The Story Behind The Song ‘Revolution’ By The Beatles
“Revolution” is a part of the Beatles’ White Album and was written by John Lennon, but credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership. The song was also recorded in three different versions. These are the LP versions (“Revolution 1″) features a bluesy arrangement, an abstract sound collage called “Revolution 9”, and a frenzied hard-rock version similar to “Revolution 1” which became the B-side to “Hey Jude”.
The song was controversial due to its political nature, and was vehemently resisted by the band for its inclusion in the album. Lennon wrote it as a way of telling people who wanted his political support that he was tired of it all. He had been in India at the time and was in conversation with Maharishi.
He said: “I had been thinking about it up in the hills in India. I still had this ‘God will save us’ feeling about it, that it’s going to be all right (even now I’m saying ‘Hold on, John, it’s going to be all right,’ otherwise, I won’t hold on) but that’s why I did it, I wanted to talk, I wanted to say my piece about revolution. I wanted to tell you, or whoever listens, to communicate, to say ‘What do you say? This is what I say.'”
Yoko Ono also pitched in on Lennon’s idea of a revolution. In a 1998 interview with Uncut, she said: “John’s idea of revolution was that he did not want to create the situation where when you destroy statues, you become a statue. And also what he means is that there’s too much repercussion in the usual form of revolution. He preferred evolution. So you have to take a peaceful method to get peace rather than you don’t care what method you take to get peace, and he was very, very adamant about that.”
Musically, the track has interesting details like the gritty guitar sound achieved by plugging them directly into the mixing board, and how Lennon recorded his vocals while lying on his back.