New Music: The Beatles – “Revolution No. 1 (Take 20)”

No strangers to hyperbole, the NME says this is being the Holy Grail of lost Beatles recordings — but for once, they might be right. The just-leaked “Revolution No. 1 (Take 20)” seems to be a glorious bridge between the White Album‘s twin versions of “Revolution,” the fuzzy, straightforward “Revolution No. 1” and the experimental sound collage of “Revolution No. 9.” It’s less noisy that “No. 1” but longer, with some of “No. 9′”s found-sound Jackson Pollack approach — and a previously unseen window into the band’s creative process. The NME has more info, and the tune (for now) is below. Update: Further listens seem to reveal the main thrust of this — John’s vocals, George’s backing vocals, the main guitar track — to be identical to White Album’s “Revolution No. 1.” But the overdubs are different: Gone is the famous electric lead and the horn section that comes in during the first chorus and oom-pahs throughout the rest of the song. In their place, piano parts, disconnected vocal samples and guitar noise that arrive a few minutes and careen the song into oblivion. Curious. It sounds legitimate; there’s no way to know if this is an elaborate, remixed hoax until the Beatle camp speaks out, but it’s enthralling regardless.

The Beatles – “Revolution No. 1 (Take 20)”: mp3

Previously: John and Paul’s Last Session, 1974
Related: Elliott Smith Covers The Beatles


Album versions not making the cut? Click below for more Bootlegs and rarities, or visit the Archive.