Album: Past Masters, Vol. 2 (1968)
Charted: 12


  • 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."
  • There are two very different versions of this song: a slow version that appears on The White Album, and a 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.
  • The fast version was released as the B-side of "Hey Jude" in August 1968, three months before the slow version appeared on The White Album. John Lennon wanted it to be the first A-side released on Apple Records, the label The Beatles started, but Paul McCartney's "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.

Comments: 119

  • Bridget from CoDevon from Chicago: I think it's just you. I listened to the song for a few seconds and heard nothing.
  • Bridget from CoI'm surprised this is political. I'm a tween Beatles fan, and I love this song. I don't keep up with politics, though I should. In fact, I thought this was about stopping racism (which would've been more relevant nowadays with the Black Lives Matter stuff) because Martin Luther King JR. was shot the same year this was released. This is about the Vietnam War instead. I have no idea why I told one of my best friends that I used this to describe my favorite Youtuber who is actually very crazy and does NOT believe in not throwing the first punch. Or thought of this song in the first place. Oh well. I guess we all do that sort of thing sometimes!
  • Thomas from BrisbneBefore I begin, the Beatles are an incredible band and way ahead if their time. They wrote true music that is still well known by people modern day. But to all the haters of Hey Jude, it is a Beatles song, a good one too. Just because it is a well known song doesn't mean that its trash, and you certainly don't need to act immature and turn the radio off when such a song is played. You should celebrate because we are lucky to have this music to listen to. Good music. And that is coming from a teenager. In all their career, the Beatles may have had around 3 bad songs. That's remarkable compared to the 200+ they wrote. So just enjoy the music don't debunk it.
  • Robert from New JerseyThis 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 ...
  • Devon from ChicagoCan 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!
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, Ontario CanadaAt approx. 1:50 - 2:00 into the song anyone notice VERY SUBTLE near orgasmic sounds in this song?
  • Rocky from Fort Smith, Ar18 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.
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlGreat video. From the mop tops to the in-your-face- long hair bearded late 60's. Oh, and the song kicks ass too.
  • Martin from Ringmer, East Sussex, England, United Kingdom16/3/13: 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.
  • Mary from Grand Rapids, MiThis is so awesome I love this song!!!
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlIt certainly wasn't the first song with full distorted guitar, but it hits the mark.
  • Josh from Champaign, IlBreanna, 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.
  • Bill from Glendale, CaNicky 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 Angeles
  • Chris from York, United KingdomIf 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.
  • Julia from Gresham, OrI like that song and it still works day because hey look, another war.
  • Mark from 11385, CaPee Wee Crayton - Do Unto Others , has a nice guitar intro.
  • Bob from Berkeley, CaDon't forget Nina Simone's version of the song. Pretty ferocious, especially her added line, "Get off our backs!"
  • Brian from Boston, MaThe 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 royalties
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvOk 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.
  • Shelby from Westerly, RiI love ringo!! I agree with Luna (awesome name by the way):D
  • The Scrounge from San Antonio, OhI 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 from San Antonio, OhI 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.
  • John from Sydney, AustraliaFrom 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.
  • Talaina from Joseph City, Azstop! 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..
  • K from Nowhere, OnNo 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?
  • Ociee117 from Rochester, MnFor 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.
  • Richard from Tustin, CaOk. 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, Ca
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mofantastic 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?!
  • Wayne from Salem, VaThis 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 from Salem, VaAnd 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!
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThis 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. :)
  • Raincheck from Ballooga, CoIt 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.
  • Tay from San Diego, Capeople who like this song are just a couple of people with...... GOOD taste!
  • Chanel from Somewhere, Walol I agree with Jon from Sunnyvale, CA
  • Nate from Syrause, NyThis song is one of the best in the world - i love the opening "fuzzy" guitar
  • Rosario from Naples, Flwell 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.
  • Cdawg from Philadelpha, Paall the songs by the beates rock :)
  • Alyssa from Dallas, Txthis is truely genious. i love this song so much. there is so much history to it :]

