!! Lennon. So tecnicly YOU should stop calling him anything but his legal name of what ever you call him and respect his wishes, then again you do agree with 95% of the population that Yoko was "bad" for John so I don't really see you respecting his wishes for the ONO in his name as most Yoko Ono haters do, disrespecting him in death as they did when he was still around. Why not just go with his wishes and not call him by something he didn't want? If your going with that track why not just call him John Winston Nixon Lennon or John Winston Picard Lennon or something crazy like that, it's sort of the same seeing as he chose to change it to ONO and you not respecting that, and yelling at those who were respecting John by going with his wishes how sad, how sad indeed.Breanna - Henderson, Nv
I love ringo!! I agree with Luna (awesome name by the way):DShelby - Westerly, Ri
I did'nt make myself clear on the last post. I meant to say the verses in the song where the people may be talking together are basically what the communicator and the friend may have have answered when the explaination is made. Over years it took the person to get rich over years the explaination is derived. Not some long haired explaination of how the title is a greeting from some tribe somewhere.The Scrounge - San Antonio, Oh
I am going to need your man love with this post. I am the one who told John, "The beatles; with an A." I was still eating beats when I was a baby. He was going on and on in my head about what to call them, I just said it. Sorry, before they even came to the states. It has to do with the color red being a warning. Also, how I could not put my finger on just what was the danger. But, the whole Idea was alright. Now for Revolution. There are songs peppered throughout The Beatles portfolio that what I am trying to do is tell John (mostly) what to say to these people he knew. Like Ob-La-Di-Blah-Da, it's just what you say to someone who just finds out your rich; and you have known them practically all your life. I told John, this was going to be IT. This is the last song. Revolution was the way you listen to them now on CD, how fast they turn. The rest is just young stuff; from the department of youth. I told him what to say Lastly. Sincerely, Oh yeah, Chairman Mao is really dead, not Paul.The Scrounge - San Antonio, Oh
From the urgent opening guitar and war cry this song sweeps you along with it ... it's most beautiful melody lilting, dipping and diving apon an ocean of surging rhythmic guitar. This song has such a strong spirit ... only a master could have written this.John - Sydney, Australia
stop! john loved yoko so why aren't you happy?! she didnt break up the beatles!! john said he was looking into breaking up with them in 1965 BEFORE he met yoko! i was reading a interview which was later on published as a book called The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by David Sheff (its not perverted just because of playboy..there is nothing gross) and i quote johns EXACT words "listen, if somebody's gonna impress me, whether it be a Maharishi or Yoko Ono, there comes a point where i will see. so for all you folks out there who think I'm having a wool pulled over my eyes-well, that's an insult to me. Not that you think less of Yoko, because that's your problem; what i think of her is what counts! But if you think you know me or you have some part of me because of the music i've made, and then you think i'm being controlled like a dog on a leash because I do things with her, then screw you. Because-fu** you brother and sister, you don't know what's happening. I'm not here for you. I'm here for me and her and the baby!" now i dont mean anything mean to people who dislike Yoko, i'm simply restating the fact he does not care..Talaina - Joseph City, Az
No kidding. I never trusted anything I heard about Yoko, and seeing that just makes me think John went insane after he met her. I mean, I hope it's not just me, but it seems like he completely changed after they met, and not for the better. Complete jerk would be the way to put it when Yoko was involved. And this is saying something, because I'm the one who never disses the Beatles, ever. But John... I mean, really?K - Nowhere, On
For god's sake people quit calling him John "Ono" Lennon. Show some respect for the other Beatles and quit calling him by that wretched name. I don't care what you think. Ono destroyed The Beatles. If you want to call "YOURSELF" a fan then quit calling calling Lennon that.Ociee117 - Rochester, Mn
Ok. The scream at the beginning is definitely John Winston Ono Lennon, it's almost the same as on "Hey, Bulldog", and if you can't tell the difference between John and Paul screaming, please refrain from commenting and calling yourself a fan. And the "tu" is at the "evo-lution" part, just to resolve that issue. If you listen with headphones, there are a lot of little things you can pick-up, at least on the Past Masters, II, single version. Love You To(o) Ricky, Tustin, CaRichard - Tustin, Ca
