Music Reversals

Backward messages in music (commonly known as Backward Masking) have been a controversy ever since the late 60s, when messages were found backwards on some Beatles' albums that hinted Paul McCartney had died. The controversy raged extensively in the late 70s and early 80s when religious fundamentalists claimed that Satan possessed the minds of singers, causing them to insert messages backwards into albums. As we now know, many of these backward messages were in fact examples of Reverse Speech in music. Speech reversals occur naturally in all forms of speech, sung or spoken. This site lists some examples of Reverse Speech in music.

[Play Stream] [Download File] Backward Masking: First of all, some examples of Backward Masking - a recording studio technique where backward messages are deliberately superimposed on the soundtrack. They can be recognised as gibberish forwards - not to be confused with Reverse Speech which is the natural occurrence of backward messages. The term Backward Masking has been mistakenly given to all forms of backward messages in music whereas in fact there are 2 types - (1) Backward Masking, which is the deliberate insertion of backward messages (2) Reverse Speech, the naturally occurring form of backwards messages, or phonetic reversals.

[Play Stream] [Download File] The Paul is Dead controversy (with audio comment)

The Beatle's song "Help" contains an interesting backward message. This song was recorded at around the time the Beatles began to experiment with drugs. The reversal says. "Now he uses marijuana." There is no superimposed soundtrack and the chorus also sings marijuana in the background - Download mp3 file

John Lennon - How do you sleep - Hey, poor Lindy. So mean, gets him nowhere - Download mp3 file

Here is a reversal on Credence Clearwater Revival found by RS hobbyist, Tony Feo. It says, "I believe in my cool woman." Download mp3 file

Another Credence reversal, "Hear woman, hear woman, I will keep on the path." - Download mp3 file

Ringo Starr - Honey Dont - My God is so stubborn - Download mp3 file

Santana: And I'll remind you to say yes - Download mp3 file

George Harrison: While my guitar gently weeps - Pass the gun now. It kills the love, the love is cold - Download mp3

Paul McCartney: Band On The Run - Marijuana, marijuana. The law, law will banish us (Ironically Paul McCartney was banished from entering Japan again after an ounce of marijuana was found in his luggage in the late 70s - several years after this song was recorded) - Download mp3 file

Roy Orbison - Get out, get out, get out people - Download mp3 file

Mariah Cary - Yes I am a woman now

Spice Girls - Was I easy, have fun

Celine Dion - We are lovers but we close tomorrow

Marilyn Munroe.
He'll come out, full of magic
Ooo, all around me there

Elvis Presley
I love you mother
They know I'm sick
Wanna serve that, the messenger

Judy Garland
After all you're a woman
Be remembered forever
Oooo, you allowed someone

Eric Clapton - Cocaine - I'm so wicked - Download mp3 file

Sting - He scared me hidden. Hear me please - Download mp3 file

Santana - I Love Satan within - Download mp3 file

Cheap Trick - "Gonna Raise Hell" - Satan holds the keys to the lock - Download mp3 file

Deep Purple - Black Knight - Oh demon thats leading from hell, we believe - Download mp3 file

This is an interesting little jingle put out by the BBC in the early 20s when radio was first introduced. Some people thought back then that radio was satanic and you could get possessed by listening to it. Sound familiar? The speech reversal says, "This is not a noose. No, its really not." Or, radio won't hurt you." Download mp3

The Carpenters: "That's not the way and video sends the message" - Download mp3 file

Frank Zappa: Nanook Rubs It. The reversal says: There's no-one except the sheik that remembered we had the mumps - Download mp3 file

George Harrison - Here comes the sun - He needs this mystery gal - Download mp3 file

The following example comes from the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar. The reversal says, "He's the saviour, loves me, he's the one." - Download mp3 file

Melissa Etheridge - Its the end for me. Can't leave me - Download mp3 file

Shades of Chaos - Warthorn - And I give my soul for you and this is our result - Download mp3 file

Several years ago, the rock group, Judas Priest, were sued because their records supposedly contained backward messages. Here is one of the reversals. The forward, played first, says "Beyond the Realms Of Death". The speech reversal is clearer than the forwards and it says: I took my life. - Download mp3 file

Another One Bites The Dust by Queen. This song is well known is Backmasking circles. It contains two naturally occurring speech reversals that say, "Decide to smoke marijuana," and "Give some acid." However, some people say the reversal says, "Its fun to smoke marijuana." What do you think? - Download mp3 file

