Monday, 17 February 2020

10:62 Revolution (pt.2) - What's The Difference?

Here's a comparison between the album version (Revolution 1) and the single (Revolution).

Album first - Single second - Video version third (where appropriate).

All divided by a dash. e.g. Key: A (this is the album) - Bb (slightly sharp) (this is the single).


Key: A - Bb (slightly sharp). The single was almost certainly recorded in A major like the album but vari-sped up. When the band mimed the single for the video they 'played' in A without capos, making it likely that that is how they had most recently played it (the Esher demo was played in A but capoed at the third fret).

Tempo: 95 bpm - 118 bpm. If the track was vari-sped then the band would have cut it at 111 bpm (the Esher demo was 120bpm).


Appropriately the lead vocals for 'laid-back version' were recorded lying down on the floor.

“count me out … in” – (0:53) “count me out” (0:40) - restored for video

“shoo-bee-doo-wop" backing vocals (1:00) – none – restored for video

“Don't you know it's gonna be” - three times – once - three time restored for video

So when the Beatles added live vocals to the single backing track for the video they undid every change they were able to.


Both versions

John Lennon – lead vocals, electric guitar (lead on single)
George Harrison – electric guitar
Paul McCartney – Hammond organ
Ringo Starr – drums

Revolution 1 only

John Lennon – acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney – piano
Paul, George – backing vocals
All sources say Paul McCartney – bass but I suspect it was actually George Harrison

Derek Watkins, Freddy Clayton – trumpets
Don Lang, Rex Morris, J. Power, Bill Povey – trombones

Revolution only

Paul McCartney – bass
John, Paul, George, Ringo - handclaps

Nicky Hopkins – electric piano


Rev 1: false start, studio chatter (Geoff Emerick “take two”), a sound like someone hitting a box of cabassas (or possibly Yoko playing a washboard!). Original drum track barely audible before drum overdub comes in.
Rev: solo lead guitar, drums, rhythm guitar barely audible

Verse 1
Rev 1: no electrics, organ fades in at end, heavily double tracked vox
Rev: little or no double tracking on vox – blooper “that it's evo-juice-shan” (0:23)

Pre Chorus 1
Rev 1: sustained chords, long descending bassline
Rev: staccato chords and bassline

Chorus 1
Rev 1: "don't you know it's gonna be alright. don't you know it's gonna be alright. don't you know it's gonna be alright".
Electric fills, acoustic fill at end really boosted, bass (and piano) walking bassline
Rev: “don't you know it's gonna be alright. Alright. Alright.”
End fill played on electric, bass root notes

Verse 2
Rev 1: harmony vocals with lead and 'shooby' BVs, electric fill at end, bass root note (doesn't go to D) and annoying slides
Rev: no harmony BVs or fill. Bass walking

Pre Chorus 2 as PC1

Chorus 2
Rev 1: as C1
Rev: vocal mistake left in (1:44)

This section only occurs on single version (1:52) over a I, IV, V chord progression
Electric piano solo (Nicky Hopkins) with lead fills at end (John Lennon). Heavy breathing by Lennon.

Verse 3
Rev 1: We all want to change your head”
Rev: We'd all love to change your head”

Pre Chorus 3 as PC1

Chorus 3
Rev 1: Accident bad tape edit during the mixing process resulted in two extra beats at the end (3:23). Lennon decided to leave it in. A similar mistake happened later on McCartney's song Let Me Roll It (4:22).
Rev: electric piano fills

Rev 1: (3:29 – 4:16) pick scrapes, heavy breathing, Fade
Rev: (3:03-3:25) electric piano fills, stock blues ending on bII – I.

The vast majority of changes are arguably cosmetic.

The single has more energy, due to key, tempo and timbre. The bassline moving off the root note more also contributes to that. The message of the chorus is obscured by missing words and less vocal reinforcement. The only ambiguity in the lyrics “in/out” is removed. The single is an unambiguous statement of 'angry pacificism'.


  1. I am glad you are still posting these analyses!

    1. Thanks George! I'm glad you're still here to read em!