fantastic song. perfect for those times when you're just bursting with angst and feel upset at everything (any other teenagers here know exactly what im talking about). rocking out to this always helps me clear my head. and everybody, i think paul only screams in the live version, in the recording it definately sounds like john. what would possess someone to put this in a SNEAKER commercial?! seriously, who DOES that?!Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
This is for -Ines,Lisbon,Portugal----Here are two songs for you. About what was happening in the 60's. "Eve Of Destruction" by Barry McGuire and "Machine Gun" by Jimi Hendrix (from his Band Of Gypsys album) and for Bob of Louisville,KY. Yes "The Beatles" were the greatest rock and roll band ever! No one was better than them,no one.Wayne - Salem, Va
And yet another great Beatles' song from John. My sister bought the 45 single when it first came out in 1968. I was 8,she was 11. Was the first record on their new Apple label. "Hey Jude"-A side "Revolution"-B side. I love the intro. And the distorted guitars. As always they were keeping up with the times musically. A great song and statement. A classic! Excellent,great!Wayne - Salem, Va
This is the first Beatles record I listened to. Revolution/Hey Jude. (My mom still has it.) When my sister and I were little we would listen to my parents' 45s. I remember my sister asking if I wanted to listen to the Beatles and I would tell her No, just play the record with the Apple on it. :)Linc - Beaumont, Tx
It is amazing to me how many people think this song is pro Revolution or in any way anit-Establishment. It is not, and that fact was well covered at the time it was released. Steve, from Fenton, MO gets it the most right. What had happened is that The Beatles were fed up with the social revolutionists in the U.S. trying to get them to somehow with words, music or money support their radical attempts to cause havoc in the government or society. What the song was meant by them to accomplish was to tell all those nut-balls to bugger off.
It has been noted in interviews many times with various members of the band, but what is amazing is how so many people can't hear the words of this song. I mean, it says it pretty plainly. About the only thing Steve got wrong is leaving out William Ayers who was a terrorist then, and unrepentant about it now. Bugger off Ayers.
Raincheck - Ballooga, Co
people who like this song are just a couple of people with...... GOOD taste!Tay - San Diego, Ca
lol I agree with Jon from Sunnyvale, CAChanel - Somewhere, Wa
This song is one of the best in the world - i love the opening "fuzzy" guitarNate - Syrause, Ny
well I just read in this magazine that they're gonna make a Beatles video game, kinda like a Guitar Hero/Rock Band thing but with all Beatles songs and I immediatley thought abiut how fun this song would be to play.Rosario - Naples, Fl
all the songs by the beates rock :)Cdawg - Philadelpha, Pa
this is truely genious. i love this song so much. there is so much history to it :]

Alyssa - Dallas, Tx
I once watched a TV miniseries about the Charles Manson murders, and an acquaintance of Manson's was explaining to a detective that Manson thought "Revolution" was a Beatles message for him. The acquaintance said, "Charlie heard John Lennon sing `...destruction/You can count me out/in,' and said the `in' was a secret code to him to use destruction." I thought, "But John doesn't sing `in' in 'Revolution.'" But then months later I was listening to the "White Album" version of the song, "Revolution #1," and I heard John sing 'out/in' and it completely freaked me! I hadn't considered the lyric would be different on the "White Album" version. It obviously wasn't a code to Charles Manson, but it was still weird to hear!Susan - Toronto, Canada
This song is amazing! I am actually doing a research paper for history about the events of the sixties and their effects on music. This song is a perfect example of it. If anyone knows any other songs by The Beatles or any other band that has anything to do with the Vietnam War or the Civil Rights Movement or anything else in the sixties, please let me know! Thank you.Ines - Lisbon, Portugal
this one of my alltime favorite songs. its really rock n roll-ish.Shiznit - Portland,
Ill have to say that Ringo weighed the band downBob - Louisville, Ky
Anyone who thinks the Beatles isn't the best band of all time is way out of wackBob - Louisville, Ky
I hate it when I see t-shirts with Lennon's picture and the word Revolution. This song is not advocating Revolution. even when he said "count me in" it followed "out" showing that he was unsure at best.Forrest - Rochester, Mn
And yes, you heard me right. #9 doesn't scare me now I'm used to it, it's just boring.Michael - Oxford
