Monday, November 26, 2012

POS: Backmasking and Reverse Speech in Music

Backward messaging in music (commonly known as backmasking) has been a controversy ever since the late 1960s, when messages were found backwards on some Beatles' albums, hinting that Paul McCartney had died. Some of these subliminal messages have been identified as purposeful while some are apparently inadvertent. Some believe that 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. Explore some of the links and sites regarding this subject and offer your opinion on at least 10 specific examples. Do you buy into the theory of Reverse Speech or is it all a bunch of hogwash?



THE THEORY OF REVERSE SPEECH AND SPEECH COMPLEMENTARITY:

(1) Human speech has two distinctive yet complementary functions and modes. The Overt mode is spoken forwards and is primarily under conscious control. The Covert mode is spoken backward and is not under conscious control. The backward mode of speech occurs simultaneously with the forward mode and is a reversal of the forward speech sounds.

(2) These two modes of speech, forward and backward, are dependent upon each other and form an integral part of human communication. One mode cannot be fully understood without the other mode. In the dynamics of interpersonal communication, both modes of speech combined communicate the total psyche of the person, conscious as well as unconscious.

(3) Covert speech develops before overt speech. Children speak backwards before they do forwards. Then, as forward speech commences, the two modes of speech gradually combine into one, forming an overall bi-level communication process.

List of Backmasked/Reverse Speech Songs

Jeff Milner's Site

Reverse Speech Site

Click here to hear a well known sample of backmasking from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". This audio file will play both forward (original context) and backward (backmasking revealed).

Post a reflection that a) discusses your opinion of backmasking and reverse speech, b) assesses the validity of the examples you experienced. I expect direct, specific references to songs, artists and lyrics. Be sure to demonstrate the level of your investigation by being precise and thorough. (3-5 paragraphs)

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Back masking and reverse speech as a whole is an interesting but frivolous feature of music. While it is sort of neat it is incredibly pointless due to its difficulty to find. It is illogical that people would listen to their music backwards and that they would actively be looking for such a thing. It is also the source of lame controversies and has in the past created meaningless hysteria. It is also just another excuse for conservative groups to accuse musicians of being aligned with evil supernatural forces, which in turn is just ridiculous.
Some songs in truth do intentionally hide messages backwards in their music. Some are clearer than others however such as “Fire on high” by ELO which when played forward is a very eerie indistinguishable series of mumbles and groans. When this is reversed however, it creates a clear message which is even creepier than when it is played forward as the signer states that “the music is reversible but time is not, turn back, turn back, TURN BACK!”. This is clear as day and obviously done on purpose.
A more modern example of back masking would be in Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. It is not quite as clear as ELO’s, but is still easily distinguishable. The lyrics backwards state “Evil save us! These stars above, above…we model it on the art of Lucifer”. This frankly disturbing message might take a couple of tries to hear, but when it is distinguished it is spine-chillingly clear. The apparent affiliation Lady Gaga has with Lucifer is kind of amusing to think of actually and is sort of a nice little bit of trivia. The lyrics backwards are even in a sort of structure similar to that of a song with a bit of imagery symbolism and repetition typical of modern music adding to the validity of this case.
Some examples however, are just plain ludicrous to think of. One such example is the chorus of the Pokémon Theme song. Apparently it is supposed to be shouting “I love Satan!” repeatedly however it is barely audible. It is likely the mistake of paranoia and wishful thinking. Pokémon for one reason or another has been attacked by various religious and conservative groups as a subtle plot to corrupt children’s minds because of the “Pocket Monsters” or Pokémon being drawn to children and commanded by them. The theme of animal violence and strange beings has been the subject of ridiculous conspiracy for ages. It is, however, simply a television show based on a very popular role-playing game series made by a very famous Japanese video game company and nothing more. This is simply just a case of people trying to make up excuses to attack the franchise.
Probably one of the most famous controversial back masks is from the song “I’m so Tired…” by the Beatles. During the time period when it was new there was controversy over something heard in one part of the song when played backwards. It states “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him”. This however is severely incoherent. There is no way this could be anything more than convenient circumstance and the theories it sparked about Paul McCartney being dead were all incredibly silly. The message is just far too garbled up to be intentional. Regardless of it being indistinguishable at first it was probably just a stylistic choice due to the song being called “I’m so Tired…” after all. In the end this is not a very good example of the matter.
All around bask masking is a strange experiment in music. It just seems to be a random little trinket in the realm of music where artists, whether they want to or not chuck into their music. It has been a spark of controversy and false accusations but also of interesting little jokes thrown into the mix. In the end however it’s just a waste of time and after all “the music is reversible but time is not”, so do not waste it.
Seth killingbeck

Allison Brooks said...

Allison Brooks
Backmasking reversed speech
Examples of backmasking and reversed speech can be found in many different songs but whether or not the messages are real or a coincidence is based on the opinion of the listener. Personally, I believe backmasking is sometimes put inside songs on purpose. Reversed speech, on the other hand, I’m not sure about. I think that people think they are hearing something when they really aren’t.
One of the songs I listened to was “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd. This song uses intentional backmasking. During the song, there are some random sounds and a soft voice. If that part is played backwards, you can very obviously hear the voice say “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont (Roger, Caroline is on the phone).” Clearly, they meant to put a message into this song because it says so in the message.
Another song, “Stairway to Heaven” is a little harder to hear. When a part of this song is played backwards, it reveals a satanic message saying “'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.” Because of the fact that it is harder to hear, one could say there is no message there. But, the lyrics that give this message are strangely written. This could imply that they meant to put the phrase in there and used different words to create it.

Allison Brooks said...

Allison Brooks
Backmasking reversed speech
Examples of backmasking and reversed speech can be found in many different songs but whether or not the messages are real or a coincidence is based on the opinion of the listener. Personally, I believe backmasking is sometimes put inside songs on purpose. Reversed speech, on the other hand, I’m not sure about. I think that people think they are hearing something when they really aren’t.
One of the songs I listened to was “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd. This song uses intentional backmasking. During the song, there are some random sounds and a soft voice. If that part is played backwards, you can very obviously hear the voice say “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont (Roger, Caroline is on the phone).” Clearly, they meant to put a message into this song because it says so in the message.
Another song, “Stairway to Heaven” is a little harder to hear. When a part of this song is played backwards, it reveals a satanic message saying “'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.” Because of the fact that it is harder to hear, one could say there is no message there. But, the lyrics that give this message are strangely written. This could imply that they meant to put the phrase in there and used different words to create it.

Levi Kahn said...

Levi Kahn
11/27/12
Backmasking and Reverse Speech
a) In my opinion, backmasking and reverse speech are unnecessary and do not provide any useful artistic benefits to music. Having satanic messages playing backwards in music does not make the music any more insightful or pleasing to listen to. The interesting element of discovering a backmasked track is one reason to include it in a song, but seems unnecessary because it does not contribute anything else to the music. Reverse speech is also interesting when applied in a clear, understandable manner, but does not serve any real purpose in the music or the meaning on the song.

b) In Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, there is a clear, purposeful example of reverse speech. The lyrics when played forward are confusing and unusual, which gives the audience a clue that the band may have been trying to contain backwards messages in the song. When played backwards, the lyrics clearly sound like a creepy message directed at Satan. This song has the clearest message of reverse speech; all of the others were unclear and did not show much proof that the band even included the backwards “message” on purpose. Although there is no real meaning to the lyrics played forwards or backwards, besides a forced, creepy message to Satan, Led Zeppelin went out of their way to include reverse speech in their classic song, Stairway to Heaven.

In Another One Bites the Dust, by Queen, there is a message hidden in reverse speech in the title line of the song. Played forwards, the title line seems to be an unusual metaphor for another enemy or competitor being taken down or killed. Played backwards, there is a clear message that is directed to the audience telling them “I love to smoke marijuana.” Whether this was an attempt at a joke by the band, or whether they were trying to encourage their audience to do the same, Queen snuck in a drug reference in the title line of their famous hit song, Another One Bites the Dust.

Ashley Boulos said...

Ashley Boulos
November 29, 2012
Poetry of Song A

Backmasking

Artists utilize backmasking in order to create a message that can only be heard within their song when the listener plays the record backwards. It is an intentional action that creates a mystery inside the songs when the lyrics that are normally in the song are reversed and sound like something else. Although backmasking is known as intentional, many people find it controversial. They feel that the words they hear when they play the record backwards were not placed there on purpose. They think that it more than likely happened by accident. There are millions of songs out there where artists have done this technique, but only a few examples really exemplify it clearly to me.

