Discovering Hidden Messages with Joseph Gregory
In 1966, during the recording of Revolver, John Lennon made a very revolutionary mistake. Lennon, admittingly under the influence of marijuana, played the tapes for the single, “Rain”, backwards. He liked the effect so much, he used it behind the guitar solo for the song “Tomorrow Never Knows”.
The technique, known as “backmasking”, had been around for at least a decade—it was largely the product of an early French avant-garde movement known as Musique Concrete. However, Lennon’s stoney-mistake brought backmasking into the mainstream, and introduced a new era of studio experimentation.
This gave new meaning to the vinyl record, which was no longer just a series of songs on a big black Frisbee; it was now a platform for encrypted messages that could be decoded in reverse. Take for example, the 1968 White Album recording of “I’m so tired” which in reverse, delivers the eerie “Paul is dead Miss him, Miss him…” message prompting the rumors that Paul had been killed and replaced by a Paul McCartney look-a-like contest winner.
Coincidently, the year that Lennon discovered backmasking was also the same year he incited public outrage with the infamous “bigger than Jesus” comparison. As a result, backmasking soon became another target for the pop-culture hating Evangelicals who burned Beatle’s records for a few years, and then bought Sergeant Peppers.
It wasn’t long before the Beatles were indicted by the clergy for deluding fans with secret messages from the devil. Leave it to the good ol’ US of A to turn the weird ingenuity of the French and the clumsiness of John Lennon into unabashed Satanism. Of course, the Beatles weren’t the only ones under the chopping block; the same accusations followed ELO, Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin, and many more.
So here at Record Pressing, we are spinning all of our favorite records backwards trying to get to the bottom of this. If Satan is trying to contact you through your vinyl collection, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you know of a secret message or have had a worthwhile satanic encounter through your vinyl records, let us know.
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