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Backmasking examples in Beatles/Solo Beatles music
17 July 2010
1.36am
Happy Nat
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Backmasking (also known as backward masking) is a
recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward
onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a
deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal
may be unintentional.

 

We all know it was done first with John's B-side tune Rain .

 

I have another example where 'fuck a pig' is said (details here). Revolution 9 's 'turn me on dead man' might be an example (yet I've read that one might have been some sort of incredible coincidence).

 

There's more. If anyone knows any, post 'em here. apple01

Bringing you the best and worst of The Beatles, since 2007.

17 July 2010
2.21am
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MrBig
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Happy Nat said:

Backmasking (also known as backward masking) is a

recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward

onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a

deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal

may be unintentional.

 

We all know it was done first with John's B-side tune Rain .

 

I have another example where 'fuck a pig' is said (details here). Revolution 9 's 'turn me on dead man' might be an example (yet I've read that one might have been some sort of incredible coincidence).

 

There's more. If anyone knows any, post 'em here. apple01


The Sgt. Pepper reprisal says "It was a fake moustache" backwards

"The best band? The Beatles. The most overrated band? The Beatles."

17 July 2010
3.35am
Happy Nat
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MrBig said:

Happy Nat said:

Backmasking (also known as backward masking) is a

recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward

onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a

deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal

may be unintentional.

 

We all know it was done first with John's B-side tune Rain .

 

I have another example where 'fuck a pig' is said (details here). Revolution 9 's 'turn me on dead man' might be an example (yet I've read that one might have been some sort of incredible coincidence).

 

There's more. If anyone knows any, post 'em here. apple01


The Sgt. Pepper reprisal says "It was a fake moustache" backwards
 

 

Do you believe that one was intentional?

Bringing you the best and worst of The Beatles, since 2007.

17 July 2010
5.32am
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MeanMrsMustard
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I THINK there was something backward in "It's All Too Much." I'll have to listen to it again.

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

17 July 2010
12.32pm
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MrBig
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Happy Nat said:

MrBig said:

Happy Nat said:

Backmasking (also known as backward masking) is a

recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward

onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a

deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal

may be unintentional.

 

We all know it was done first with John's B-side tune Rain .

 

I have another example where 'fuck a pig' is said (details here). Revolution 9 's 'turn me on dead man' might be an example (yet I've read that one might have been some sort of incredible coincidence).

 

There's more. If anyone knows any, post 'em here. apple01


The Sgt. Pepper reprisal says "It was a fake moustache" backwards

 


 

Do you believe that one was intentional?


It's certainly possible.

"The best band? The Beatles. The most overrated band? The Beatles."

17 July 2010
2.51pm
Happy Nat
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MrBig said:

Happy Nat said:

MrBig said:

Happy Nat said:

Backmasking (also known as backward masking) is a

recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward

onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a

deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal

may be unintentional.

 

We all know it was done first with John's B-side tune Rain .

 

I have another example where 'fuck a pig' is said (details here). Revolution 9 's 'turn me on dead man' might be an example (yet I've read that one might have been some sort of incredible coincidence).

 

There's more. If anyone knows any, post 'em here. apple01


The Sgt. Pepper reprisal says "It was a fake moustache" backwards
 

 

Do you believe that one was intentional?


It's certainly possible.
 

 

I had a listen to that after seeing it over on the other thread and, although I made it out, it did not seem clear enough to my ears to be anything deliberate. I think this is a case of a coincidental similarity in sound. I didn't find that post until after I made this one. I guess what I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any that are obviously deliberate that I am not aware of, so I thought I'd ask around.

Bringing you the best and worst of The Beatles, since 2007.

27 July 2010
8.38pm
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Von Bontee
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I can't think of ANY confirmed actual deliberate examples - in the Beatles' or anybody's catalog - of a recording that sounds discernible both backwards and forwards. But in the present-day age of Windows Sound Recorder, it's possible. Record yourself saying "Buy more Beatles records" or whatever, and play it backwards, over and over again, until you "hear" the gibberish transform itself into a somewhat understandable (although possibly idiotic) phrase, like "Stir salt tea, or I'm..." (I'm guessing.) Then, write and record a song that manages to include that phrase in the lyrics (good luck!) and Presto! you've got is a song that'll subliminally get listeners to want to buy more Beatles records, without their knowing why. Or, at least that's what a lot of religious blowhard nutbags tried to convince us of, way back in the '80s. I think it's a lot of hogwash myself - there's no way we can be responsible for/receptive to anything we hear or say that might sound "like" something else backwards. On my hard drive, I've got a backwards recording of a Jimmy Swaggart hymn (he was one of the biggest of those '80s TV preacher clowns, for those unaware) in which he "clearly" sings, among other things, "I'm in Satan's army!" and "He is my light" and "Heat my soul" - pretty disturbing stuff! Except that, of course, it really isn't that easy to hear without my calling your attention to it beforehand.