One prime example of backmasking is the songs “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd. The line in the song where the backmasking is contained when listened to forward is completely undistinguishable. Nobody understood what is was saying when listened to forward, but when you reverse this song it clearly states something that makes it such a good example of backmasking. The song when reversed says “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont”, making it obvious that this was placed there in the song on purpose as a challenge for their fans to find it. Another example of obvious backmasking is in “I’m So Tired” by The Beatles. This song, similar to the other one when played forward is impossible to know what it is saying. On the other hand when played backwards the song states “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him” giving clear evidence that this in fact is backmasking. This example is especially clear because after the rumor of the death of Paul, a member of The Beatles, there had been continuous clues hinting towards the fact that Paul was in actuality dead and that it was not just a rumor, making this line in the song a huge clue to support this. This clue corresponded with the other clues that The Beatles had also been planting on album covers and in other lyrics.

Although there are major, very clear examples of backmasking in these famous songs there are also songs that contain backmasking that is not so clear. An example of this is the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. This song when played forward states one of the most popular lines in the song “imagine all the people”, but when listened to backwards people seem to find a sentence that says “The people war beside me”. I feel that this is not a prime example of backmasking because when listened to forward it makes clear sense and that being the name of the song and the most important line of the songs it doesn’t seem like Lennon would intentionally try to make it say something else backwards. Another reason why I don’t think it is intentional backmasking is because it doesn’t exactly make sense backward. “The people war beside me” is not structured in a way that a normal sentence would be and it doesn’t make sense to the listener. Also, in order to hear the so called backmasked line you have to listen very carefully. If that line in the song was not pointed out to me I would have never heard “the people war beside me” within that line. It would have just sounded very hard to distinguish words. While I agree that the first two songs I talked about are intentional backmasking, I don’t feel this song supports the definition of backmasking as well as the other two. Overall, because backmasking is a controversial topic, all three of these songs could go either way. People all over the world when listening to these songs will have different opinions, and unless the artist reveals whether or not it is true these songs will continue to be a controversial topic between all of the people who have heard it.

Taylor P. said...

Taylor Portanova
Reverse speech is a device in music that is always coincidental; nothing in the recording studio is preformed to alter the song as it is played backwards. Reverse speech is not done on purpose which is why it can sometimes be hard to understand. It was first advocated by David John Oates when he introduces it on an AM radio talk show. People then started to play their music backwards and listen for hidden messages.
An example of reverse speech is the song “Hit me Baby One More Time” by Brittany Spears. The reason it is reverse speech is because when I is played forward she sings “when I’m with you I lose my mind, give me a sign”. She is blatantly pronouncing the words within that line during the song. Played backward the song has been proven to say “sleep with me I’m not too young”. Listening to the song I have proven it to be true reverse speech for when it is played backwards it is somewhat hard to understand and it doesn’t flow very well. If it were done on purpose it would be much easier to understand and far more fluent.
Back masking is a form of speech within music where the artist records something forwards so that there is also a saying when it is played backwards. This is a deliberate process where when the music is played forwards it isn’t always understood due to the need for the back masking. It isn’t always something meaningful said in the version played backwards; it could just be something to get the listeners intrigued.
One crystal clear example of back masking that I found online comes from within the song “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd. When the song was played forward all you can hear is gibberish. However, when the song is played backwards there is a voice softly and calmly stating “Congratulations, you have just discovered the secret message”. This example is perfect for back masking because it blatantly addresses the subject of a secret message being discovered when the song is being played backwards.
When listening to the songs provided I also found an obvious example of back masking, it comes from the song “I’m so Tired” by the Beatles. Again when played forwards there is nothing but indistinguishable mutters with no correlation to the song. Although, when the song is played backwards there is a very bold statement revealed. There is a voice soothingly saying “Paul is dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him”. I do believe this was done purposefully to feed into the conspiracy theory of Paul McCartney having died in 1969.
These songs are all true examples of reverse speech and back masking in the music industry for various reasons. Some messages seemed to be all by coincidence, and some to gain publicity, or feed into a social media rumor. True or on the artists succeed by gaining their fans attention, and even some people who aren’t true fans, to do more research on their songs and the true meaning within.


Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller PART ONE
Regarding both backmasking and reverse speech, I do not believe that reverse speech actually occurs. Backmasking is the act of putting messages into one’s speech, and is entirely deliberate, where as reverse speech is the theory that the spoken language has a complete and opposite language when spoken backwards. I do not believe that reverse speech is a legitimate theory, because if it was, it would be present in every single song and piece of spoken language, rather than just in a select few. Following suit, if there was a complete language that occurs when the spoken word is played in reverse, then there should be an entire language with messages varying in content, rather than being almost entirely of dark hidden messages and references to illegal substances and satanic worship. Every song would contain reverse speech, rather than a select few. I believe that the examples of supposed reverse speech are actually instances of backmasking, as they are deliberate instances of hidden messages, rather than an actual language that occurs coincidentally.
There are numerous instances of backmasking present in songs played in reverse, but no instances of true reverse speech. Deliberate instances occur in Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” where when the song is played in reverse, the message of “congratulations. You’ve just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink.” Pink Floyd purposely inserted a secret message into their song congratulating listeners on finding it, proving that this is a deliberate example, and thus backmasking. Following suit, the majority of instances of supposed reverse speech has to do with satanic worship, regardless that the lyrics played in the correct way are entirely different. If there was a true reverse language, then there should be different messages as the intentional lyrics differ. For instance, the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven” are entirely different than the lyrics of “Beat It” and “Hotel California,” yet they all have satanic hidden meanings. Within “Stairway to Heaven,” the reverse lyrics are “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,” the reverse lyrics for “Hotel California” by the Eagles is “Satan he hear this. He had me believe in him,” and the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” are “I believe it was Satan in me.” Regardless that all of these songs were constructed with entirely different meanings and told different stories with different words, they all still have to do with satanic worship when played in reverse. I believe that these are intentional, and therefore are backmasking.

Taylor P. said...

Taylor Portanova
Reverse speech is a device in music that is always coincidental; nothing in the recording studio is preformed to alter the song as it is played backwards. Reverse speech is not done on purpose which is why it can sometimes be hard to understand. It was first advocated by David John Oates when he introduces it on an AM radio talk show. People then started to play their music backwards and listen for hidden messages.
An example of reverse speech is the song “Hit me Baby One More Time” by Brittany Spears. The reason it is reverse speech is because when I is played forward she sings “when I’m with you I lose my mind, give me a sign”. She is blatantly pronouncing the words within that line during the song. Played backward the song has been proven to say “sleep with me I’m not too young”. Listening to the song I have proven it to be true reverse speech for when it is played backwards it is somewhat hard to understand and it doesn’t flow very well. If it were done on purpose it would be much easier to understand and far more fluent.
Back masking is a form of speech within music where the artist records something forwards so that there is also a saying when it is played backwards. This is a deliberate process where when the music is played forwards it isn’t always understood due to the need for the back masking. It isn’t always something meaningful said in the version played backwards; it could just be something to get the listeners intrigued.
One crystal clear example of back masking that I found online comes from within the song “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd. When the song was played forward all you can hear is gibberish. However, when the song is played backwards there is a voice softly and calmly stating “Congratulations, you have just discovered the secret message”. This example is perfect for back masking because it blatantly addresses the subject of a secret message being discovered when the song is being played backwards.
When listening to the songs provided I also found an obvious example of back masking, it comes from the song “I’m so Tired” by the Beatles. Again when played forwards there is nothing but indistinguishable mutters with no correlation to the song. Although, when the song is played backwards there is a very bold statement revealed. There is a voice soothingly saying “Paul is dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him”. I do believe this was done purposefully to feed into the conspiracy theory of Paul McCartney having died in 1969.
These songs are all true examples of reverse speech and back masking in the music industry for various reasons. Some messages seemed to be all by coincidence, and some to gain publicity, or feed into a social media rumor. True or on the artists succeed by gaining their fans attention, and even some people who aren’t true fans, to do more research on their songs and the true meaning within.


Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller Part 2
If there truly was reverse speech, then every song would have a different meaning when played backwards, not a select few having backwards messages all relating top satanic worship.
Due to the lack of variety within these supposed reverse speech songs, and the fact that not every single song has a different meaning when played backwards, I do not believe that reverse speech is real. All of these songs with claimed reverse speech are intentional, as they have entirely different meanings and words when played forwards, but the same messages when played in reverse. If they were true instances of reverse speech, then there would be different meanings to follow along with the differences of meanings in the songs. They would not all be about satanic worship, as reverse speech claims that every language has a separate meaning when played in reverse, and each of these songs use varying word choice and entirely different forwards meanings, yet have the same meaning when played backwards. Reverse speech should change in meaning from song to song depending on the forwards speech, and as this does not occur, reverse speech is not true. I believe that all supposed instances of reverse speech are actually backmasking, as this the deliberate insertion of hidden messages in songs, and each instance of “reverse speech” is truly deliberate, and therefore they are backmasking. Due to the lack of variety in backwards meanings regardless of the forwards speech, I believe that reverse speech is merely a theory that holds no truth or merit.

Anthony Hallgren said...

