Hear the Never-Released, Experimental Demo of The Beatles’ “Revolution 1”

Every now and then, we stumble upon something on YouTube that's totally new to us — including this clip, which was actually posted in 2009.

It's the never-officially-released 10-minute-long, experimental version of the Beatles' "Revolution 1," a track from 1968's The Beatles, better known as the White Album.

The clip gives fans a fly-on-the-wall perspective of what the White Album sessions were like. It also makes it a little more clear why the seemingly unrelated "Revolution 1" and the almost-maniacal "Revolution 9" share similar names.

In "Revolution 1" (Take 20), John Lennon steers an extended, experimental version of "Revolution 1" to its logical limits, then launches into the more avant-garde "Revolution 9."

How did this track get leaked? Who knows? According to Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles: Recording Sessions, only two copies of the take were made when recording the song was completed on June 4, 1968. One left the studio with Lennon that day. The other remained in the studio. It's unclear which copy appears on the bootleg.

Information provided with the clip:

"According to the Ateaseweb message board, the song first surfaced on an upcoming, Europe-only bootleg Revolution: Take Your Knickers Off, as a nod to Lennon saying, 'Take your knickers off and let's go' before "Revolution 1" (Take 20) started rolling."

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.