The Beatles – Revolution Remastered Edition (Extract Factory EXT-006)

Revolution Remastered Edition (Extract Factory EXT-006)

(71:36):  Mellotron Music #1, Girl, We Can Work It Out / Lucy From Littletown, Michelle, We Can Work It Out, It’s Not Too Bad, It’s Not Too Bad, It’s Not Too Bad, Good Morning Good Morning, Mellotron Music #2, Revolution, Across The Universe, Revolution 9, Mellotron Music #3, Julia (take 1), Stranger In My Arms, Revolution 1, Hey Jude, Revolution

Revolution Remastered Edition on Extract Factory is a silver pressed version of the fan produced CDR title on Remasters Workshop of the September 1990 release Revolution (Vigotone VT-117).  This is, as the fan title suggests, a remastered and speed corrected edition of the classic Vigotone release in the best available sound quality.

It is, in essence, a collection of various outtakes from 1965 to 1968, covering demos from “Strawberry Fields Forever” through material used on Let It Be.  In the years since its initial release much of this material has appeared on other titles (Nothing Is Real (Private Tapes 1965 – 1967) and The Lost Home Tapes 1965 – 1969 (Misterclaudel MCCD-123/124) are two that come to mind), but this was the first release of many of the tracks and it remains a core title to have for the rarities that are still hard to find.

The first track is a ninety second mellotron demo from Lennon’s house in May, 1968.  It’s part of the same sessions that will be featured later on the disc. 

A monitor mix of the instrumental track for “Girl” follows, recorded at EMI on November 11, 1965.  From about the same time comes the demo for “We Can Work It Out,” featuring Paul alone on acoustic guitar giving a very passionate rendition of the words.  It is abruptly interrupted after forty seconds.  Lennon records himself giving a reading from The Tale Of Mrs Tiggly-Winkle by Beatrix Potter set to some very bland orchestral music in his best Peter Sellers impersonation.

“Michelle” is a one minute acoustic demo recorded by Paul in autumn, 1965 and is followed by a rough mix of “We Can Work It Out.”  This is similar to the final version except lacks vocals and harmonium.  The three takes of “It’s Not Too Bad” are amateur recordings made by Lennon in late 1966 in Spain as a demo for what would turn into “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Two other Lennon demos follow.  “Good Morning Good Morning” dates from February 1967 and runs for a minute.  A thirty-second uninteresting mellotron exercise from May 1968 follows.

The alternate take of “Revolution” is also in excellent quality and lacks the Nicky Hopkins organ overdubs.  “Across The Universe” is another alternate mix with the extracts of the “Hums Wild” sound effects recorded in February 1968.  There is no orchestration or animal sounds and the take is preceded by John saying “you’re right, Richie” and two exhales.

“Revolution #9” is seven and a half minute long alternate mono mix from a two-sided acetate, recorded and edited on June 10-11, 20-21 & 25, 1968 at EMI.  It starts off similarly as the commercial version (although lacking the George Martin studio chatter), but it gets more different at it does on.  There are tape loops between the five and six minute mark that were not used.  It’s interesting also because both Paul and George are audible in the track as well.

“Stranger In My Arms” is another fascinating track.  It dates from May 1968, although some have argued it comes from 1966 when the band first began experimenting with the mellotron.  The three and a half minute track starts off with what sounds like tuning and Lennon flipping various switches before he hits upon a jazzy lounge style song “Stranger In My Arms.”  The lyrics are simple (“you’re a stranger in my arms / whenever I see you”), but it’s an interesting insight into their styles and humor.

The twenty-three minute take of “Revolution” features Yoko speaking over a monitor mix of the original track.  This has surfaced on many different titles since and, about two years ago, without the Yoko overdubs on Revolution Take…. Your Knickers Off! (His Master’s Choice HMC06).  The disc closes with a ten minute tape of the band on The David Frost show on September 4th, 1968 playing “Revolution” and “Hey Jude.”

Extract Factory maintain the same artwork found on the Vigotone release in acknowledgement of the source.  This is, like all their releases, a great sounding disc with very good packaging. 

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