Often time’s artists will use deliberate methods to get a message across whether it is allusions to works of literature or characterization about a certain person to make it obvious who the song is about. But one of the more controversial topics is artists’ use of backmasking and reverse speech in their songs. The Beatles are often credited with being the first musicians to use backmasking on their 1966 album Revolver and was popularized during the 1980’s when Christian groups began claiming there were satanic messages hidden in various rock n roll songs; which was followed up by burning records in protest and going to Congress to have anti-backmasking laws passed. Artists use the method of backmasking in order to create an artistic, comedic, or sarcastic effect in order to intrigue the listener and create controversy.
Artistic use of backmasking may be the most uncommon kind of backmasking but many high profile artists have used this method. A prime example of artistic backmasking is the Beatles in their song, “Rain”. During what is normally heard as gibberish, when it is played backwards you hear, "...the sun shines. Raaain. When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads". The Beatles’ use of backmasking in the song “Rain” gets across a message that has direct correlation with the song as both have the symbolic motif of rain. Another example of artistic backmasking is used by the band Chiodos, when singer Craig Owens at the start of the song whispers, "How does it feel to know that you've taken someone's smile?" which can be taken as a stab at a former lover or just a bad person in general. Lastly, rapper Tech-N9ne uses artistic backmasking in almost a spiritual and self-reflecting way in his song, “Absolute Power” stating:
"I've traveled many roads and seen many things in search of fortune and fame. All my dreams died no matter how hard I tried so nothing but unhappiness remains. So now I sit with this pen in my hand, itching to produce and perform. Waiting to rule with absolute power, I love these calm little moments before the storm."
Although not the most common form, artistic use of backmasking can be found in various songs by a variety of different artists.

Anthony Hallgren said...

One of the more common uses of backmasking artist’s use is with the help of sarcasm. Most sarcastic backmasking has to do with poking fun at the various religious groups claiming that there were satanic messages in rock songs, thus the backmasking involving Satan in a sarcastic and comedic tone. In Weird Al’s song “Nature Trail to Hell”, Weird Al delivers one of the most deliberate and comedic attempts at backmasking making the claim that, “Satan eats cheese whiz” which makes sense considering everybody’s had it at least once, unless you’re gluten free. 90’s grunge rockers Soundgarden also poke fun at the satanic messages in songs saying, "Santa, I love you baby. My Christmas king. Santa, you’re my king. I love you, Santa baby. Got what I need,” replacing Satan with a more harmless man in Santa. Lastly, the Bloodhound Gang makes a sarcastic response to satanic baskmasking saying, "Devil child will wake up and eat Chef Boyardee Beefaroni" in which case the devil child knows what the best Chef Boyardee is.
Since first being used by the Beatles in the 1960’s, backmasking in music has become one of the most intriguing and controversial discussions in the music industry today. Whether some are deliberately Satanic or just common coincidences, we will never know unless the artists themselves come out and say if it actually was, but in most cases this will never happen. Artistic use of backmasking can be used to reiterate a point made in the song or to get a deeper message across to listeners who actually tried to see if there was a hidden message. Comedic and sarcastic backmasking is utilized to show just how stupid groups of people can be and to just listen to the music the way it was intended and enjoy.

Twixxxxxxxx said...

This is my entry. http://twixxxxxxxx.blogspot.com/2012/11/subliminal-messaging-back-masking.html

Kayla Geribo said...


Back masking can be found in many songs, mostly in the age of record players where one could play a record backwards and listen for messages, eventually ruining their needle. Songs you find today that can be exemplified as back masking usually have something to do with the illuminati, a group of people that control the music industry, and the world, or something like that; it’s just a conspiracy theory. But songs from 1966 started this whole back masking craze, and the band that started it all was none other than The Beatles. Back masking, defined as a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward on to a track that is meant to be played forward, in my opinion, can be intentional, or just silly people thinking that they can hear something amongst static.
An example of clear back masking would be "Detour Thru Your Mind" by The B-52’s, where Fred Schneider says "I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle." He’s poking fun at the whole back masking situation that all the messages that are being played backwards are satanic phrases, and it’s the devil coming out. Another example would be “Rain” by The Beatles where you can hear "...the sun shines. Raaain. When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads" and John Lennon has acknowledged that it was deliberate so they could “give those Beatles nuts something to do.”
Many songs are not as clear, and might not be put there on intention. For example, in “Run This Town”, it sounds like Kanye West could be saying “I’ll be back if y’all listen…so will Satan” I suppose one could maybe hear it, but ‘Satan’ isn’t clear at all. In Lady Gaga’s song “Paparazzi” it sounds like she could be saying “we model on the arts of Lucifer” and in Rhianna’s song “Russian Roulette” people claim she says “I wanna feel like a little girl for the rest of my life.” These songs are not as clear, and have not been acknowledged by the artist; therefore they can just be what people think they hear. People that put these on the internet also say things like “Most people here already know that Lady Gaga is demonic right?” so I mean, they’re not the most reliable source either…

Anonymous said...

Doug McKeen
Class A
The use of back masking was made mainstream by the Beatles in the 1960s. Other artists use it to either cause controversy or make a listener laugh. Now some people listen to whole records in reverse to find a spot where this technique is used. Reverse speech theory is a hypothesis that when someone hears something said, their unconscious hears it backwards in order to understand it. This theory is doubted by many, but also backed up by dainty scientific facts.
It does not mean the artist worships Satan; they are just poking fun at people who are too stiff. The Bloodhound Gang say in reverse, “Devil child will wake up and eat chef Boyardee Beefaroni”, which is obviously mocking the back masking controversy. Many Christians at the time made a big deal about rock music with hidden satanic messages. Most of the messages were just to make people who overreact angry. The B-52s do the same thing when they back mask “I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle.”
This technique can also be used as a way to promote their music. The Beatles used it in “Revolution 9” to fuel the rumor that Paul was dead. Backwards, it said “Turn me on, dead man” which lacks a reasonable meaning, but mentions a dead man none the less. This was a publicity stunt in order to attract attention to the group’s record. Back masking is another entertainment aspect to add to an album or track. Someone might listen to a song because the back masking made it have a cool hidden aspect. For example, the Eminem song “My Name Is” Played backwards says “Eminem” at the chorus. A listener might enjoy showing that to their friends.
Reverse speech is nothing more than science fiction that was created by a man set on making money. The huge claims are not even close to being supported by the meager scientific evidence. David John Oates, the man who created this theory, sells tapes of “proof” for loads of cash. The left side of the brain has activity when speech occurs, yet Oates claims that reverse speech occurs in the right side of the brain. If this was true, then how come there is no activity in the right side of the brain after speech? Oates also claims that it can unlock hidden memories, tell lies from the truth, show what state the physical body is in, and the persons relationship with god. He might as well add that reverse speech can bring the dead back to life.
Back masking has been used by popular artists for publicity and humor. It is used by some artists to be rebellious and cause controversy, while sometimes it is just an entertaining thing to add. Reverse speech is a theory that was created for commercial reasons. It is an interesting idea, but there is little to no evidence to back it up. Scientists can only not prove the creator wrong because of neuroscience has not advanced far enough yet.

Natasha Merianos said...

Natasha Merianos - (part 1)
Since the 1960’s, there has been a theory that recording artists project subliminal messages through back masking and reverse speech in their songs. Back masking is a recording technique where a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that’s meant to be played forward. A similar technique, known as reverse speech, is a theory of a complete complimentary reverse language. Back masking and reverse speech are both commonly found in music. A subliminal message is a visual or audible message shown in any way that prevents the conscious mind from recognizing them. These messages are usually heard once the song is played backward; there have been many suspicions of this in musicians such as The Beatles, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Queen, etc. Although, some people believe that these cases were just accidental, whereas other’s think otherwise. Despite that, an obvious example of back masking would be “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd, and an example of reverse speech would be “Revolution 9” by The Beatles.

The idea of back masking is spine-chilling all in itself, never mind the fact that it is deliberate. Pink Floyd made their point that back masking is a deliberate recording technique in their song “Empty Spaces.” Pink Floyd’s song played normally is indistinguishable, but once put through an audio device and the song is played in reverse, they sing “congratulations, you have just discovered the secret message.” There isn’t a way that they did this accidentally, and it would be completely irrational for Pink Floyd to not have deliberately done this to their song. “I’m So Tired” by The Beatles is a great example of this, they use indistinguishable gibberish in their song, and once the song is played in reverse, it says “Paul is a dead man, miss him, miss him…” When the song is played on the radio or on CD, most listeners just believe its unknown background music, not that once it is played backward it displays a subliminal message. A second example of back masking is “Fire on High” by ELO. ELO also uses indistinguishable gibberish in their song, and when the song is played backward, they sing “the music is reversible, but time is not, turn back, turn back…” This is also a spine-chilling example, and was definitely not accidental.

Andrew Morse said...