No, it's the single version that's scary, mainly because its intro would hit #2 on my list of the most blood-curdling screams of all time (behind "Careful with That Axe, Eugene").Michael - Oxford
This is a pretty awesome song. The Past Masters one is better, however, I really do love the White Album version. The White Album version actually scares me a litte. "When you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out...in." Almost as an afterthought.Gene - San Diego, Ca
We need a revolution right now. I am the revolution -- not The Veronica's. Find me. I have written many songs. I wrote something loosly based on The Beatles 'All we are saying is give peace a chance'.Raymond - Sydney , Australia
i love the beging of the fast revoloution it's so exiting!Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
I like how before they start singing the slow version whan Paul says "I take two." I love itBianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
The record not only has a "dirty" sound, as the Songfacts above say, but it captures a mini revolution that the Beatles themselves were leading in the British recording industry. The Beatles (John in particular) were constantly in the record company's face about what was permissable and was not permissable, and constantly nagging them for not being able to capture the big bassy sounds you hear on American soul records, like Wilson Pickett. For Revolution, they wanted it to sound loud to the point of speaker distortion. That made the engineers go nuts. Producer George Martin tried to dissuade Lennon, saying that radio stations would reject the record if it sounded distorted. The Beatles insisted, saying they WANTED the sound of distortion in the record, that it was part of the message. And they got their way. You really hear it in the brief piano solo two-thirds of the way through. The instruments are almost competing for audibility, like you would hear if three guitars were going through the same garage band amplifier. To me, that sound reflects what Lennon is trying to say in his lyrics about the world's young people in chaos.Dirk - Nashville, Tn
For George and Dick: "You say you'll change the constitution...Well you know... We all want to change your head..."Johnee - Grandioseisland, Ne
I was 12 years old in 1968. They shot Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King that year. They did everything they could to kill the Revolution. They're still trying today.Johnee - Grandioseisland, Ne
Ok but sort of an odd way to put it but I get it.Krissy - Boston, Ma
that's exactly what she means...Sex(if properly executed) = Great...this song = greatRon - Mount Holly, Nj
Amrie come again. What do u mean by this song is the sex on songs? That makes no sense at all. This song is great and I love the way John sings it.Krissy - Boston, Ma
Love this song. U know at the begining when there is a scream. It's not John screaming it's Paul.Krissy - Boston, Ma
NERDS NERDS NERDSJames Ben Jonson - Perth, Wa
nerdsJames Ben Jonson - Perth, Wa
ur all freaksJames Ben Jonson - Perth, Wa
it is top notchJames Ben Jonson - Perth, Wa
The first overtly political song done by the Beatles was Taxman in 1966. This song set a standard for distortion when it came out.George - Yonkers, Ny
Great Song. And Why Doesnt Revolution 1 have its own page?Daniel - Cincinnatti, Or
This is what Nirvana might have sounded in 1968 with one of dirtiest distortion sounds of the 60's.It sounds more like grunge than heavy metal to me.
Sal, Bardonia,NY
Sal - Bardonia , Ny
"well there's michael jackson for ya... exploiting a great song. hes nutso.
- jessa, Brampton, ON, Canada"

That's why he became whiter in the late 80's. :-)
Sam - Montreal, Canada
A PURLEY Chuck Berry inspired gutair riff in the beginning, I think.Allen - Bethel, Ak
Lennon does the scream in the recording, but Paul did it live because Lennon would not have time following the scream to catch his breath and deliver the first line ("You say you want a revolution...")Chuck - Joppa, Md, Md
Here is a link to a video of The Beatles performing Revolution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf-Q2rDd6Tw
you can clearly see Paul screaming out in the beginning.
Joshua - Chico, Ca
That is a SCREAM in the beginning of the song?? I always thought it was a guitar. I mean, I considered it being a scream, but when I thought about it, it is a pretty messed up scream.Anonymous
this is a great song really gets me happy if im sad.Billy - Chicago, Il
A side B side...
the record only has two sides..
I dont see what the big deal is with sides..
Are people that lazy they dont want to flip the records? or is it so artist can do like pink floyd and tell a full story... that way you dont start in the middle of it.. Imagine no boundries.
Was this album meant to be played as a whole record? That would almost be going against the no rules but no harm policy. But They didnt follow policy... Even the policy of no policy.. so anything is possible..
