The bridge between 'Revolution' 1 and 9

This 10-minute version of the Beatles' "Revolution 1" dissolves into some of the sound effects later used in "Revolution 9." Get it before it's pulled.

Every one of them knew that as time went by, they'd get a little bit older and a little bit slower.

This news is over a month old, but somehow I missed it until the intrepid Penn Jillette tweeted about it Sunday (never say Twitter's useless). Here's the scene: Beatles. 1968. That'd be the long-hair bearded Beatles. "White Album" recording session. John's recording a slowed-down version of their recent hit single "Revolution," the B-side to the umpteen-million selling "Hey Jude." Being in a particular state of mind, he stretches it out for 10 minutes, then adds some scary horror music plus Yoko spoken-word weirdness at the end. Later, John or the rest of the band or George Martin or other mysterious powers decide that they'll add some overdubs to John's take and cut it off after about four minutes and record a new ending. (I believe the weird triple hit after the last chorus--every other time, it's a double hit--signals the beginning of the new end.) That's "Revolution 1." Then, John will add his own nine-minute musique concrete freakout to the end of the album. He uses some of the bits from the end of the old "Revolution 1." That becomes "Revolution 9," perhaps the most-skipped song of the CD era.

A month ago, somebody leaked the original track, which to "White Album" fans, comprises a sort of holy grail connecting the two Revolutions, which otherwise bear no similarity except their names. EMI has been issuing takedown notices as fast as it can, but as of 10 a.m. Monday you could still hear it on YouTube, and download it (right click-save as) from a source called Rawkblog.net. I'm purposely not linking to either source to give this remarkable track a bit more life, but google "Revolution 1 Take 20," then click on the YouTube and Rawkblog.net links and you'll get it. (Warning: some of the other links to the download connect you to pop-up-infested sites that may make your computer very unhappy.)

Now if somebody would just leak the seven-hour version of "Helter Skelter"...

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About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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