Into The Microcosm – Jimmy Gene w Rockin Rio >>

EPISODE #99

AIRED: 09-29-2018

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Backmasking is a deliberate process, whereas a message found through phonetic reversal may be unintentional.

Backmasking was popularised by The Beatles, who used backward instrumentation on their 1966 album Revolver.[1] Artists have since used backmasking for artistic, comedic and satiric effect, on both analogue and digital recordings. The technique has also been used to censor words or phrases for “clean” releases of explicit songs.

In 1969, rumors of a backmasked message in the Beatles song “Revolution 9” sparked the Paul is dead urban legend.[2] In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Christian groups in the United States alleged that backmasking was being used by prominent rock musicians for Satanic purposes, leading to record-burning protests and proposed anti-backmasking legislation by state and federal governments.[3]

Many popular musicians have since been accused of including backmasked messages in their music. However, apparent backmasked messages may in fact be examples of pareidolia – the brain’s tendency to recognize patterns in meaningless data – or coincidental phonetic reversal.[2]

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