Andrew Morse
Some artists and songwriters have taken the time to incorporate hidden messages into their songs. This would be known as back masking, a deliberate word choice that will sound like completely different words when played backwards. Some artists may be accused of doing such but they didn’t intend to do it. This is known as reverse speech, a coincidence where words, when played in reverse, happen to sound like something else. Certain artists and songwriters have used deliberate back masking and coincidental reverse speech to create suspicion and conspiracy in song.
Since back masking is referring to “hidden” messages sometimes it is hard to differentiate between coincidental and deliberate instances. There are some clear cases of concrete back masking, for example Pink Floyds “Empty Spaces”. When the section of the song is played forward it is just soft indistinguishable sounds. However when played in reverse there are the words, “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont (Roger, Caroline is on the phone).” Clearly this was intentional of the songwriter. The hidden message was obviously put there on purpose because forward it doesn’t sound like anything but backwards the words can be clearly heard. This means that part of the song was recorded and deliberately put it backwards making it intentional back masking, which pokes fun at whoever is searching for it. Another clear example is the Beatles “I’m So Tired”. When played forward the piece of the song is indistinguishable gibberish but in reverse it sounds like “Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him.” This is clearly intentional because there was a conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney, of the Beatles, had died. This back masking was used to get people to believe he was actually dead and to further the suspicion surrounding the band.

Natasha Merianos said...

Natasha Merianos - (part 2)
Although, back masking is not the only technique musicians use; reverse speech is a theory of a complimentary reverse language. An easier way of explaining reverse speech would be to say that some people believe there is a complete reverse language; for example, if someone were to speak backwards, it would be another phrase as opposed to the sentence they wanted to say without being reversed. An example of this would be “Revolution 9” by The Beatles. In this song, The Beatles added audio that says, “number nine” repeatedly, when this was played backwards, instead of saying “number nine,” it says “turn me on, dead man,” repeatedly. Another example would be Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.” Gaga sings “there’s no other superstar you know that I’ll be your papa… paparazzi. Promise I’ll be kind,” and once this was played in reverse, she somehow manages to sing “evil save us! These stars above, above… we model it on the arts of Lucifer.” Many people theorize that celebrities sell their soul to the devil to get famous, and in return have to use subliminal messages about the devil throughout their music, which is why this is a suspicious song all in itself. Lastly, “Hotel California” by the Eagles is another great example of reverse speech. The song says, “in the middle of the night, just to hear them say” and when this is played backward it says, “Satan he hears this, he made me believe in him,” which also ties into the theory behind Lady Gaga’s, Paparazzi.

Reverse speech may be a very similar idea and technique as back masking, but not quite as deliberate. It is debatable that the Eagles, the Beatles, and Lady Gaga accidentally displayed this in their music once it was played backward; although, there isn’t a chance that the Beatles, along with ELO and Pink Floyd did this accidentally. Back masking is too deliberate to accidentally include into a song, especially like the examples given in Empty Spaces, Fire on High, and I’m So Tired. All of these songs are examples of back masking and reverse speech, although groups of people may choose to disagree.

Andrew Morse said...

There are some cases of back masking that cannot be determined wither or not they were intentional instances or just a coincidence, for example Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. When the song is played forward it is “If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on.” Which sounds normal enough, in reverse the lines sound like “'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.” There is clearly a huge difference between the lines forward and backward however it cannot be determined wither it was intentional or not. I believe it was intentional because the lines forward although sounding normal have a very odd word choice. That means that they had to pick odd sounding words to insure that the back masked message was still audible. This is one of the most famous examples and yet nobody has been able to discover if it was deliberate or not. There are songs that have reverse speech solely by coincidence. Eminem’s “My Name Is” is an example of this. Forward he says “Hi! My name is... (what?) My name is... (who?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady. Hi! My name is... (huh?) My name is... (what?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady.” In reverse he says “It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem. It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem.” I believe that this instance was a coincidence and others believe that one subconsciously says things in reverse before they are actually said. However I would agree that this is a coincidence and not a deliberate action by Eminem.
With so much suspicion, controversy, and rumors surrounding every song accused of back masking it will be hard to discover the truth about them. Some songs people can understand the writer’s intention like “Empty Spaces” but others like “Stairway to Heaven” may be shrouded in secrecy forever. Intentional or not these examples are interesting allowing insight to a songwriters thought process and the subconscious mind.

Moonwaves182 said...

Matthew Litchfield

Backmasking and reverse speech are two very different forms of ‘subliminal messaging’ in music. Where backmasking is an intentional element, reverse speech is the result of normal, ‘forward’ lyrics being played backwards. I think backmasking is a very real and intentional part of song writing, while reverse speech is more of an interpretation of a muddled piece of sound: in other words, I think reverse speech can be intentional, but more often than not it’s coincidental.

Backmasking appears in several tracks by prominent musicians, all of whom are known for their nontraditional music. The Beatles were the first group to have been recognized as having used backtracking in their song “I’m so Tired.” The backtracked lyrics say that “Paul is a dead man – miss him, miss him, miss him,” which could be a particularly cruel statement by a ‘tired’, disgruntled band mate or producer. The intentionality of this track pales in comparison to Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces”: the backmasked music directly congratulates the listener for finding the Easter egg. Another song which uses backtracking is Weird Al Yankovic’s “Nature Trail to Hell,” in which he says in backmask that “Satan east Cheez Whiz.” This odd statement fits perfectly with Weird Al’s sense of humor, solidifying the intentionality of the backmasking.

Reverse speech has far less direct evidence than does backmasking. In songs which people claim hidden messages can be found by playing the singer’s words backwards, the results are often mixed and incomprehensible. The clearer songs, such as John Lennon’s “Imagine,” have meanings inverse or unrelated to the original lyrics (in “Imagine,” the original lyrics say “Imagine all the people”; the reverse lyrics say “The people war beside me”). Another [relatively] clear song is Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” in which the reverse lyrics sound like an ode to Lucifer. Michal Jackson’s “Beat It” also references Satan as an agent in the singer’s life.
Despite these examples, there are still a lot of songs thought of as containing reverse speech which are more confusing than clear. The theme song to the original Pokémon theme song is thought to say “I love Satan”, but without being told so, the reverse sounds are meaningless. Similarly, Brittany Spears’ “Baby One More Time” is fairly ambiguous in actual reverse lyrics. The problem with writing about reverse speech is that once you’ve read the reverse lyrics, they become more decipherable – thereby enforcing someone else’s ideas when the reverse lyrics could actually be something else. Maybe some people are just better trained or capable of hearing reverse speech, but I’m not certain what’s heard in reverse speech is always there, or just there because I make myself here it.

Backmasking and reverse speech are controversial not only because they hide messages, but because the messages deviate from expectations of listeners. While I acknowledge the existence of messages in reverse speech, the distortion of their messages and the often ill grounded claims of their meaning lead me to believe that they are not as intentional as some contend.

Kayla Geribo said...



Back masking can be found in many songs, mostly in the age of record players where one could play a record backwards and listen for messages, eventually ruining their needle. Songs you find today that can be exemplified as back masking usually have something to do with the illuminati, a group of people that control the music industry, and the world, or something like that; it’s just a conspiracy theory. But songs from 1966 started this whole back masking craze, and the band that started it all was none other than The Beatles. Back masking, defined as a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward on to a track that is meant to be played forward, in my opinion, can be intentional, or just silly people thinking that they can hear something amongst static.
An example of clear back masking would be "Detour Thru Your Mind" by The B-52’s, where Fred Schneider says "I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle." He’s poking fun at the whole back masking situation that all the messages that are being played backwards are satanic phrases, and it’s the devil coming out. Another example would be “Rain” by The Beatles where you can hear "...the sun shines. Raaain. When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads" and John Lennon has acknowledged that it was deliberate so they could “give those Beatles nuts something to do.”
Many songs are not as clear, and might not be put there on intention. For example, in “Run This Town”, it sounds like Kanye West could be saying “I’ll be back if y’all listen…so will Satan” I suppose one could maybe hear it, but ‘Satan’ isn’t clear at all. In Lady Gaga’s song “Paparazzi” it sounds like she could be saying “we model on the arts of Lucifer” and in Rhianna’s song “Russian Roulette” people claim she says “I wanna feel like a little girl for the rest of my life.” These songs are not as clear, and have not been acknowledged by the artist; therefore they can just be what people think they hear. People that put these on the internet also say things like “Most people here already know that Lady Gaga is demonic right?” so I mean, they’re not the most reliable source either…
Back masking is something intentionally done, you can’t accidently have this stuff in there, and people can hear whatever they want to hear. Back masking today gives Basement Bob something to post on his music industry exposed website. On shows like Ghost Hunters, when they get audio of a ghost saying something, I’m sure I’m not the only one who only hears the ghost say “get out!” until there are subtitles, and it is the same with many current back masking songs.

Jamie Weaver said...

