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Old Jun 13, 2005, 01:04 PM   #1
Wavertree
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Default Can You Take Me Back?

There is a short, largely acoustic one-verse song that Paul sings before "Revolution No. 9" that isn't listed among the 'White Album's' songs: "Can you take me back where I've been to? Can you take me back?..." I think that most of you know the tune I'm talking about.

In his book Beatlesongs, William Dowlding regards the song as an orphan, a lost track among the album's other songs, and he doesn't consider it with the Beatles' other offerings.

However, I have always regarded the tune as a part of "Revolution No. 9," which, after all, is credited to both John and Paul (though this co-crediting was often a mere formality on some of their later songs). I think that this highly hummable little ditty was part of the crowd-pleaser Paul's efforts to ease the album's listeners into John's less audience-friendly, Stockhausen-style collage of found-sound fragments. Paul's tune also sets the stage for John's bewildering soundscape to be thought of as a reverie, thus giving "Revolution No. 9" a kind of aural "narrative" that the rest of the track doesn't really encourage.

What do the rest of you think? Is "Can You Take Me Back?" a part of "Revolution No. 9," a separate entity (to the extent that both tracks appear in tandem on the same album), or something entirely different?

***

What's a "Stockhausen"? The name refers to contemporary German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who pioneered and specialized in found-sound collages, of which "Revolution No. 9" is an example. I haven't heard many of Stockhausen's found-sound "compositions," but John's "Revolution No. 9" beats the pants off the ones that I have heard.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 01:08 PM   #2
Zimmerman The Gnome
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I don't consider it part of Revolution 9. I think they just had it lying around and decided to throw it in, and that's the way is comes across the the record to me.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 02:01 PM   #3
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Like 'Her Majesty', I reckon they just threw it in as an unexpected treat for the listeners.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 02:20 PM   #4
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I've actually always thought it was part of Cry Baby Cry but who knows for sure. I love it though. It's so spooky and mysterious just like the rest of the white album.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 03:38 PM   #5
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Yea I always considered it part of Cry Baby Cry too. since Its part of the track,and when its played Revolution 9 starts at 0:00, at the first piano notes and the first "Number 9". Its like a bonus song on the white album. It sure is catchy though. I often hum it in me head.
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 04:59 PM   #6
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I also thought it was the end of Cry Baby Cry. Anyway, it is a nice ending for it!!!!!!1 Really great!
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 08:56 PM   #7
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"Can You Take Me Back" is really a song into itself. It is actually much longer than the snippet heard on The Beatles; Lewisohn writes that it's 2:21, and 1:54 is currently in circulation. It can be found among the various releases of the John Barrett tapes, and another release entited Down In Havana (a longer version). This improvisation came from take 19 of "I Will".

I think it just serves as a creepy, yet effective bridge from "Cry Baby Cry" to "Revolution 9".
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Old Jun 13, 2005, 09:39 PM   #8
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I've heard that it was recorded when Paul was doing 'I Will', and it's from that.
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Old Jun 14, 2005, 03:04 AM   #9
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Just like the Let it be session, I thinked its another way of entertaining themselves. We all know that a recording session lasted for so many hours.
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Old Aug 25, 2005, 07:25 PM   #10
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It's a little improvisation Paul started to play during the sessions for "I Will". Apparently, they were doing a lot of takes for it and it started to become a little boring, so he began to improvise a little between takes.

Anyway, during the sessions for The Beatles [White Album] a few tapes were made of random chatter and outtakes. This little song by Paul was on one of the tapes. It was originally over 2 minutes long, but only about 20-30 seconds were added to the record. I have a feeling that John took this to randomly splice onto the album to go before "Revolution 9" before the album was released.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 10:58 AM   #11
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It's a very creepy bit of throwaway music--I never liked it, always left it out whenever I recorded the White Album onto a tape. I would fade out "Cry Baby Cry" immediately when it ended--and I'd leave out "Revolution #9" altogether.
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 11:09 AM   #12
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reminds me of some of the nice ditties he recorded on "mccartney".
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Old Aug 26, 2005, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt5
I've actually always thought it was part of Cry Baby Cry but who knows for sure. I love it though. It's so spooky and mysterious just like the rest of the white album.
I have heard 'Can you take me back' refers to someone who is trying to return from an LSD trip...at least that was a rumor going around back when the White Album first came out.
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Old Jul 26, 2007, 06:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattiboyd's slave
I have heard 'Can you take me back' refers to someone who is trying to return from an LSD trip...at least that was a rumor going around back when the White Album first came out.
Yeah that's a nice little number.
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 04:07 AM   #15
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I love "Can You Take Me Back" and the longer version is quite nice. As a kid, (on vinyl, mind you, so I am not considering where CD tracks begin and end), I thought of it as part of "Cry Baby Cry," I guess because I think there's an affinity of mood there. I guess it could be about LSD, but really it could be about a a desire to go back where you belong—a McCartney obsession in that period. Consider "Get Back" and "Two of Us," for example.
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 06:57 AM   #16
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I just did a search for the song in my MP3 directory.

The first hit is on the Doc Ebbetts needle drop of the MFSL version of the White Album. The Doc actually broke this out as a separate track, :28 seconds long. And yes, I have never noticed this before. I have many other versions of the White Album (including several other Dr Ebbetts needle drops) and none of them have it as a separate track.

Next is the Down in Havanna version, which is 1:10, but it ends abruptly. Then there is the version on Turn Me On Deadman which is 1:17. This is a better mix and ends less abruptly. The best version is on South Seas Ups and Adds 5. This version is 1:56 and seems to be a complete song with no abrupt ending.
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 10:42 AM   #17
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The source of "Can You Take Me Back" must be John Barrett tapes. He who possesses the complete Barrett material has made it available piecemeal only to cash bootleggers.
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Old Jul 28, 2007, 12:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMBOISVERT
I love "Can You Take Me Back" and the longer version is quite nice. As a kid, (on vinyl, mind you, so I am not considering where CD tracks begin and end), I thought of it as part of "Cry Baby Cry," I guess because I think there's an affinity of mood there. I guess it could be about LSD, but really it could be about a a desire to go back where you belong—a McCartney obsession in that period. Consider "Get Back" and "Two of Us," for example.
Yes that is a good point. That separation has to occur somehow somewhere someplace, at least that's how it worked for me. But it's not there.
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Old Nov 27, 2015, 07:57 AM   #19
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A local radio station that once a year plays A-Z of Tthe Beatles has it with Cry Baby Cry
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