Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Sep 9th 2009 5:15PM by Joshua Ostroff
'Revolution,' The Beatles
The shift from mop-topped popsmiths to rock 'n' roll revolutionaries can be traced to this aptly titled track. Its blistering three-and-a-half minutes begins with John Lennon's heavily distorted guitar and double-tracked scream, a far cry from 'I Want To Hold You Hand.' But the lyrics also display Lennon's conflicted feelings toward the counterculture uprisings of 1968.
'Revolution' was particularly inspired by student riots in Paris. But the worsening Vietnam War, political assassinations and increasing police vs. protester street battles added further real-world intensity to the song, which was recorded as a slower album track and more raucous (and better-known) b-side.
Though the proto-punk single's sonic fury and shouted vocals sound pretty pro-revolution, Lennon's lyrics preached nonviolence, pushing back against destructive radicalism with lines like "You can count me out." But unsure of himself, Lennon also added the word "in" on the album version -- which was infamously interpreted by Charles Manson to be a "secret" message instructing him to slaughter starlets.
Of course, I wasn't even a gleam in my parent's eyes in 1968, so my first cultural experience with the song came from the furor over Michael Jackson licensing it to a Nike ad. Without the historical context, my preteen self just thought 'Revolution' rocked pretty hard for a '60s song.
But even being adopted by hippies, psychopaths and multinationals couldn't diminish the song's impeccable encapsulation of societal chaos, revolutionary ambivalence and hope that it's gonna be all right.