Pascal - Dallas, Tx
An absolutely fantastic hard rocking rock classic. I wish I could play the dirty guitar like that. The fact that Hey Jude ends up as the A side shows the foolishness of record exec's, and of course Paul's tendency to dominate the other 3.Ivan - Dallas, Tx
This is an ANTI-revolutionary, ANTI-communist song, which makes it PERFECT for Nike and it's sweatshop labor.Chuck - C-ville, Va
This somg wasn't about the Vietnam war. Although, John Lennon was very much against that war, this song wasn't about that. It was about the Cultural Revolution going on in China at the time.Mark - Chicago, Il
Not to disrespect Revolution, but Revolution 1 is one of my absolute favorite songs. Supposedly the Beatles didn't know how to end Revolution 1 so the ending just kind of fads out with John grunting, arguably in a sexual way.David - Youngstown, Oh
No, Laura, I'm not twelve. I was twelve when the Beatles first came to America! But I sure do love you for understanding how great this music was -- and is! Keep on rockin', Laura.Jerry - Portland, Or
Ian, "Revolution 1" should probably have it's own page, but I don't know how to add songs on the site.Steve - Fenton, Mo
Shouldn't "Revolution 1" have its own page?Ian - Lethbridge, Canada
This is an awesome song. And i think the part where the background says "tu" is at the word "evolution". I can't hear it at solutionKartik - Peace River, Canada
in case you didn't know, the music was taken from robert johnsons ramblin' on my mindWilson - New York, Ny
Argueably the best intro to any rock song! The lead in guitar is spectacular. I love this song. There is also an error in the fast version of this song. At the word "solution" (pronounced phonetically in the song "so-lu-tion") when you hear the "lu" in the lead, the background vocal is saying "tu" as in the word Constitution. If you listen, it is very obvious. Anyway, just an aside....again I love this song.Mike - Newark, Nd
To me, John was advocating a Revolution of the mind. I don't think this song was aimed at the "Establishment", it was aimed at the 60's radicals going around wearing Che Guevera shirts and advocating the overthrow of the U.S. Government. It took lots of courage for John to come out with this statement. "you say you want change the Constitution, we all want to change your head"..."if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao...you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow". It wasn't Senators and House members carrying pictures of Chairman Mao...it was radicals like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and their ilk. There is no doubt John was for Peace and Love, but he also knew how great the U.S. Constitution was/is and the freedom it protects.Steve - Fenton, Mo
Let's settle this once and for all. John Lennon could write more deep meaningful lyrics, but Paul could make better melodies and was a better musician. I would take John over Paul. John was more of a rocker.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
This is my favorite Beatles song, and my fav song altogther.Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
if anyone is to be jealous within the beatles is would be paul jealous of john's songwriting skills.Ryan - Bechtelsville, Pa
No Mike, it actually is Paul who screams in the beginning. In the film "Imagine"
Paul clearly belts the opening shout. Though I can see how you might be confused, considering only John is heard singing through out the song.
Nathan - Defiance, Oh
hey jude the single was released on hey jude the album in 1970. the revolution single was on there too.Lee - Nowhere Land, Nj
In the David Frost show, where the vocals were done live, the opening scream came from Paul and sounded almost exactly like the scream on the single. You can see this performance on the Anthology home video series.Ken - Louisville, Ky
John lets out the scream at the beginning, not Paul.Mike - Carrier Mills, Il
This song encapsulates the era of my generation. It speaks directly to the establishment. It brings back memories of the time and the people. It stunk when it was slow. It was all but holy when it was sped up. (Who ever speaks slowly and softly about issues that they feel strongly about? They/We were voicing very serious contempt for and to our government. It was supposed to be loud, and demanding at its inception. Slow was a horrible choice. The acceptance of the song fast, and the rejection of the song slow proves that to be true.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
Most critics and fans will say that 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' 'Let it Be' or an earlier song was their best. But to me, this is obviuosly the best Beatles song ever.Nathan - Defiance, Oh
if ringo is your favorite Beatle post a message saying he is. I LOVE him! He is and will always be my favorite Beatle!Luna - London, England