Some people believe that there is an alternate language to our own, a complimentary language that is backwards. This theory is called reverse speech. It can be found in songs by playing them backwards. If you were to play a song in reverse, you may hear a message within it. If the message is somewhat hard to depict, it is most likely the result of reverse speech. If you can clearly understand the message, it is likely to be the result of backmasking. Backmasking is when an artist will intentionally insert a hidden message within the song. When played in reverse, the message can be easily heard, but when played forward, the song may have a peculiar arrangement of words, or the words may be indistinguishable. This is because the artist has most likely recorded that part of the song with the intention of playing it in the song backwards. With both reverse speech and backmasking there are many examples of hidden messages within songs.
The idea of reverse speech is that it is an unintentional message that can be recognized when the song is played in reverse. These messages are not obviously clear and can be foggy when listened to. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is an example of reverse speech. When played backwards, the line “Imagine all the people” can be heard as “The people war beside me”. Although this could be a logical subliminal message, it is difficult to understand clearly. The Eagle’s “Hotel California” is another song where the reversal of the song is very difficult to make out. It is believed to be “Satan he hears me. He had me believe in him” backwards, from “in the middle of the night, just to hear them say” forwards. Similarly, Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” can be played backwards to hear the message, “Evil save us! These stars above, above... we model it on the arts of Lucifer”, from the lines “There's no other superstar you know that I'll be your papa... paparazzi. Promise I'll be kind” played forward in the song. This is one of the most difficult messages to hear backwards; it is very unclear and foggy. I found it quite difficult to understand the message when I listened to the songs played in reverse. Reverse speech is most often difficult to hear, and is a coincidental message found when the song is played backwards.

Jamie Weaver said...

In contrast to reverse speech, backmasking is usually clearly understood and a deliberate message placed within the song. The Beatles’ “Revolution 9” played forward can be heard “number nine”, while backwards can be heard as “turn me on dead man”. This is an example of backmasking where the artist most likely chose specific sounds in order to create a hidden message when the sounds are played in reverse. The phrase “number nine” may have been used because of its ability to be heard backwards as “turn me on dead man”. The way in which the song is sung also contributes to how it is heard in reverse, and this song is clearly sung in a deliberate way in order to create a clear subliminal message. ELO’s “Fire on High” is an example of backmasking where part of the song played forward is indistinguishable, but when it is played backwards it delivers an unmistakably clear message, “the music is reversible but time is not… turn back… turn back… turn back”. This proves to be intentional backmasking because of the hidden message in the song, which reveals “the music is reversible” meaning it can be played in reverse in order to uncover the message. Similarly, Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” which is undistinguishable when played forwards, but when played backwards it reads “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont”. This is intentional backmasking because it clearly informs the listener, “You have discovered the secret message”. Backmasking is most often a deliberate message placed within a song which can be heard clearly when the song is played in reverse.
Unless a song can be clearly heard when played backwards, I believe it is more often reverse speech. Backmasking must be an intentional subliminal message placed within the song for listeners to find. If it is more difficult to recognize and understand, it is probably reverse speech, and was not intentionally put there, but rather it was coincidentally recognized as a message within the song.

jake hallgren said...

Jake Hallgren

Many old and new songs such as Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, Imagine, Another One Bites The Dust and Beat It have a secret hidden message that when played in reverse you can hear a phrase. Back-masking is obviously the more used way to hide messages because it is crystal clear and easier to understand. Most back-masking is purposefully added to music to hide these messages that bands want to eventually be discovered by someone. Reverse speech is a more complicated way and is also harder to understand a find the phrase unless you have the lyrics. Reverse speech is mostly not purposefully done.

In Imagine by John Lennon when he says “Imagine all the people” there is really a secret message in that, when played in reverse it says “The people war beside me”. The secret message is clearly heard even when you do not know the lyrics, which is an example of back-masking. This is a clear example of back-masking because it is so obvious and clear, it was also obviously put in the song on purpose because it was crystal clear other than the guitar interfering with the voice. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin is probably one of the most famous back-masked songs. It has a few examples of back-masking in it. At the end of the song in reverse it says “Play backwards. Hear words sung” so that is the first thing you hear if the song starts to play backwards. Also Zepplin says in reverse “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 toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.” This gives even more evidence that this was purposefully done and meant to give a demonic Satanist message. This is another prime example of a back-masked song because it is clearly made to show a message it even says to play the song backwards for a secret message. The song backwards is almost crystal clear which is how back-masking is while reverse speech is unclear and hard to understand and hear.

Also, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen when he says “another one bites the dust” repeatedly he is saying backwards “its fun to smoke marijuana.” This can easily be believed that it was purposefully done because Queen is known to have done drugs like most bands do. This example is not crystal clear and is hard to hear, hinting at reverse speech but it also hints at back-masking knowing the bands history. I do believe however because of how hard it is to distinguish this phrase that this is reverse speech that in the song the singer says ‘In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” but in reverse it says “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” When knowing the lyrics it is very obvious but when you do not know the lyrics it is hard to tell what he says. The message is not completely the hardest thing to hear but it is not crystal clear and was purposefully put into the song from what I could tell. Both sides of that phrase works with the song in reverse and in regular playing. I do believe that this is another example of back-masking because it is easier to understand then most reverse speech examples.

Back-masking is obviously the more used way to hide messages because it is crystal clear and easier to understand. Most back-masking is purposefully added to music to hide these messages that bands want to eventually be discovered by someone. Reverse speech is a more complicated way and is also harder to understand a find the phrase unless you have the lyrics. Reverse speech is mostly not purposefully done. Many old and new songs such as Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, Imagine, Another One Bites The Dust and Beat It have a secret hidden message that when played in reverse you can hear a phrase.

jake hallgren said...

Jake Hallgren

Many old and new songs such as Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, Imagine, Another One Bites The Dust and Beat It have a secret hidden message that when played in reverse you can hear a phrase. Back-masking is obviously the more used way to hide messages because it is crystal clear and easier to understand. Most back-masking is purposefully added to music to hide these messages that bands want to eventually be discovered by someone. Reverse speech is a more complicated way and is also harder to understand a find the phrase unless you have the lyrics. Reverse speech is mostly not purposefully done.

In Imagine by John Lennon when he says “Imagine all the people” there is really a secret message in that, when played in reverse it says “The people war beside me”. The secret message is clearly heard even when you do not know the lyrics, which is an example of back-masking. This is a clear example of back-masking because it is so obvious and clear, it was also obviously put in the song on purpose because it was crystal clear other than the guitar interfering with the voice. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin is probably one of the most famous back-masked songs. It has a few examples of back-masking in it. At the end of the song in reverse it says “Play backwards. Hear words sung” so that is the first thing you hear if the song starts to play backwards. Also Zepplin says in reverse “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 toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.” This gives even more evidence that this was purposefully done and meant to give a demonic Satanist message. This is another prime example of a back-masked song because it is clearly made to show a message it even says to play the song backwards for a secret message. The song backwards is almost crystal clear which is how back-masking is while reverse speech is unclear and hard to understand and hear.

Also, Another One Bites the Dust by Queen when he says “another one bites the dust” repeatedly he is saying backwards “its fun to smoke marijuana.” This can easily be believed that it was purposefully done because Queen is known to have done drugs like most bands do. This example is not crystal clear and is hard to hear, hinting at reverse speech but it also hints at back-masking knowing the bands history. I do believe however because of how hard it is to distinguish this phrase that this is reverse speech that in the song the singer says ‘In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” but in reverse it says “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” When knowing the lyrics it is very obvious but when you do not know the lyrics it is hard to tell what he says. The message is not completely the hardest thing to hear but it is not crystal clear and was purposefully put into the song from what I could tell. Both sides of that phrase works with the song in reverse and in regular playing. I do believe that this is another example of back-masking because it is easier to understand then most reverse speech examples.

Back-masking is obviously the more used way to hide messages because it is crystal clear and easier to understand. Most back-masking is purposefully added to music to hide these messages that bands want to eventually be discovered by someone. Reverse speech is a more complicated way and is also harder to understand a find the phrase unless you have the lyrics. Reverse speech is mostly not purposefully done. Many old and new songs such as Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, Imagine, Another One Bites The Dust and Beat It have a secret hidden message that when played in reverse you can hear a phrase.

Connor Rouillard said...

Connor Rouillard
November 27, 2012
Backmasking
Poetry of Song


Backmasking is an underutilized aspect that can be used in songs just to mess with people or conceal a secret message. In the list of the songs there are some songs that are obviously supposed to be back tracked and other do not even sound like what the people say they should. In the given list there are a few that are one-hundred percent intentional, like Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” or Weird Al’s “Nature Trail to Hell.” In a lot of the other songs there is just no way the artist did it on purpose, such as Lady GaGa’s “Paparazzi” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat it.”
In songs like “Empty Spaces” and “Nature Trail to Hell” they both use backmasking but use it in different ways. In “Empty Spaces” they use it as just a little in song game. While in “Nature Trail to Hell” Weird Al uses at as a joke, mocking the people that spend their time actually trying to find example of it in songs. In some songs the artist uses awkward wording in a line or two and when played backward it is actually another message. Because of the awkward wording of the lines many people think the backward excerpt from the song was intentional.
In a lot of the song people say have backmasking are totally unintentional, they just sound slightly similar. In most cases you would have no idea what they were allegedly saying without the provided words. But since they give you words it is seeded in your mind and that is what it sounds like, ghost-hunting shows often do the same thing. The songs like this often have the most extreme message and most vulgar content. Whenever people “find” these in popular songs everyone freaks out for a couple weeks and everything goes back to normal because it was unintentional.
Backtracking is used much less in modern music than in the past. Multiple old groups used random gibberish and background to house their backmasking just for some added in-song fun. People today try to find backmasking and after a long search they start to go a little crazy and just make something up just to feel like they haven’t wasted time, if enough people feel like it seem legitimate they spread it around and whomever found it gets minor famousness. But shortly after goes back to being just a normal person.

