Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Listen to The Beatles play a long-lost alternate take of Revolution

In 1968, The Beatles released three versions of "Revolution." "Revolution 1" is the mellow, mostly acoustic version that leads off side four of The White Album. "Revolution 2," released as the flip side of "Hey Jude," is the anthemic, guitar-driven version you're most familiar with. "Revolution 9" is the self-indulgent marathon of found sounds and tape loops, also from The White Album.


Still, rumors have abounded for years that the group recorded as many as 22 different takes on the song, each as different to each other as the three we're familiar with. But, as none were included on The Beatles Anthology, it was assumed they would never see the light of day, if they existed at all.

But yesterday, Open Culture posted almost completely unheard—albeit, uploaded to YouTube in 2009—material from 45-year-old sessions by the most scrutinized band of all time. "Revolution 20" is a 10-minute long alternate take on the song. After some chatter from the band (a snippet of which you'll recognized from "Revolution 2"), the song starts off in a similar vein to The White Album version, but gets progressively stranger as it goes, with a few clips also used in "Revolution 9" making an appearance. It may not replace the single version in anyone's iPod, but it's a fascinating glimpse at The Beatles' process as they attacked the song from all angles before settling on the versions they wanted to release.

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