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WP_145 (RORSCHACH SERIES)/ 2008 - Satoshi Kinoshita
( Satoshi Kinoshita )

Series: Works on paper: Paintings 2
Medium: acrylic on paper
Size (inches): 14.3 x 10.1
Size (mm): 364 x 257
Catalog #: WP_0145
Description: Signed, date and copyright in pencil on the reverse/ the usual central vertical fold.

Memorable quotes for Revolution 9 (1968) by George Harrison

George: "Eldorado"


Revolution 9 -

"Revolution 9" is a musique concrete track that appeared on The Beatles' 1968 self-titled LP release (commonly known as the White Album).

The recording began as an extended ending to the album version of "Revolution", to which were added vocal and music sound clips, tape loops, and sound effects influenced by the musique concrète styles of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgard Varèse, Luigi Nono, and John Cage, further manipulated with editing and sound modification techniques (stereo panning and fading). At over eight minutes, it is the longest track on the album, as well as the longest Beatles track ever officially released.

The work is credited to Lennon/McCartney (as were all Beatles songs written by either composer), though it was primarily the effort of John Lennon. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Yoko Ono made small contributions, while Paul McCartney did not actively participate in the track's creation. Ono's avant-garde influence on Lennon's songwriting and composition is clear throughout "Revolution 9."

Believing the track to be too uncommercial for even the Beatles to get away with, McCartney and producer George Martin fought hard to keep the track off the White Album, but Lennon and Ono won out, and the track was included as the second from last song at the end of the album's fourth side.

Structure and content:

"Revolution 9" starts with a conversation between George Martin and Alistair Taylor

Alistair Taylor: ...bottle of Claret for you if I'd realised. I'd forgotten all about it George, I'm sorry.
George Martin: Well, do next time.
Taylor: Will you forgive me?
Martin: Mmmm...yes....
Taylor: Cheeky bitch.

(Although this conversation is usually known to be the beginning of "Revolution 9," the time tracking from the CD indicates it as the tail end of the previous track, "Cry Baby Cry," following Paul's short solo song "Can You Take Me Back.")

After a brief piano introduction, a loop of a male repeating the words "number nine" (taken from an EMI examination tape) begins to be heard. This phrase fades in and out throughout the recording as a motif. Then there is chaos: feedback, impromptu screaming, rehearsed overdubs, and more tape loops.

As some portions of "Revolution 9" are recordings of other music (from bits of Sibelius and Beethoven, to a backward snippet of a tuning orchestra, culled from the session tapes for A Day in the Life), the piece can be seen as an early example of sampling. Other audio elements include various bits of apparently nonsensical dialogue spoken by Lennon and Harrison, various found sounds, reversed sounds and recordings of American football chants. Also heard is the "all right" from the end of Revolution 1 (this piece was supposed to be the coda to Revolution 1 but was pushed back to several tracks after it). Also at 6:48 you can hear what seems to be the intro to Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" played much faster on piano.

"Paul is Dead" significance:

"Revolution 9" played an important part in the infamous "Paul is dead" controversy. Most notably, the repeated "number nine" played backwards can be heard as "Turn me on, dead man." Various snippets of speech included in the recording were heard as hints left by the band about Paul's alleged death. As the "Paul is dead" rumours were quickly debunked, these "clues" are now understood to be creative misinterpretations of "Revolution 9".


* John Lennon: Tape Loops, Spoken Vocals, Effects, Snippets and Samplings
* George Harrison: Spoken Vocals, Tape Sampling
* Ringo Starr: Effects and Spoken Vocals
* Yoko Ono: Tape Loops, Spoken Vocals, effects, Snippets and Samplings

Some spoken parts from George Martin are present, along with selected piano outtakes that sound as if they were lifted from either Honey Pie or Martha My Dear, both written and played by Paul McCartney.


Revolution 9 (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)

Lead Vocals: John Lennon, Yoko Ono and George Harrison

[Bottle of Claret for you if I had realised...

Well, do it next time.

I forgot about it, George, I'm sorry.
Will you forgive me?


Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number...

...then there's this Welsh Rarebit wearing some brown underpants
...about the shortage of grain in hertfordshire

Everyone of them knew that as time went by they'd get a little bit older and a litter slower but...

It's all the same thing, in this case manufactured by someone who's always/umpteen ...
Your father's giving it diddly-i-dee/district was leaving...
Intended to die ... Ottoman
...long gone through...
I've got to say, irritably and...
...floors, hard enough to put on ... per day's MD in our district
There was not really enough light to get down
And ultimately ... slumped down

They may stop the funding...
Place your bets
The original
Afraid she'll die ...
Great colours for the season

Number 9, number 9

Who's to know?
Who was to know?