Connor Rouillard said...

Connor Rouillard
November 27, 2012
Backmasking
Poetry of Song


Backmasking is an underutilized aspect that can be used in songs just to mess with people or conceal a secret message. In the list of the songs there are some songs that are obviously supposed to be back tracked and other do not even sound like what the people say they should. In the given list there are a few that are one-hundred percent intentional, like Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces” or Weird Al’s “Nature Trail to Hell.” In a lot of the other songs there is just no way the artist did it on purpose, such as Lady GaGa’s “Paparazzi” and Michael Jackson’s “Beat it.”
In songs like “Empty Spaces” and “Nature Trail to Hell” they both use backmasking but use it in different ways. In “Empty Spaces” they use it as just a little in song game. While in “Nature Trail to Hell” Weird Al uses at as a joke, mocking the people that spend their time actually trying to find example of it in songs. In some songs the artist uses awkward wording in a line or two and when played backward it is actually another message. Because of the awkward wording of the lines many people think the backward excerpt from the song was intentional.
In a lot of the song people say have backmasking are totally unintentional, they just sound slightly similar. In most cases you would have no idea what they were allegedly saying without the provided words. But since they give you words it is seeded in your mind and that is what it sounds like, ghost-hunting shows often do the same thing. The songs like this often have the most extreme message and most vulgar content. Whenever people “find” these in popular songs everyone freaks out for a couple weeks and everything goes back to normal because it was unintentional.
Backtracking is used much less in modern music than in the past. Multiple old groups used random gibberish and background to house their backmasking just for some added in-song fun. People today try to find backmasking and after a long search they start to go a little crazy and just make something up just to feel like they haven’t wasted time, if enough people feel like it seem legitimate they spread it around and whomever found it gets minor famousness. But shortly after goes back to being just a normal person.

Zachary Freedman said...

Zachary Freedman
11/29/12
Period: A
Mr. Kefor
Backmasking, and Reverse Speech

Both backmasking, and reverse speech are two very different but similar ideas that allow you to analysis songs with different intentions. Backmasking is a much more realistic idea which has been proven to exist, when Reverse Speech is a theory that hasn’t ever been proven true, yet still can be seen as something that may exist. Out of the two I love the idea of backmasking slighting more, I feel that to do something like that, putting secret subliminal messages hidden in the song backwards, is a baffling idea that is very intriguing to me. Now when it comes to reverse speech it is much less intriguing because it doesn’t technically exist, so I don’t want to get my hopes up to figure out it was proven to really never exist.
There’s a large assortment of songs that are known to be labeled as “songs with backmasking” these particular songs have hidden messages when played backwards, the question is, are they intentional? I’ve gathered a few examples of intentional backmasking, and the reasons I think that this artist had intentionally placed backmasking in their song. First example, Information Society’s song “Are Friends Electric” the artist says when reversed “Obey your parents. Do your homework. Winners don't do drugs.” Just by looking at it you can tell it’s intentionally placed there to be heard. Apparently on the back of the album cover it features the disclaimer "InSoc can accept no responsibility for the mental effect of the backwards message." This is validation, and a fact of backmasking, not just an opinion. Next example is “Backmask” by Mindless Self Indulgence, the use of backmasking in their song can be noticed simply by the name of the song “Backmask” this shows clear evidence of intentional backmasking. The song even goes as far as to contain lyrics saying "Play that record backwards/ Here's a message yo for the suckas/ Play that record backwards/ And go **** yourself." This telling the listener in a much harsher way that basically he/she is a fool.
Reverse speech is interesting, because it seems like an outrageous idea, but it’s almost like doing math, you just have to find the right algorithm and it will all fit. This is why I think it could exist, because there are so many different ways to try and put a reverse speech line or theory together and without extensive research of the alphabet, and the English language it would be very hard to prove that something like reverse speech could exist as a fully functioning language in society. With this said I would like to present a couple examples of ideas of reverse speech, my first example is of Neil Armstrong it has been said that when Neil announced “That's one small step for man" those words reversed also say "Man will space walk." I thought this was pretty cool, regardless of my thoughts on reverse speech the fact that by saying one thing and also saying another thing in one sentence in that type of format to me is very interesting. I’ll give another example to illustrate the idea of reverse speech a little more; this next example is from a song of Madonna’s called Truth and Dare. In the song there is a part in which Sandra Bernard is talking about some of her friends she saw the other night, and the article goes on to example how when in reverse the words are “They pulled out the grass” most likely refereeing to marijuana. These ideas about reverse speech are cool, because they’re almost your unconscious mind saying a separate sentence, that you conscious mind probably wouldn’t say intentionally, which goes to show that your mind can play tricks on you, and if reverse speech is truly true then its seems that your mind is trying to say what’s on your mind even if you don’t want it to.

Ana said...

I personally find back masking and reverse speech fascinating. I think it is a great way for artists to express things only to fans so in love with their music to listen and enjoy it in every way possible. However, I do feel as if some of the messages (most actually) are explicit, and are quite unnecessary. I feel as though back masking and reverse speech could be a great message for fans to stumble upon, provided that the message being conveyed was perhaps a positive one, or inspirational. I feel as though that may even enhance the quality and meaning of a song, rather than conveying evil messages in which could potentially offend fans.
In the song “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, the band states “If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on”. But interestingly enough, when the song is played backwards, Zeppelins song turns into a satanic like ritual playing the words “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 toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.”.Which actually is kind of frightening, that a song could hold such evil in between the lines. I believe this song is an example of Reverse Speech, I believe this because when played forward, the words are different than when you play it in reverse. The Beatles may have caused some controversy with their song “I’m so tired”, when a part of straight gibberish is played. While forward it may seem like nonsense, when played backwards one will find an unexpected surprise as the line “Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him” plays. This could also be frightening to fans due to the fact that Paul was still very alive and well during the production of the song. This is an example of reverse speech because the backwards line was recorded first as a forward line, and then using technology was flipped around.
Lady Gaga expresses her feelings on evil in the song “Paparazzi”. When played forward she states “There's no other superstar you know that I'll be your papa... paparazzi. Promise I'll be kind”. She even promises to be kind, which does not seem evil in any way, until you play it backwards. Gaga’s lyrics have an interesting twist, “Evil save us! These stars above, above... we model it on the arts of Lucifer”. This is an example of Reverse Speech, because when played forward, it depicts one thing, but when played backwards it reveals another.

Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller
Opinion on 10 songs with backmasking/ reverse speech
1. “Stairway to Heaven”- intentional, so an instance of backmasking- has varying sentence structure, but the meaning does not change with the song, and the forwards lyrics are strange and cause me to think that this was intentional so that it would have a certain message when played backwards
2. “Paparazzi”- can hear message, do not think that it is not intentional, all of the examples have different meanings and sentence structure, but overall have the same meanings
3. Pokemon rap- can’t understand it at all, have no idea what it is supposed to say without the lyrics, not an example of wither backmasking or reverse speech
4. “Baby One More Time”- makes no sense without the lyrics, but with them I can somewhat hear the message, is either intentional or non-existent because of the difficulty of hearing anything without being told what to look for.
5. “My Name Is”- definite example of backmasking, it is his name when reversed, can hear it clearly
6. “Another One Bites the Dust”- because of the way he pronounces the words when the song is played forwards, it creates a backwards message. I think that this was intentional with the strange way he pronounced the words.
7. “Hotel California”- don’t know what it is whether backmasking or reverse speech, but the message is apparent without the lyrics when sung in reverse
8. “Break on Through”- first two words make sense, the “I am…” but the last word is mumbled and not “Satan,” could be reverse speech or backmasking, but only two words match up to form actual words in reverse, so it could also just be a coincidence
9. “Revolution 9”- extremely clear what the lyrics are reversed, I think that it is intentional though because of the complete clarity in reverse
10. “Empty Spaces”- definite example of backmasking, completely clear, and when spoken forwards, you can hear the message in reverse in the background. In reverse, it congratulates the listener on finding this hidden message.

Beck Gerritsen said...

