Beatles – Revolution 1

We all know Revolution by the Beatles but this is the acoustic version of the song. They fell into a nice groove doing this. It took a while for this to grow on me but now I like it just as well as the single fast hard rocking version.

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.

Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager was always careful with them  by asking them to not talk about controversial subjects like the war, politics, and anything that could cause controversy…I don’t think John Lennon got that memo many times. After Brian died they started to be more open and they talked a little more freely.

John Lennon said : “I wanted to put out what I felt about revolution,”  “I thought it was about time we spoke about it, the same as I thought it was about time we stopped not answering about the Vietnamese war when we were on tour with Brian Epstein and had to tell him, ‘We’re going to talk about the war this time and we’re not going to just waffle’…That’s why I did it: I wanted to talk, I wanted to say my piece about revolutions. I wanted to tell you, or whoever listens, to communicate, to say, ‘What do you say?’ ‘This is what I say.’”

“I think our society is run by insane people for insame objectives. If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American government, and the Russian, Chinese…what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know.” John wanted to see a plan as the song goes. John said he believed that revolution comes from inner change rather than social violence.

On the  two versions. On one John said “count me in” and the other he said “count me out” as he explains below.

John Lennon: “There were two versions of that song, but the underground left only picked up on the one that said ‘count me out.’ The original version, which ends up on the LP, said ‘count me in’ too; I put in both because I wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to get killed. I didn’t really know much about the Maoists, but I just knew that they seemed to be so few and yet they painted themselves green and stood in front of the police waiting to get picked off. I just thought it was unsubtle. I thought the original Communist revolutionaries coordinated themselves a bit better and didn’t go around shouting about it.”

Engineer Alan Brown: “I was in the control room of studio three and there on the other side of the glass was a figure in semi-darkness going over and over some lines of a song. I knew the voice and sure enough I knew the face. John Lennon was about 30 feet away! He was working on ‘Revolution,’ the slow one, and I remember him going through the song again and again in rehearsal, changing a word or two every time. Each time it would alter very slightly, it would develop and evolve. ‘When you talk about destruction…you can count me out.’ ‘When you talk about destruction…you can count me in.’” John either hadn’t decided which way he felt or which way would be more palatable to his audience.

John eventually decided to opt for both, singing “count me out…in” on this vocal performance, which was sung in a “light voice” in imitation of Martha Reeves and Diana Ross, as his handwritten lyric sheet reminded him.

White Album Version

Revolution 1

Ah, take 2
OK!

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out in

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We’re doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well you know
We’d all love to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Alright, alright, alright
Alright
Alright

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Beatles – Revolution 1”

  1. That period in musical time is when I began to not care about Lennon. I was never a card carrying fan of his, but let’s assume the LSD gave him a new view of the world he lived in. Yoko didn’t help matters. I prefer the acoustic version over the electrified one.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I totally agree…I loved the naked album and hated Spector’s ketchup and mustard over music that didn’t need it.

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  2. I’m with Phil, another one of those odd ducks that like this version better than the hard rock one. Not a favorite Beatles song of mine, but quite good and I do like John’s philosophy about the change from within .

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    1. YES….and more for the November f’ing hour documentary during that time…Deke I would sit through 56 raw hours they have! lol…no really I would.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. About the Spector vs. Naked versions of Let it Be, I look at them as apples and oranges, both taste good to me, depending on what I’m hungry for at the time. Has anyone besides me read Nick Hornby’s book, “Juliet, Naked”? I can’t help but think it was based on Hornby’s feelings about this (these) very album(s) (just a guess, nothing confirmed!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With me the naked version sounds more raw…which you know me…I just happen to like that better. Some people love the Spector stuff…with George he did great on All Things Must Pass.
      It doesn’t help that The Long and Winding Road is one of my least favorite Beatle songs regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

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