Guest Blog

Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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Guest Blog: Top Vinyl Hidden Messages

[Another guest blog from Jason Kane. – AC]

Top Vinyl Hidden Messages

Playing a vinyl record in reverse was a common past time of music listeners until cassette tapes phased the technology out. While some artists claim that their hidden messages were coincidental or misheard, others purposely added them in for fans to find.

Computer software is able to digitally reverse modern music so that new material is constantly being discovered, but the top vinyl hidden messages are memorable classics for coming out in a time of controversy.
“Paul is a dead man”

I’m So Tired by The Beatles

A major rumor spread in 1969 pertaining to Paul McCartney being deceased and replaced by a similar looking man. Feeding the theories, hidden messages about the cover-up were placed into their tracks.

On their self-titled album, also referred to as The White Album, John Lennon and Yoko Ono are heard mumbling at the end of a track. If the record is reversed, they can be heard saying “Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him!”
“Your mother sells whelks in Hull”

Bloodbath in Paradise by Ozzy Osbourne 

The metal artist faced numerous lawsuits with the release of the Blizzard of Ozz, featuring a tracked titled “Suicide Solution”. Three separate families filed charges claiming Osbourne’s lyrics compelled their children to commit suicide.

All of the cases were dismissed after the court examined the evidence, but this did not stop the artist from adding a real subliminal message on the album “No Rest For the Wicked”. The line “Your mother sells whelks in hull” is a parody of a famous quote from The Exorcist movie.
“There was a tool shed, where he made us suffer”

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

One of the oldest instances of messages hidden in vinyl reversing came from the track “Stairway To Heaven” from the album “Led Zeppelin IV”. A television host claimed the song made reference to Satan, starting a trend of playing records backwards in search of treasure.

Led Zeppelin did their best to avoid acknowledging any messages, but singer Robert Plant spoke up about his frustrations in an interview with Musician magazine. The band has never wavered from maintaining they do not take part in adding secret messages to their music.
“You’re playing the record backwards”

Detour Thru Your Mind by The B-52’s

In a track from the Bouncing off the Satellites album, Fred Schneider has a mumbled psychedelic speaking part that was easily overlooked by most people. It turns out, the vocal band added in a line to purposely address the controversy surrounding hidden messages.
“It’s fun to smoke marijuana”

Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

The popular rock song faced scrutiny from a group of Christian evangelists, enraged over the band’s alleged pro-marijuana stance hidden inside a track. A spokesperson denied that the song contained any hidden message at all.

Although the band was actively touring during the years that recreational drugs were a major part of the rock star lifestyle, they had never gone on record glorifying it in any way.

 

Jason Kane has listened to all these hidden messages on his Rega RP8 turntable that he bought from SoundStage Direct, his go-to place for all turntables and vinyl equipment.  




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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