Revolution is one of my favourite songs of all time tbh. It reflects a lot of my opinions and how I feel about some things in the world right now. It’s crazy how even after all these years is still so relatable, specially for the youngest generation. I think it’s one of their most Rock songs and one of the few that isn’t about love. The scream at the beginning is great, I always have to repeat it a thousand times.
The lyrics are great as hell and I couldn’t sing them with more pride. They’ve been really changing my life and this song kind of makes me feel understood while listening to it, which is such a great feeling.
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
Yeah, I think we all want to change the world we live in. I believe the majority of us desire to change it for the better like ending wars and stuff, but there are also a lot of selfish and miserable people who want to shape it to their needs and in many cases it means exploring people and nature, not being honest, being rude and feeling like you have the right to exclude others for multiple reasons like religious beliefs, sexuality, gender and etc (basically Trump). I remember once my history teacher asked me in class what comes to my mind when I hear the word “revolution” and I instantly said war, like most of us would probably do. And she said “exactly, but I think it’s more about change than war” and kept talking about it. Never forget.. I still remember of this moment sometimes and I don’t know why but it made me wonder about my vision of “revolution” since that day.
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
I refuse to give money to people with hating ideas and that will most likely use our money to keep going on conflicts and built guns (when it comes to governments). It pisses me off when they ask us for money to pay things that we don’t even want to be a part of like wars and some taxes that were only made to fill their pockets a little more.
- John wrote this in India while The Beatles were at a transcendental meditation camp with The Maharishi. He told Rolling Stone: “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.'”
- This was the first overtly political Beatles song. It was John’s response to the Vietnam War.
- The word “Revolution” is mentioned just once, in the first line.
- The original slow version appears on The White Album. The fast, loud version was released as a single. In the slow version, John says “count me in” as well as “count me out” when referring to violence. This gives the song a dual meaning.
- This was released as the B-side of Hey Jude. Lennon wanted it to be the first A-side released on Apple Records, the label The Beatles started, but Hey Jude got the honor.
- Revolutionaries take different approaches to reach their goals. In a 1998 interview with Uncut, Yoko Ono gave her thoughts on John’s approach and how he expressed it in this song: “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.”
- On September 4, 1968, the boys made a promotional film for this song and Hey Jude at Twickenham Studios in London. These were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who did their previous videos: Paperback Writer and Rain. Unlike those clips, which were shot outdoors, the Hey Jude and Revolution videos were shot in a studio setting and meant to look like the band was performing it live. They both aired September 8 on Frost On Sunday, a popular UK show hosted by David Frost, who was at the Twickenham shoot to introduce the clip for the segment on his show, making it appear that the band was really there. Another edit of the footage was later broadcast on Top Of The Pops, and yet another was shown in America on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. When the Beatles compilation 1+ was released in 2015, a restored version of the video was included in the set.
- John wanted his vocals to have an unusual sound, so he recorded most of them lying on his back in the studio. The famous scream at the beginning is a double-tracked recording of him.
- Nike used this for commercials in 1987. Capitol Records, who owned the performance rights, meaning The Beatles version of the song, was paid $250,000. Michael Jackson, who owned the publishing rights, meaning use of the words and music, also had to agree and was paid for the song. The commercials caused a huge backlash from Beatles fans who felt that the brand was disrespecting the legacy of Lennon, who likely would have objected to it’s use, but the ad campaign, called “Revolution in Motion,” was successful, helping Nike expand their market by featuring ordinary joggers, gym rats and cyclists. It wasn’t just fans who had beef with the ads: the surviving Beatles, along with Yoko Ono (representing John’s estate), sued Nike, bringing even more publicity to the campaign. The ads ran for about a year, and eventually a settlement was reached in the lawsuit. As years went by, it became more acceptable to use songs in commercials, but Beatles songs remained off-limits, as any use would result in a lawsuit and hostile reaction by fans. What was “revolutionary” about the Nike commercials were that they were the first to do it.
In 2002, When I’m 64 was used in a commercial for Allstate insurance. Many Beatles fans were not pleased, but it didn’t get nearly the reaction of the Nike commercials, partly because it wasn’t a political song, but also because it was sung by Julian Lennon, which implied endorsement by his father.
- Some covers of this song were recorded by Stone Temple Pilots, Jim Sturgess (in Across the Universe) and Imagine Dragons.
And remember.. John’s mic is still shit!