With all that, as far as the Beatles are concerned - nope, I don't believe for a second that they did anything like that, ever...(except for possibly one time...) I've never heard that "fake moustache" thing myself (I'll give it a listen tonight!), but there's no way to predetermine what a track will sound like forwards and backwards at the same time, it's impossible. Either the Beatles intended to sing the phrase "We're Sgt. Pepper 's...etc", OR they intended to sing something that sounded vaguely like "It was a fake moustache" when played forwards. Is it possible they had this "fake moustache" lyric in mind and were so determined to include it on the album - backwards - that they wrote, sang, and recorded a song called "Sgt. Pepper 's..." with that very goal in mind?  After first going through the complicated record/reverse/interpret procedure in the previous paragraph. Sure, it's *possible*. Is it very likely? Hardly.

"Number Nine"/"Turn me on dead man" - Not intentional in any way, obviously, since they didn't have anything to do with the original tape.

Sgt Pepper Inner Groove - This is the one, maybe. Played forwards, it does kind of sound like "Never could be any other"; and backwards it indeed sounds kinda like "We'll fuck you like a Superman!"  There's a lot of gibberish audible - the recording was done in two takes, I believe, and both were mixed together to sound noisier - so I can't tell whether the recording was backwards or forwards - or perhaps BOTH at the same time. Normally, you'll hear telltale sonic details (like "P"'s popping in reverse) that identify the sound as backwards or forwards.  I can't detect any either way. So, if any Beatle recording features true backward masking, it can only be this one.

As for plain-old actual backward-recorded vocals...there aren't too many of them are there, really?  Aside from "Rain " and some difficult-to-hear bits in "Blue Jay Way ", I'm not sure if there are any others. I'm pretty sure "Strawberry Fields Forever " has no backwards vocals; I can't remember any in "Revolution 9 " either...

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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27 July 2010
9.01pm
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MeanMrsMustard
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I suddenly thought of all the people who made fun of the backmasking thing by recording backward stuff like "Do your homework," "Listen to your parents," and "Go to church."

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

8 October 2014
11.12pm
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MOCKSWELL
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 Hello all. It's 1966 here, still. Get me OuT!

I finally got around to playing the backwards stuff, been putting it off since the 70s.

John or was it Paul said there were only 100 people knew what they were on about, what the

lyrics were concealing, if anything.

BTW... 'MOCKSWELL' was the name... not Maxwell. There was byplay over the name, that's why I remember it.

But, unless people want to yak about the deadPaul issue...

Anyway I'm a musician, since the 60s. YaddaDaDaa.

Nice to meet you all, again.

8 October 2014
11.29pm
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MOCKSWELL
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 The backwards stuff has been interpreted by a lot of people. It's always death, car crashes and so forth.

Start with Revolution 9 . The obvious stuff is there...  'Do you know us...." etc.etc.

But - what is all that crashing and banging and screaming? Paul's accident?

Nae. Would be interested to know if anyone can name the three (3) guys who can be heard a number

of times, clearly, during Revolution 9 when reversed.

Get me OuT!  

11 October 2014
10.46pm
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MOCKSWELL
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 The lads were nothing if not jokers. So we have Moe, Larry and Curly dominating this track.

I believe Moe's head is stuck in a pipe..(get me out!) and Larry and Curly try using a chisel, then dynamite to get him out.

WooWOOooo! Any car crash noises are just the stooges trashing the room like usual. But... 'Three' stooges...?

Nyayayaya!!!!1

 

Denying the backwards stuff is wrong. There's no end of it, they were expert, they experimented, Lennon was singing backward for the press. The tunes are FULL of stuff, some of it a bit hard to understand.... but the whole story is there.

George Martin said as much, aeons ago. Sooooo much stuff. Much more fun than listening forward.

12 October 2014
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Necko
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Here's a real one that gets overlooked often: at the end of "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill ," right before it transitions into "While My Guitar Gently Weeps ," John shouts something that sounds like "Hey ho" forwards. If you reverse it, he shouts "Oh yeah!" Nothing terribly exciting, but it's a REAL example, rather than some nonsense "Paul is dead" thing. 

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12 October 2014
2.31am
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Mr. Kite
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Necko said

Here's a real one that gets overlooked often: at the end of "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill ," right before it transitions into "While My Guitar Gently Weeps ," John shouts something that sounds like "Hey ho" forwards. If you reverse it, he shouts "Oh yeah!" Nothing terribly exciting, but it's a REAL example, rather than some nonsense "Paul is dead" thing. 

That is kind of exciting, I love that exclamation as a transition, and never thought anything of it... Cool.

If I spoke prose you'd all find out, I don't know what I talk about.

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12 October 2014
1.06pm
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DrBeatle
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Necko said
Here's a real one that gets overlooked often: at the end of "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill ," right before it transitions into "While My Guitar Gently Weeps ," John shouts something that sounds like "Hey ho" forwards. If you reverse it, he shouts "Oh yeah!" Nothing terribly exciting, but it's a REAL example, rather than some nonsense "Paul is dead" thing. 

 

I'd actually read that that wasn't John, but rather Chris Thomas (who played Mellotron) and hat he shouted out what was a typical Geordie (I think?) greeting shouted out as a joke. I'll go back and try to find which book I read that in, but I'm certain that it was not John and is not backmasked. (I could be wrong, of course)

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