The Beatles song Paul McCartney tried to have removed from their album

Paul McCartney

“I’m prejudiced, you know, I like my own. [laughs] “I like ‘Revolution #9,'” John Lennon said in an interview about his favorite songs from The Beatles‘ catalog. The song is a watershed moment in Lernnon’s contribution to the band. It showcases not only his unique, not abstract, lyric-writing abilities but also his dedication to pushing the boundaries of recording techniques.

The experimental track that serves as the White Album’s penultimate track was the most sonically ambitious. It was also the most ambiguous recording that The Beatles ever put their name to. It’s one of the starting points for a wide range of daring and creative music. While creating the song, George Harrison and Ringo Starr participated. But not every member of the band loved it.

Paul McCartney attempted to keep the song off the final cut of the 1968 album. He did this due to his initial dislike and misunderstanding of it. But Lennon persisted, and the sound collage eventually made it to the end of the vinyl pressing.

It’s not only one of the group’s most experimental pieces, but it’s also one of The Beatles’ longest songs. However, as John Lennon explained, it could have been much longer. “The slow version of ‘Revolution‘ on the album went on and on and on. I took the fade-out part. It is what they sometimes do with disco records now, and just layered all this stuff over it.” It was the basic rhythm of the original ‘Revolution’ going on with about 20 loops we added from the EMI archives.

Some of the loops included Lennon and George Harrison whispering six times the phrase. The phrase was “There ain’t no rule for the company freaks”. It also includes George Martin saying “Geoff, turn on the red light”. And a loop of Lennon playing the Mellotron backward. The repeated “Number nine” declaration, sourced from examination tapes originally recorded for the Royal Academy of Music and stored at Abbey Road, is one standout element. This phrase appears intermittently throughout the track, subtly fading in and out, providing a consistent thread in an otherwise chaotic composition.

When these strange sound clashes are juxtaposed against Lennon’s numerical obsession, the song quickly loses its value in comparison to the rest of The White Album. Both Paul McCartney and George Martin tried to convince John Lennon not to include the song on the album. Paul McCartney was out of the country when Lennon and the others assembled the collage. When Lennon returned to Britain, he played the finished song. Things quickly heated up between the two after the bespectacled Beatle suggested it should not only be on the album but also be a single.

The involvement of Yoko Ono may have been the most difficult issue for McCartney. With Macca absent from the studio, the conceptual artist sat in the hot seat alongside Lennon, helping to craft the song over three days and nights. Much of the track’s unique sonic landscapes were inspired by Ono, who stated, “I did a few mixes until I got one I liked.” Yoko was present throughout and made decisions about which loops to use. I suppose she influenced it in some way. Once I heard her stuff – not just the screeching and the howling but her sort of word pieces and talking and breathing and all this strange stuff. My God, I got intrigued, so I wanted to do one. I spent more time on ‘Revolution 9’ than I did on half the songs I ever wrote. It was a montage.”

Of course, McCartney and George Martin did not get their way entirely. The song was not released as a single. But the band included it in The White Album. It has since become a part of the band’s legacy. It is easy to point to the Fab Four’s more tuneful side as the true milestones of the band’s journey. These moments of crossing the line and venturing into the avant-garde would preserve the group’s artistic dignity.


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