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9

I sustained nothing worse than ...

Also, for example
Whatever you're doing
A business deal falls through

I informed him on the third night, when fortune gives...

People ride, people ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride, ride

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9

Ride! Ride!

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9

...I've missed all of that
It makes me a few days late
Compared with, like, wow!
And weird stuff like that...

...taking our sides sometimes
...floral bark

Rouge doctors have brought this specimen

I have nobody's short-cuts, aha...

9, number 9

...with the situation

They are standing still

The plan, the telegram...
Number 9, number...

A man without terrors from beard to false
As the headmaster reported to my son
He really can try, as they do, to find function...
Tell what he was saying, and his voice was low and his hive high
And his eyes were low...


It was on fire and his glasses were the same
This thing knows if it was tinted
But you know it isn't
To me it is...

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9

So the wife called me and we'd better go to see a surgeon to price it ...
Yellow underclothes
So, any road, we went to see the dentist instead
Who gave her a pair of teeth which wasn't any good at all
So I said I'd marry, join the fucking navy and went to sea

In my broken chair, my wings are broken and so is my hair

I'm not in the mood for whirling

How? Dogs for dogging, hands for clapping
Birds for birding and fish for fishing
Them for themming and when for whimming

...only to find the night-watchman unaware of his
presence in the building

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Number 9

Industry allows financial imbalance

Thrusting it between his shoulder blades

The Watusi, the twist


Take this, brother, may it serve you well

Maybe it's nothing
What? What? Oh...

Maybe, even then, impervious in London

...could be difficult thing...
It's quick like rush for peace is because it's so much
Like being naked

It's alright, it's alright
It's alright, it's alright

It's alright, it's alright
It's alright, it's alright
It's alright

If, you became naked


REVOLUTION 9: MINUTE BY MINUTE © David J. Coyle ( sourced from the web )

Remember, this list applies to "Revolution 9" as it appears on track 12
of the Capitol "The Beatles" CD (disc 2). It does not include the "Can
You Take Me Back?" track or the conversation between [George] Martin
and [Derek] Taylor, which are hopefully easy to hear...

Some of the sounds recur throughout the piece. I have tried to identify
these at their first occurence, and alude to some as reference points
later in the list. Otherwise, once such bits are depichered they are
relatively easy to pick out as they recur.

Ellipses (...) are used to mark passages of unintelligible phrases within
an otherwise coherent bit of speech.

Revolution 9 Track time 8:13

0:00-0:15 Piano intro

0:02-0:15 "Number Nine" loop introduced

0:15 Sound effects faded in

0:21 Backwards mellotron

0:28 Orhestral loop ("A Day In The Life" overdubs? Strings
going up scale)

0:44 Orchestra loop (different, with cymbal crash)

0:50 Various reversed orchestra
First audible speech (John, right channel)

1:00 Backwards mellotron

1:00-1:20 Intelligible speech (John, right): "They found a shortage
of grain in Hartfordshire, and every one of them knew that
as time went by, they'd get a little bit older and a little
bit slower...factory work...five percent in the, in the uh,
the district, they were intended to pay for..."

1:20 Backwards orchestra loop

1:35-1:48 Female laughter (left-to-right channel)

1:48 Baby like sounds
Intelligible speech (George, right): "Who was to know?
Who was to know?"

1:58 Backwards Indian instruments ("morphed" from the baby

2:00-2:12 "Number nine" loop

2:12-2:20 Orchestra loop (Sibelius, "Symphony No. 7" final chord)

2:14-2:17 Intelligible speech (John, right): "I informed him on
the third night, unfortunately he was..."

2:22 George Martin: "Geoff [Emerick, Abbey Road engineer]...
put the red light on..." (first appearance)

2:30-2:54 Miscellaneous crowd sounds (left)

2:33-2:50 Shouts by John ("Revolution 1", take 18?): "Right!"
(repeated eight times, last "right" is prolonged)

2:55 Glass breaks (right)
George: "Foot!" (? or possibly "fook"?)

3:00 Audible speech (John/George, left)

3:02-3:15 Orchestra loop (Beethoven, "Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra,
and Choir: Opus 80")
Car horns, traffic noise

3:17-3:20 Intelligible speech (John, right): "...fine(?) hand over
his shoulder..."

3:25-3:35 Tape spools back

3:39-3:45 Intelligible speech (John/George, right): George: "...on
heat with the situation..." John: "They are standing still."
George: "I found a telegram (?)"

