24 January 2006

Backmasking, or: hidden messages in music that are revealed when played backwards

Wikipedia says:
"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])

11 comments:

Satisfied '75 said...

Awesome find..I cant wait to read these

Eric said...

Fantastic post! I'm going to link up to your site.

Demitria Monde Thraam said...

Coincidentally enough: I find this post today while in the process of making a recording for Choronzon (a very bizarre, unnerving, incomprehensibly obsessive audiovisual project I am centrally involved with) and dickering with the folder full of mp3s downloaded over the past 2 days from the jolly Demonbuster End Times Ministry crew. Naturally, some of it is backmasked. Should be interesting. These guys are really circus performers.

Choronzon mostly does its sneaky mindfuckery using "supraliminals" (unlike with subliminals, you're aware there's a message, but not what it is.) We call cryptovox - it's sounds seeming to be vocalized but actually derived from odd audio-artifacts accruing from sympathetic vibration--we play it up as "messages from the Lord of Chaos, the entity Choronzon for whom this thing we do is named...and who is the third "member" of our not-exactly-a-band.

But on our latest album, New World Chaos, there's a track called "Forewarning". It's the last seven words George W. Bush spoke in his 9/11 address. They are: "...in our world. Thank you. Good night." Played backwards, you hear very clearly: "Behind it, we had forewarning." It left me speechless. (For the record, I believe it, too.)

J said...

Yikes!
"we play it up as "messages from the Lord of Chaos, the entity Choronzon for whom this thing we do is named...and who is the third "member" of our not-exactly-a-band. "

If you played that backwards on a record it would say "I love puppies. I wear knee-high socks and have twice gotten a scrabble word. Do like ponies? Happy Happy Bubbles! Yay!"

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Anonymous said...

rock singers put these demonic messages in their music to take you to hell with them, they never knew that GOD would bring fourth a person that could decifer their satanic message, so these people have told us what the rockers were up to.....if we still listen to rock then we want to go to hell with the people who sing this stuff. wake up people while GOD still speaks....

sonny said...

sonny say`s....it`s obvious what these singers are up to, they worship satan, look at all the rockers that died young, lennon said once they were more popular than JESUS, but in 1980 a bullett found him, he said this JESUS thing will die, trust me he said....well he lied, he died but JESUS is still here, and he would give anything if he could come back to redeem his self, bank on it. and i wish he could have another chance, but when you die it`s over, no more chances..the beatles said themselves they did`nt believe in GOD. i used to listen to them until ALL MIGHTY GOD SHOWED ME WHAT THEY WERE ABOUT...

herschel said...

sonny say`s....i grew up listining to all these bands, i loved the stuff....but you have to make a choice, you can`t serve the devil and GOD....as i grew alittle older it became clear to me, will you listen to this demonic garbage that praises satan? or will you do what GOD say`s?, you can only listen to this garbage for awhile,then you die , but eternaty is forever, you die and go to rock and roll hell with your heroes who sung it to you, or forsake it and trust in GOD and live forever with him, the best choice is obvious...michael mills is right, listen to him.....i`m a mills myself, although i don`t know michael, but GOD bless michael for his service to GOD...

herschel said...

rock and roll means what it implies, fornication, rock and roll, the bed rocks, and you roll all over the bed with your lover, rock and roll....most people don`t have a clue what it means, but beleive it or not that`s what it means...they could have called it happy music, but they did`nt, they had a message u.....rock and roll....

JesusLover said...

God invented rock music. Herschel and Sonny are God-hating Satanists! God hates them and damns them! Do not listen to their evil lies! YOU, HERSCHEL AND SONNY, WILL GO TO HELL!!!!

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