Beck Gerritsen
Backmasking and Reverse Speech
Backmasking and reverse speech are similar because both require playing the music in reverse. They differ in that in backmasking, the band records the part, reverses it, then puts it into the music, and in reverse speech, the band plays the part forwards, but in reverse it sounds like a message.
Backmasking is an interesting tool for bands to put secret messages in the music. Similar to hidden tracks, it challenges listeners to try to find any backtracking in the music. This can act like a treasure hunt for some, including perhaps somewhat dull hours of searching, but paying off with the joy of a find. Bands like Pink Floyd congratulate any who can find their backtracking, offering messages like, “'Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont,” in Empty Spaces. However, bands like ELO choose to deliver profound philosophy with their backtracking, saying, “The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back,” in Fire on High. Backtracking has proven an interaction between the bands and the listeners, and although no longer original, still is relevant for some. More Recently, people like Weird Al have decided to make fun of backtracking, offering messages like, “Satan eats Cheez Whiz,” in Nature Trail to Hell and, “Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands,” in I Remember Larry.
Reverse speech is less concrete. Instead of a backwards recording embedded in the music, it often consists of songs played backwards that people make out to sound somewhat like a warbled, jumbled version of some secret message. They usually believe that the band came up with a lyric that sounds like a different lyric when played backwards. Most of these are most likely coincidence, and are simply nonsense that people, in their natural tendency towards order, have tried to make sense of, thinking of some loose message that the backwards vocals sound similar to. People have often tried to connect these examples of backwards speech with something in connection to the song, or the band. The Eagles have notably suffered from this. Due to the sinister and cryptic nature of the lyrics, some people have come to think the song is about devil worship. People have tried to back up their claim with an instance of backwards speech. In truth however, the “reverse speech” in the song barely sounds like the supposed message, and is most likely coincidence. The theory of reverse speech is most likely false. People most likely have simply heard their imaginations turning the reverse speech into something understandable. People do the same thing every day when they see familiar objects in clouds, or mishear people, thinking they heard a message other than what the speaker actually said.
However, some bands have taken an interesting stance on reverse speech. The Stone Roses, for example have done some interesting things with reverse speech. In Guernica, a single released by the band, they take the reverse version of Made of Stone, and edit the reversed speech to sound like actual words. The results are an eerie song, full of all sorts of strange, clear lyrics like “You wanna hurt me,” “I trust no one,” “Can you see the wonder? Yeah,” “People know those names to fall” and, “simple lives, yeah, we don’t have.” Perhaps the most eerie part of the song is that when the song is reversed again, one can still make out the lyrics to Made of Stone. However, this still does not verify the theory of reverse speech because it is primarily the band’s editing of audio to make the reversed lyrics sound like clear, human words.

bobby h said...

In some songs it is clear that people have put the words together to specifically be able to play it backwards and it will say a statement, this process is called backmasking. Another form of songs playing in reverse is “reverse speech” which is when a singer or songwriter plays the song backwards and it says a statement but the person didn’t intentionally mean to do this. There are also some songs that we are not sure about, because the song makes since when being sung forward and is also clear when played backwards.
Backmasking –nature trail to hell, fire on high, my name is, empty space, revolution 9, I’m so tired
Reverse speech-beat it, break on through,
Unsure- Stairway to heaven, paparazzi, hotel California,
A few songs that I definitely think fall under the backmasking category are “nature trail to hell” by weird Al, “Fire on High” by ELO, “My name is” by Eminem, “Empty Space” by Pink Floyd, “Revolution 9” by the Beatles, and “I’m so tired” by the Beatles. The reason I believe “Fire on high” “nature trail to hell” and “empty space” is backmasking is because none of the songs when you play them correctly are understandable but when you play them in reverse they all make a clear legible statement. “Empty Space” specifically is backmasking to me because when you play it backwards it cleary talks about saying you found the hidden message “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont (Roger, Caroline is on the phone)” same with “Fire On High” “The music is reversable but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back”. The reason I think “my name is” is backmasking because what the chances that he when you play one of Eminems songs backwards that it would say I’m Eminem. “I’m so tired” is another song that you can’t understand the lyrics when played normally but can when played in reverse so I think this might be backmasking. In one of Tupacs songs that came out not too long before he died there is backmasking because when you play the lyrics backwards it says “Yes I’m alive and I’ll miss you”
I believe some cases of Reverse speech are in the songs “Beat It” By Michael Jackson and “Break On Through” By the Doors. The reason I believe it is reverse speech is because the lyrics when played forward fit into to the song good and the lyrics that are said when played backwards are not very understandable, the only reason this has a chance not to be reverse speech to me is because he is saying that all those harsh crimes he was accused of wasn’t actually him and it was the devil inside of him. “Break On Through” is tough because the lyrics fit in appropriately but it is very clear that he is saying “I am Satan” but I don’t know why he would say he is Satan so I want to say this was done accidentally.
The songs I am unsure of whether they are backmasking or reverse speech are “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zepplin, “Paparazzi” By Lady Gaga, and “Hotel California” by the eagles. “Hotel California” I am not sure about because the lyrics fit in great but the words are also very clear so I am unsure about this song. “Stairway To Heaven” Is very hard for me to figure out because when played forward they aren’t the best lyrics and they are a weird set of words to put together but they don’t sound bad, the reason this is tough for me is because what are the chances that words that kind of go with each other are together but when played backwards are moderately clear to understand and when played backwards there is a long line so I am really unsure about this song. “Paparazzi” is hard because everything goes together well both ways and both ways they are clearly understandable.

melanie morris said...

The use of backmasking and reverse speech in music has been openly criticized and controversial since its start. Through listening to a song played in reverse rather than forward, as all songs are intended, people have found secret “messages” and references, be them intentional or not. Occasionally, one will hear a song where forwards it only sounds like gibberish yet in reverse the phrases make complete sense. This is intentional backmasking. When the words make sense going forwards, but are then reversed and still seem to make out coherent phrases, this is reverse speech, and it is hard to tell whether this is always intentional or merely an odd coincidence. Oftentimes, these messages are referencing satanic praise and have vulgar meaning, so this adds to the controversy of the whole situation. As this reversal of music became more popular, more and more of these backmasked and intended messages were heard, usually, it seems, parodying the ideas of those who abhorred the “Devil’s music.”
Backmasking grew to be more and more prevalent in music when people began to find their own examples, and clearly many of the ones created after all of the dissention regarding this backwards music were flat-out mockery, or very specifically placed in order to be found. Electric Light Orchestra was accused of referencing Satan on their song Eldorado, so later they added messages to their songs as a way of creating a joke. In the reversal of the song “Fire On High” the words say “The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back! Turn back!” and their album appropriately titled Secret Messages has one point where it says “You’re playing me backwards.” These examples clearly display the backmasking used in the songs. Another blatant demonstration of backmasking can be seen in Choking Victim’s song “Hate Yer State” where played forwards, the whole start of the song makes no sense, and in reverse one can hear firstly a great deal of swearing and then “So stay in school, say no to drugs, oh yeah! Hail Satan! Good night boys and girls, pleasant dreams." Considering all of the accusations placed on artists for corrupting the youth with satanic references, and the fact that this was recorded very intentionally to be heard in reverse, it is safe to say that this example is most likely a mockery of how people can make something out of nothing. Chiodos even put in their album lyrics that the beginning of their song The Lover and The Liar was meant to be played in reverse.

melanie morris said...

Reverse Speech in song is something that people have debated over greatly. Sometimes such as in Eminem’s song “My Name Is” when you play a part of it in reverse one can make out the words, “It’s Eminem” repeatedly, and this was probably figured out through trial to make the words work to be coherent whether they were played forwards or backwards. The same goes for the song “Another One Bites the Dust” where in reverse these words seem to sound a lot like “It’s fun to smoke marijuana.” Presumably this was intentional, and listening to it forwards and hearing how specific the diction is makes that more apparent. However in the song Umbrella by rhianna, people claim that she intentionally uses reverse speech to say “He is taking my faith, he is murdering,” and that it is secretly about being possessed by the devil. This, in honesty, is very hard to back-up as it is difficult to hear. Also, to do something like this without simply recording ones voice in reverse and putting it in the song, but in the forward LYRICS, it takes a deliberate delivery of those words, and she did not write the song. Therefore, how could these “messages” have been delivered properly? This is one situation where it seems as though somebody was reading into the reversed phrases too much.
Where backmasking is something that is always intended, yet not always crystal clear, reverse speech faces much more judgment. Sometimes it appears that the hype about these hidden messages caused people to hear more than was really there, and to make connections to satanic things when these connections do not truly exist. If the majority of the people we encounter daily do not secretly praise the devil or openly worship him, what makes it justifiable that so many musicians would partake in a satanic faith? A few of the examples may truly be subliminally corrupt and definite references to the devil, but the number of songs and artists that people have discovered, they think, to have done this looks a bit too high. Every human is entitled to their own opinions though, and some simply hear things that others do not. Unless a song clearly says something if the artist owns up to the claims against them, reverse speech and backmasking will always be debatable.

Melanie Morris

melanie morris said...

In the first posting there are two paragraphs, the second starts where it says "Backmasking grew to be more and more.."

Ashley Liebherr said...

