Saturday, 21 March 2015

Backwards masking

“Oh, here's to my sweet Satan.
The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.
He'll give those with him 666.
There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.”

Last night I found myself in an old rock bar, and as I was looking around at all of the rock paraphernalia on the walls I noticed a picture of Robert Plant, you know, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, with his shirt open, holding a dove.

It made me remember back when I was younger, how much it used to creep me out whenever I heard that audio file of “Stairway to heaven” in reverse.

So here we go, this one’s an oldie but a goodie:

The case of my sweet Satan:

At the time, the record label (Swan Song Records) dismissed the claims, with audio engineer, Eddie Kramer, calling the allegations "totally and utterly ridiculous.” Adding “why would they want to spend so much studio time doing something so dumb?"

Plant himself denied any deliberate intention of backward masking the track, saying "To me it's very sad, because 'Stairway to Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music."

He was quoted in a rolling stone interview as commenting "Who on Earth would have ever thought of doing that?

For a band that was rumored to have made a deal with the devil, lived in British philosopher and occultist Aleister Crowley’s Loch Ness mansion, and allegedly inserted a mud shark into a fans, ehem, nether regions, it doesn’t seem completely ridiculous that they’d attempt to cleverly insert something spooky into a song.

Team that with the fact that Plant, apparently, wrote the lyrics faster than any other song he’s written, almost with an automatic writing process.

Page claimed that "a huge percentage of the lyrics were written there and then"

Plant was also quoted as saying: “My hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady is sure, all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven'. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat."

Zeppelin weren’t the only bands and artists to be accused of, or deliberately sneaking reversed messages into their tracks.
For your convenience, HERE is a link to a Wikipedia list of many known examples.

So what do you think about hidden messages in music?
Is Rock and Roll really the Devils work? Is Plant a puppet for the dude down stairs? Or do we all have too much time on our idle hands?

Regardless of our conclusions on this one, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to go searching for hidden messages in records, after all, it never did Charles Manson any favors.
But that’s a bed time story for another day kids.

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