Hear the Never-Released, Experimental Demo of The Beatles’ “Revolution 1”

by Damian Fanelli
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at 11:27am

Every now and then, we stumble upon something on YouTube that's totally new to us — including this clip, which was actually posted in 2009.

It's the never-officially-released 10-minute-long, experimental version of the Beatles' "Revolution 1," a track from 1968's The Beatles, better known as the White Album.

The clip gives fans a fly-on-the-wall perspective of what the White Album sessions were like. It also makes it a little more clear why the seemingly unrelated "Revolution 1" and the almost-maniacal "Revolution 9" share similar names.

In "Revolution 1" (Take 20), John Lennon steers an extended, experimental version of "Revolution 1" to its logical limits, then launches into the more avant-garde "Revolution 9."

How did this track get leaked? Who knows? According to Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles: Recording Sessions, only two copies of the take were made when recording the song was completed on June 4, 1968. One left the studio with Lennon that day. The other remained in the studio. It's unclear which copy appears on the bootleg.

Information provided with the clip:

"According to the Ateaseweb message board, the song first surfaced on an upcoming, Europe-only bootleg Revolution: Take Your Knickers Off, as a nod to Lennon saying, 'Take your knickers off and let's go' before "Revolution 1" (Take 20) started rolling."