  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaI 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!
  • Ines from Lisbon, PortugalThis 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.
  • Shiznit from Portland,this one of my alltime favorite songs. its really rock n roll-ish.
  • Bob from Louisville, KyIll have to say that Ringo weighed the band down
  • Bob from Louisville, KyAnyone who thinks the Beatles isn't the best band of all time is way out of wack
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnI 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.
  • Michael from OxfordAnd yes, you heard me right. #9 doesn't scare me now I'm used to it, it's just boring.
  • Michael from OxfordNo, 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").
  • Gene from San Diego, CaThis 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" Almost as an afterthought.
  • Raymond from Sydney , AustraliaWe 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'.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, Nmi love the beging of the fast revoloution it's so exiting!
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI like how before they start singing the slow version whan Paul says "I take two." I love it
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnThe 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.
  • Johnee from Grandioseisland, NeFor George and Dick: "You say you'll change the constitution...Well you know... We all want to change your head..."
  • Johnee from Grandioseisland, NeI 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.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaOk but sort of an odd way to put it but I get it.
  • Ron from Mount Holly, Njthat's exactly what she means...Sex(if properly executed) = Great...this song = great
  • Krissy from Boston, MaAmrie 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 from Boston, MaLove this song. U know at the begining when there is a scream. It's not John screaming it's Paul.
  • James Ben Jonson from Perth, WaNERDS NERDS NERDS
  • James Ben Jonson from Perth, Wanerds
  • James Ben Jonson from Perth, Waur all freaks
  • James Ben Jonson from Perth, Wait is top notch
  • George from Yonkers, NyThe first overtly political song done by the Beatles was Taxman in 1966. This song set a standard for distortion when it came out.
  • Daniel from Cincinnatti, OrGreat Song. And Why Doesnt Revolution 1 have its own page?
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyThis 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
  • Sam from Montreal, Canada"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. :-)
  • Allen from Bethel, AkA PURLEY Chuck Berry inspired gutair riff in the beginning, I think.
  • Chuck from Joppa, Md, MdLennon 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...")
  • Joshua from Chico, CaHere is a link to a video of The Beatles performing Revolution
    you can clearly see Paul screaming out in the beginning.
  • AnonymousThat 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.
  • Billy from Chicago, Ilthis is a great song really gets me happy if im sad.
  • Pascal from Dallas, TxA 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..
  • Ivan from Dallas, TxAn 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.
  • Chuck from C-ville, VaThis is an ANTI-revolutionary, ANTI-communist song, which makes it PERFECT for Nike and it's sweatshop labor.
  • Mark from Chicago, IlThis 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.
  • David from Youngstown, OhNot 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.
  • Jerry from Portland, OrNo, 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.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoIan, "Revolution 1" should probably have it's own page, but I don't know how to add songs on the site.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaShouldn't "Revolution 1" have its own page?
  • Kartik from Peace River, CanadaThis 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 solution
  • Wilson from New York, Nyin case you didn't know, the music was taken from robert johnsons ramblin' on my mind
  • Mike from Newark, NdArgueably 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.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoTo 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 ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow". It wasn't Senators and House members carrying pictures of Chairman 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.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaLet'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 from Los Angeles, CaThis is my favorite Beatles song, and my fav song altogther.
  • Ryan from Bechtelsville, Paif anyone is to be jealous within the beatles is would be paul jealous of john's songwriting skills.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhNo 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.
  • Lee from Nowhere Land, Njhey jude the single was released on hey jude the album in 1970. the revolution single was on there too.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn 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.
  • Mike from Carrier Mills, IlJohn lets out the scream at the beginning, not Paul.
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlThis 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.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhMost 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.
  • Luna from London, Englandif ringo is your favorite Beatle post a message saying he is. I LOVE him! He is and will always be my favorite Beatle!
  • Luna from London, EnglandI 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.
  • Brent from Brooklyn, NyMy favorite Beatles song. I was always a fan for classic rock that talked about political and social issues.
  • Jon from Sunnyvale, CaOnly The Beatles could make a song like Revolution and have it end up as a B side.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhI 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 from Defiance, OhBreaks your heart to hear this song played in a damn sneaker commercial.
  • Clare from Hmilton, CanadaI'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?
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmI love this song. I'm listening to it right now.I'm 12. anyone here remotely close to my age.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis 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 from Louisville, KyOn 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 from Louisville, KyThe "scream" at the beginning was Paul.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sci 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!
  • Drew from Nyc, Ny"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.
  • Nessie from Sapporo, JapanNike is the Greek goddess of victory.
  • Steve from New York City, Nyalso, 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 from New York City, NyI have to say this is my favorite Beatles song of all time.
  • Dan from Bridgeton, MoDid you guys hear this song in the chevy commercials recently? In all those 'American Revolution' commercials they have it playing.
  • Mike from New Point, VaThe 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.
  • Loretta from Liverpool, EnglandI 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.
  • Martin Bonica from Sterling, VaFor people who hate eachother, they did a good job of singing some songs together (Say Say Say and The Girl Is Mine).
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ili know... how does this have anything to do with Nike?
  • Jessa from Brampton, On, Canadawell there's michael jackson for ya... exploiting a great song. hes nutso.
  • Scott from Bismarck, NdActually 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)
  • Brett from Watertown, Sdi can't believe this song was used in a nike commercial, it's not about a pair of sneakers, it's about a REVOLUTION
  • Don from Rapid City, SdGonny from FakeTown is right: Lennon sings it on the slow version as "don't you know you can count me out-------in"
  • Stephen from Naugatuck, CtIn 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."
  • Gonny from Faketown, GaIn 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"
  • Amy from Baton Rouge, LaGrandaddy sang this for the I AM SAM soundtrack
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