Britney Spears - From her first song, "One more time" - Ah, see me. I'm not too young - some people hear this reversal as "Sleep with me, I'm not too young" - Download mp3 file (A recent analysis of this song by the 2004 Adelaide RS training class concluded that the phrase actually says "Slee me" with no "p" and as such should not be documented, only "I'm not too young")

Rolling Stones - I love you, said the devil - Download mp3 file

AC/DC - Night Prowler - Oo, Listen to me, I'm from hell (gibberish) I'm the Lord Lucifer. White Owl yesterday - Download mp3 file

Iron Maiden - "Still life" - The man of evil is there - Download mp3 file

Captain and Tenile - Oh, I need some man to fuck back - Download mp3 file (Found by RS Investigator, Jerry Hirsch)

The Ballad of the Reuben James - Click here to download whole song - reversal one - Torpedoed their ship - Download mp3 file - reversal two - They're heroes god dammit - Download mp3 file (Found by RS Investigator, Jerry Hirsch) - reversal three - yeah, they're all there to win - Download mp3 file

(Jerrys Comments on these reversals: For those not familiar with the story of the "Rueben James", this is the official Naval account of the ship. In March 1941, REUBEN JAMES joined the convoy escort force established to promote the safe arrival of war material to Britain. This escort force guarded convoys as far as Iceland, where they became responsibility of British escorts. Based at Hvalfjordur, Iceland, she sailed from Argentina, Newfoundland, 23 October 1941, with four other destroyers to escort eastbound convoy HX-156. The ship had postured herself between an ammunition ship in the convoy and the known position of a German U-Boat Wolfpack. While escorting that convoy at about 0525, 31 October 1941, REUBEN JAMES was torpedoed by German submarine U-562. Her magazine exploded and the ship sank quickly. REUBEN JAMES was the first U.S. Navy ship sunk by hostile action in World War II. Only 44 men of the 144 man crew survived.)

Mary Poppins soundtrack - Drinking all night long - Download mp3 file

Popeye Theme Song - Give me a fuck. Give me a fuck now - Download mp3 file

The Eagles - Hotel California - A well known example - Yeah Satan (gibb) organised his own religion - Download mp3 file

Larry Norman - Wolf in white van - Download mp3 file

Found by RS Student Tim Cham "You're a rock star": "Now worship it because I'm a (gibb) pioneer" - Download mp3 file

Found by RS Student Tim Cham Music "Only a shooting star" Woman give party - Download mp3 file

Here is one from Styx that was allegedly said to say backwards, "Satan, move in our voice." This piece was used extensively by the fundamentalist Christians in their argument that back masking was the work of the devil - Download mp3 file

Alanis Morisset - High in LA - Download mp3 file

Jeff Buckley - "Witches Rave"  - Oh hear me well, this I fear - Download mp3

Toni Braxton, Man Enough - Your man's a genius - Download mp3 file

From RS Student, Joan Allen - Abba: Bring me one. Give me one - Download mp3 file

Found by RS student, Jeff Taft on the song "Thinking of you" by Lenny Kravitz - Still missing mom. We'll be missing you - Download mp3 file

Sent in by Brian Jones From "We will rock you" by Queen - Bring us here to put on ash - Download mp3 file

Cool Reversal! Found by RS hobbyist Matt Miller. From the song Chevy Van by Sammy Johns - "High school was more than I really....needed" - Download mp3 file

Many celebrities have already gone through alcohol and drug rehab programs, with some of them working out, and some of them suffering a relapse as soon as they check out.

Stairway to Heaven

If there was a top 40 of backmasked songs, then "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin would be at the top. This song contains many backward messages. Here is one of them that occurs right at the very end of the song.. It says: "Play backwards. Hear words sung." - Download mp3 file

However, by far the most controversial backward messages on the song can be found in the following soundtrack. They say backwards: "Its my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad whose power is fake (indeterminate gibberish - some people claim this says, He gives you 666) There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan." - Download mp3 file

A complete analysis of the reversals in this song and their meanings can be found in this extract: Stairway to Where? from the book, "Reverse Speech: Voices From The Unconscious." This book contains an extensive and historical analysis of many other reversals and backward messages in music. To purchase a copy of this book go to the Products Section of this website.


YouTube video of music reversals




YouTube video of Popeye the Sailor man


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David John Oates
Founder and Developer of Reverse Speech Technologies
PO Box 678, Noarlunga Centre, SA 5168. Australia
phone: 08 83824372 - international: 61 8 83824372

Reverse Speech TM is a trademark owned by David John Oates.
All contents of the web site is Copyright 2001 by David John Oates