I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!! It is my favorite Beatles song. Its just so amazing. The lyrics are brilliant. I'm a big believer in peace and love and I hate war and all the bad things in our world and this song really puts that message out there- peace and love that is.Luna - London, England
My favorite Beatles song. I was always a fan for classic rock that talked about political and social issues.Brent - Brooklyn, Ny
Only The Beatles could make a song like Revolution and have it end up as a B side.Jon - Sunnyvale, Ca
I don't think that Hey Jude was ever released on any album, at least that I know of. Singles were as popular as LP's in the 60's.Nathan - Defiance, Oh
Breaks your heart to hear this song played in a damn sneaker commercial.Nathan - Defiance, Oh
I'm sixteen if thats remotely close? But i was so confused when i heard the slow versionon the album, and can anyone tell me what Album!!! "Hey Jude" was first released on?Clare - Hmilton, Canada
I love this song. I'm listening to it right now.I'm 12. anyone here remotely close to my age.Laura - Santa Fe, Nm
This is the only Beatles song to mention the names of political leader(s) ("Chariman Mao") besides "Taxman" ("Mr. Wilson..."Mr. Heath", British political leaders of the 1960's) and "Her Majesty". John would later refer to President Nixon in his solo song "Gimme Some Truth" ("no short-haired, yellow-belly son of Tricky Dicky....")Ken - Louisville, Ky
On the "Beatles" ("White Album") version, this song is slowed down and George and Paul add a "shoo-bee-do-wah" backing vocal. On the single, there is no backing vocal, other than Paul's scream. On the "David Frost" performance, they use the single's pre-recorded backing tracks, but sing live. Paul and George revive the "shoo-be-do-wah" for this performance.Ken - Louisville, Ky
The "scream" at the beginning was Paul.Ken - Louisville, Ky
i always thought Lennon sayd "count Me out' on both versions. Well, both versions, especially the fast and loud one, rock, and they rock hard too!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
"You better free your mind instead..." Now thats a great line that really dominates he theme. The counterculture of the 1960's was crazy, shifting away from the comservatism in the 1950's... Whatever people want to say about Lennon, he really delivers his message in a lucid manner. "Count me out" Lennon would say to the wars and the hate that dominated the political landscape of the 1960's.Drew - Nyc, Ny
Nike is the Greek goddess of victory.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
also, this song appears on the b side of the album Hey Jude and was released as a b side to the single of Hey Jude. The slow version of this song is Revolution I which is on the White Album.Steve - New York City, Ny
I have to say this is my favorite Beatles song of all time.Steve - New York City, Ny
Did you guys hear this song in the chevy commercials recently? In all those 'American Revolution' commercials they have it playing.Dan - Bridgeton, Mo
The Beatles' version was never authorized for the Nike commercial. Nike purchased the right to use the song, not the Beatles' recording of the song. The ad was quickly pulled when Nike was told they would have to use a different performance of the song.Mike - New Point, Va
I think that John Lennon would be sick if he knew that a company had used this song to advertise a product made in sweatshops by young kids.Loretta - Liverpool, England
For people who hate eachother, they did a good job of singing some songs together (Say Say Say and The Girl Is Mine).Martin Bonica - Sterling, Va
i know... how does this have anything to do with Nike?Liliana - Huntley, Il
well there's michael jackson for ya... exploiting a great song. hes nutso.Jessa - Brampton, On, Canada
Actually the slow and fast versions are under completely different names.
The single was simply called 'Revolution'
whereas the slow version on the White Album was called 'Revolution 1' (and then there's Revolution 9, which everyone knows about)
Scott - Bismarck, Nd
i can't believe this song was used in a nike commercial, it's not about a pair of sneakers, it's about a REVOLUTIONBrett - Watertown, Sd
Gonny from FakeTown is right: Lennon sings it on the slow version as "don't you know you can count me out-------in"Don - Rapid City, Sd
In the '70's, John liked to stop into various radio studios in NYC and have some fun with the disk jockeys. On one such occasion the subject of this song came up and John became a bit angry about what the record execs had done to it. The original intent, according to Lennon, was to release it in mono, not stereo. But those in charge, according to Lennon, and without his approval, seperated the recording out into stereo, turning it, in Lennon's own words, "into a piece of ice cream."Stephen - Naugatuck, Ct
In the slow version, Lennon says "count me in" as well as "count me out" when referring to violence. This gives the song a dual meaning.

Actually, it sounds like "count me out... in"
Gonny - Faketown, Ga
Grandaddy sang this for the I AM SAM soundtrackAmy - Baton Rouge, La
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