"A backward message (also known as backward masking or backmasking) is a supposed subliminal message hidden in an audio recording that is only fully apparent when played backwards. Backmasking first became famous with The Beatles. Just before the band's break-up in 1970, DJ Russell Gibb initiated the infamous 'Paul Is Dead' urban legend (a rumor that Beatle Paul McCartney had died) by playing certain Beatles records backwards to reveal hidden messages. One album in particular, The Beatles (aka The White Album) was said to contain backwards messages. Intentional gibberish at the end of "I'm So Tired" supposedly is "Paul is dead, man, miss him, miss him..." Likewise, the repeated words "Number nine, number nine, number nine..." in "Revolution 9" are supposedly "turn me on, dead man, turn me on, dead man..." backwards."
Now, this really isn't some kind of big news to any of us living in 2006 but it so happens that I just yesterday found a neat little backmasking site that then led me to find a few of other similar sites. Isn't that just the beauty of the internets in a nutshell?
First, there's Jeff's Backmasking Site. Here you can find a nicely put together flash interface that let's you play the sound clip forward, then in reverse. You can also then click to see what the reversed clip supposedly says. He's got the famous ones on here like "I'm So Tired", "Revolution 9", "Stairway to Heaven", and "Another One Bites The Dust". Also on there are tunes by a few others including Britney Spears and Eminem. I found this site (and piqued my curiosity on the subject) by reading a post on SlapJack.
Next I found Backmask Online - go figure. This site is a wonderful resource for the angry parent who wishes to find hidden messages in rock music...or, for a dork like me who finds this stuff amusing...as there is a bit of backmasking history and a bunch (97 it seems) of MP3s posted. Hidden messages from artists like Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Nirvana, They Might Be Giants, and many more are chronicled here.
Lastly there is this resource from Religious Tolerance.org that details the myths and realities of backmasking. Of particular interest is the section that pulls a few quotes on the subject from religious web sites, like this one:
At DemonBuster.com they write: "If we are weak in our convictions our moral values can be changed subliminally by suggestion in rock music, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, posters, billboards, etc. One form of subliminal message is the sub-audio suggestions on rock records saying: 'Communism is the perfect form of government', 'hate your parents', 'you are no good', 'commit suicide', 'kill others', 'take drugs they taste good', 'your parents hate you', 'police are pigs and the whole world is crooked'."Oh man. I just can't help laughing at some of those. Thanks Demon Buster.
Further reading on Snopes HERE.
(pictured is, of course, the cover of the album which two of the previously mentioned songs can be found on: The Beatles - The Beatles [the White Album])