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Revolution (Beatles song)

“Revolution” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Two versions of the song were recorded in 1968: a hard rock version, released as the B-side of the “Hey Jude” single, and a slower, bluesier arrangement (titled “Revolution 1”) for the Beatles’ self-titled double album, commonly known as “the White Album”. Although the single version was issued first, it was recorded several weeks after “Revolution 1”, as a re-make specifically intended for release as a single. A third connected piece, written by Lennon, is the experimental track “Revolution 9”, based on the latter parts of the same performance that produced “Revolution 1”, and which also appears on the White Album.

Inspired by political protests in early 1968, Lennon’s lyrics expressed doubt in regard to some of the tactics. When the single version was released in August, the political left viewed it as betraying their cause. The release of the album version in November indicated Lennon’s uncertainty about destructive change, with the phrase “count me out” recorded differently as “count me out, in”. In 1987, the song became the first Beatles recording to be licensed for a television commercial, which prompted a lawsuit from the surviving members of the group.

In the same year Nina Simone recorded her single “Revolution” with some structural similarities (some lyrics are also the same) to the Beatles’ song, but credited to her and Weldon Irvine.

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