Unreleased 11-minute mix of Revolution 1 surfaces

A rough mix of The Beatles’ ‘Revolution 1’, which reveals how the latter song evolved into ‘Revolution 9’, has surfaced on the internet.

The mix, numbered RM1 of take 20, was recorded on 4 June 1968. It begins with a studio engineer announcing the take, and John Lennon commenting “Take your knickers off and let’s go”.

Listen to the song (the audio cuts in and out before the music begins):

The recording is similar to the White Album version of Revolution 1, with various differences including the absence of the opening lead guitar. There are also a number of sound effects and vocals which didn’t make the final version, including a chorus of “Mama, dada, mama, dada” sung by George Harrison and, possibly, Paul McCartney’s then-girlfriend Francie Schwartz.

The music lasts for a little more than 10 minutes. The most fascinating part, however, begins where the album version fades out. In this mix the track becomes a bed for improvisations and ad-libs, which later formed the basis of Revolution 9. Although it lacks many of the sound effects of Lennon’s sound collage, the links between the two recordings can be clearly heard.

This rough mix was taken away by John Lennon after it was made. A previous version of the mix has been available for some time, but featured a Yoko Ono monologue over the top of much of it. This clean mix, of better quality than previously-heard bootlegs, is being heralded by Beatles fans as a significant find.

Last updated: 12 April 2018
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