Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Revolution

Richard Furnstein: A guitar that rudely walks through a sliding glass window at a fancy cocktail party. A fuzz tone that says "roll over, everyone." Eat hell, Chuck Berry. See ya around, Brothers Davies. Did you say something, Jesus and Mary Chain? John's here and he wrote a confusing song about politics, but oh you wouldn't believe the guitars and the lunkhead drums and Paul screaming like a hot plate of banshee meat. "Minds that hate"? Hey man, that sounds like a bum trip to me. Shake off the spooky feelings, Ringo's drums. Oh, did I mention George's lead? It's somehow even fuzzier! I can't even handle this. I'm trying to analyze this business and I'm just knocked upside the head with this song. Rock wouldn't feel this way again until "Cold Turkey" and then that was it, man. This neuters The Clash. Are you into hardcore music? Well, that music stinks and sounds like dirt.

Robert Bunter: And it's all the more amazing that this recording was done as a middle finger to the other Beatles, who'd rejected the slow, acoustic Revolution (1) as too slow for a new single. "Oh, it's too slow, is it?" So Johnny Moondog just increases the tempo and cranks up the knobs until every meter is in the red. "Take that, pigs. You can't tell me that's not a single now, can you?" But unfortunately, they could. It's just a B-side, because Paul had written "Hey Jude," one of the highest achievements of mankind, a song inspired by John's horrible abandonment of his first wife and son. Foiled again, John. It's a shame that you're a right bastard, mate. Your stirring political anthem will make a nice Nike commercial someday. This single is the main reason that The Beatles broke up. 

Are you into hardcore music? Well, that music stinks and sounds like dirt.


Richard Furnstein: It was getting ugly, that's for sure. John was a few years away from the primal scream, but this song serves as an escape from the rage and frustration that had been developing for years. Even John's appearance at the time suggested a fierceness. His angular Liverpudlian features had sharpened even more; he now looked like his face could open a can of Heniz Beans (soft stomached Ringo's favorite). The Beatles faced a peculiar artistic dilemma after the peaks of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's (not to mention the personal and business issues brewing since the death of Brian Epstein), and The White Album was a band trying to simultaneously strip down while pushing forward. That's certainly a weird road to travel, but they found a way to charge and change in "Revolution." They would certainly go back to the Chuck Berry well again (that was Lennon's default rock mode), but "Revolution" was ultimately their most successful attempt at hairy rock.

Robert Bunter: John makes a good political point along with the sonic assault. If you want to topple the system, what is your plan to replace it? Rebel John liked shaking the foundations of society as much as anybody, but he had enough wisdom to realize that the denim-clad rabble marchers carrying megaphones and peace signs were, all too often, a bunch of callow ego-trippers. Lennon could be a dope, but I'm giving him big points for this one. You want to change the world? Mow the damn yard. Clean up the dishes. Tend the to the washing. That's how you do it. Nice electric piano by studio ace Nicky Hopkins on this track.

Richard Furnstein: I made a promise to myself long ago that I would consider a write up on "Revolution" to be perfect once the stellar piano work of Nicky Hopkins was acknowledged. That day has come. Alright!

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