3:50 Noises by John (take 18?)
"Number nine" loop
Football loop, first appearance (right): "On the 30..." or
"Number 30..."

3:54-4:05 Intelligible speech (John/George, right): George:
"... a bit of farce(?) as the headmaster reported to..."
John: "Who could tell what he was saying, his voice was
slow and his (?) was high, and his eyes were low..."

4:05-4:18 John: "Hold it!", crowd noises (right)

4:13-4:17 Intelligible speech (John): "...on fire, but his
glasses were saved...(?)"

4:18-4:50 Various effects in a melange

4:50 Loud noise across channels

4:53-5:14 Intelligible speech (John, right): "So the wife
called, and we better go to see a surgeon, but what
with the prices and all, the prices have snow balled,
it's so absurd, yeah, no wonder they're closed. So anyhow,
he went to see the dentist instead who gave him a pair
of teeth, which wasn't any good at all. So instead of
that, he joined the bloody navy and went to sea..."

4:56 George, right: "...there were nine of them..."

4:59-5:03 Tape spooling back
Scream, (John, right)

5:04-5:25 Football chant (left-to-right): "Block that kick!"
(first appearance)

5:30-5:36 Intelligible speech (John, right): "Here I sit in my broken
chair, my wings are broken and so is my hair. I am not
in the mood for..."

5:35-5:42 Crackling paper (fire?)
Backwards choir loop

5:40-5:50 Orchestra loop (Sibelius)
Various noises by John (take 18?)

5:46-5:50 Science-fiction effects, gunfire?

5:50-5:59 Intelligible speech (john, right): "The dogs were dogging,
the cats were catting, the birds were birding, the fish
were fishing..."

6:00-6:08 Melange of sound effects

6:07-6:13 Intelligible speech (George, right): "...only to find
the nightwatchman, unaware of his presence in the building..."

6:11 John (right): "Onion soup..."

6:15-6:23 George Martin loop
"Number nine" loop
Orchestra loop (Beethoven, Opus 80)
Reversed choir loop

6:24-6:40 Intelligible speech (John/George, right): John: "Personality
complex...industrial output...financial imbalance...
the Watusi...the Twist..." George (left): "Eldorado"

6:32 George (right): "...pushing it between his shoulderblades..."
Backwards piano loop (intro reversed?)

6:42 Marching band (left)

6:43-6:44 Intelligible speech (John): "Take this brother, may it
serve you well..."
Humming by Yoko Ono

6:47-7:45 Audible speech by Yoko

6:49 John: "What? What? Hmmmm..." (in response to Yoko?)

6:50-7:00 Radio static

7:00-7:30 Unidentified singing voice (beginning with "good fish
in the kettle(?)..."
Low mumbling by John

7:33-7:42 Backwards piano loop

7:43 Intelligible phrase (Yoko): "...if...you become naked."

7:47-8:13 Football chant to fade (left-to-right): "Hold that line...
block that kick..."

And so, "Good Night"...

[Note: Althought the track is in stereo, it seems that the section between
6:47-7:45 is in mono or center-channel. John's comment at 6:43 seems
to mark this transition, much in the way that "The Wizard of Oz"
changes from black-and-white to color when Dorothy steps out of her house.
All of the sound effects from this section of the piece are audible in
both channels clearly.]

NOTE: This article was written by David J. Coyle.
It first appeared on the news group rec.music.beatles in February 1996

© David J. Coyle


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Series Works on paper: Paintings 2
WP_100/ 2006WP_101/ 2006WP_102/ 2006WP_103/ 2006WP_104/ 2006WP_105/ 2006WP_106/ 2006WP_107/ 2006 (RORSCHACH SERIES)WP_108/ 2006WP_109/ 2006WP_110/ 2006WP_111/ 2007
WP_112/ 2007WP_113/ 2007WP_114/ 2007WP_115/ 2007WP_116/ 2007WP_117/ 2007WP_118/ 2008WP_119/ 2008WP_120/ 2008WP_121/ 2008WP_122/ 2008WP_123/ 2008
WP_124/ 2008WP_125/ 2008WP_126 (RORSCHACH SERIES)/ 2008WP_127 (RORSCHACH SERIES)/ 2008WP_128 (RORSCHACH SERIES)/ 2008WP_129 (RORSCHACH SERIES)/ 2008WP_130/ 2008WP_131/ 2008no image
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WP_160/ 2010WP_161/ 2010
Biography of 'Satoshi Kinoshita'
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