Part 1
Back-masking and reverse speech were most popular when records were prominent because you could easily play it backwards on a record player. They still occur now, but most of the examples I have heard were from the 90s. The difference between the two is that back-masking is deliberately done. In back-masking, it is either super clear or foggy; it can either be obvious or unclear. To pursue the art of back-masking, you need to figure out a pattern of words that sounds like a different pattern of words backwards. Reverse speech is unintentionally done, may be subliminal messages. Both back-masking and reverse speech usually refers to profane things including, drugs, sexual references, religious slander (references to Satan), etc. The words match up into different words backwards in both examples.

Reverse speech is different than back-masking because it is unintentionally done. One example of reverse speech is the song Hotel California by The Eagles. Played forward it says “In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” but when you play it backwards it says, “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” This is reverse speech because it is difficult to make out. It does not sound like it says Satan hears this, but I do hear he had me believe in him. I think this was unintentionally done and is there accidentally. The next example of reverse speech is from the song My Name Is… by Eminem. When you play this song forwards it says “Hi! My name is... (what?) My name is... (who?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady. Hi! My name is... (huh?) My name is... (what?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady.” When you play this song backwards it says, “It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem. It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem.” This is reverse speech because he was unintentionally and subliminally answering the question repeatedly asked within the song. Reverse speech is less common than back-masking in my opinion, because I only found two examples of it in the songs I listened to.

Ashley Liebherr

Ashley Liebherr said...

Part 1
Ashley Liebherr

Back-masking and reverse speech were most popular when records were prominent because you could easily play it backwards on a record player. They still occur now, but most of the examples I have heard were from the 90s. The difference between the two is that back-masking is deliberately done. In back-masking, it is either super clear or foggy; it can either be obvious or unclear. To pursue the art of back-masking, you need to figure out a pattern of words that sounds like a different pattern of words backwards. Reverse speech is unintentionally done, may be subliminal messages. Both back-masking and reverse speech usually refers to profane things including, drugs, sexual references, religious slander (references to Satan), etc. The words match up into different words backwards in both examples.

Reverse speech is different than back-masking because it is unintentionally done. One example of reverse speech is the song Hotel California by The Eagles. Played forward it says “In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” but when you play it backwards it says, “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” This is reverse speech because it is difficult to make out. It does not sound like it says Satan hears this, but I do hear he had me believe in him. I think this was unintentionally done and is there accidentally. The next example of reverse speech is from the song My Name Is… by Eminem. When you play this song forwards it says “Hi! My name is... (what?) My name is... (who?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady. Hi! My name is... (huh?) My name is... (what?) My name is... {scratches} Slim Shady.” When you play this song backwards it says, “It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem. It is Slim. It's Eminem, it's Eminem, it's Eminem.” This is reverse speech because he was unintentionally and subliminally answering the question repeatedly asked within the song. Reverse speech is less common than back-masking in my opinion, because I only found two examples of it in the songs I listened to.

Stee said...

Steve Schlehuber
Back masking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is deliberately recorded backwards in a track that is meant to be played forwards. This is something that is done with purpose instead of on accident. In the song, “Detour Thru Your Mind”, the B-52s clearly use back masked lyrics. While the record is played in reverse it states “Oh no you’re playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle”. This example of back masking seems to be making fun of the back masking phenomenon. It uses a mocking tone to make fun of the people who actually go home and play their records backwards to discover the hidden message. This song was probably made during a time when back masking was something that people really enjoyed and liked discovering. Back masking is not to be confused with reverse speech.
Reverse speech is when a record is played backwards and a hidden message occurs naturally. This differs from back masking because it is more of an accident than on purpose. In the song, “My Name Is” Eminem allegedly uses back masking. While played forwards the song says, “Hi, my name is”. While played backwards it sounds slightly like he is saying “Eminem”. This seems to be an example of reversed speech because it does not seem deliberate. Also this does not convey any sort of hidden message. Sometimes reversed speech seems to be portrayed as a purposeful message when artists are doing things completely by accident.

Ashley Liebherr said...

Part 2
Ashley Liebherr

Back-masking was a prominent and controversial thing in the 90s. The messages were usually related to the devil and people did not approve. There have been arguments throughout the years on whether back-masking is a real thing or if it is unintentionally. I believe that it is done purposely. My first example of back masking is from the song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin. It is back-masking because the phrasing in the real song is messed up so that when it is played backwards it will say a different message. The message is about Satan which isn’t really an acceptable thing to put into songs. Played forward the song says, “If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on,” but played backwards this song states, “'Oh here to my sweet Satan. He'll give those with him 666, there was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.” This is back-masking because it is a long message that could not have been unintentionally done. Another example of back-masking would be the song I’m so Tired by the Beatles. The song played forward is gibberish and you cannot make out the words but when you play the song backwards, it says, “Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him.” This is referring to the speculation that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and the band replaced him with a look alike. I believe this was but there because the band found the speculations funny and it was there way of making a joke to themselves when people heard it. The next example of back-masking is from Empty Spaces by Pink Floyd. The song played forward says indistinguishable words much like I’m so Tired, but played backwards it says, “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfont (Roger, Caroline is on the phone).” This is definitely back-masking because the message is directed at the listener saying congratulations you have found the secret message that we put here for you to find. It was the band having a sense of humor in the midst of all the back-masking going on in this time period. Another obvious example of back-masking can be found in the song Fire on High by ELO. Just like the last two songs played forward, the words are gibberish. When you play this song backwards it clearly says, “The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back.” It is obviously put there because it is just speaking and there is almost no other noise. The last really obvious example of back masking comes as a joke from Weird Al in the song Nature Trail to Hell. Forward the song is also gibberish but backwards it states that, “Satan eats Cheez Whiz.” This is obvious back-masking because Weird Al was doing it to make fun of the accusations in the 90s about people back-masking in their music. The back-masking in this time was usually about satanic things so this was Weird Al trying to be funny. The other examples of back-masking that I found were intentionally done, but they were not as easily heard as the others. Back-masking was a very prominent and controversial topic throughout the 90s.

zack sicard said...

Zack Sicard
11/29/12
Back masking and reverse speech in Music
Often in music there has been backwards messaging that is known as back masking. Whether the back masking in music has been purposeful or a coincidence the messages that they all seem to allude to are dark, deadly or satanic. Many will say that the back masking in “Stairway to Heaven” by, Led Zeppelin has satanic messages and they are in completely right. If you listen to the song backwards Led Zeppelin will call “Satan’s” name five times. Perhaps the most obvious example of back masking is within the song “empty spaces” by Pink Floyd where at one point they song played backwards has a demonic sound and literally says “congratulations you have just found the secret message.” Within the back masking of this song Roger Waters also mentions a “funny farm” which hints a Pink’s eventual insanity. There is a multitude of songs that utilize back masking in order to give satanic messages.
Along with the back masking that has been described earlier on there is also reverse speech in Music. Reverse speech is the naturally occurring form of backwards messages, or phonetic reversals. For example “Hit me baby one more time” by Britney Spears has reverse speech and states “sleep with me baby I’m not too young”. “Help” by the Beatles has a backward message “now he uses marijuana” and this is quite interesting because it is about the time the Beatles starting experimenting with drugs. In fact the chorus sings “marijuana” in the background. Reverse speech is a part of music that seems as if it will never go away.

zack sicard said...

Zack Sicard
11/29/12
Back masking and reverse speech in Music
Often in music there has been backwards messaging that is known as back masking. Whether the back masking in music has been purposeful or a coincidence the messages that they all seem to allude to are dark, deadly or satanic. Many will say that the back masking in “Stairway to Heaven” by, Led Zeppelin has satanic messages and they are in completely right. If you listen to the song backwards Led Zeppelin will call “Satan’s” name five times. Perhaps the most obvious example of back masking is within the song “empty spaces” by Pink Floyd where at one point they song played backwards has a demonic sound and literally says “congratulations you have just found the secret message.” Within the back masking of this song Roger Waters also mentions a “funny farm” which hints a Pink’s eventual insanity. There is a multitude of songs that utilize back masking in order to give satanic messages.
Along with the back masking that has been described earlier on there is also reverse speech in Music. Reverse speech is the naturally occurring form of backwards messages, or phonetic reversals. For example “Hit me baby one more time” by Britney Spears has reverse speech and states “sleep with me baby I’m not too young”. “Help” by the Beatles has a backward message “now he uses marijuana” and this is quite interesting because it is about the time the Beatles starting experimenting with drugs. In fact the chorus sings “marijuana” in the background. Reverse speech is a part of music that seems as if it will never go away.

Derek Fleming said...

Derek Fleming
11/29/12
A Block
Backmasking and Reverse Speech
Backmasking and reverse speech are the decoding of backwards lyrics or words into a phrase, message, or just other words. Backmasking is when someone purposely puts words together so that when they are reversed there is a message. Reverse speech is just be coincidence, words or lyrics that are reversed and read as other things, but is not intentional. There are many examples of both in the music that has been listened to for a long time and it is present in past music and even today’s music. I think that some of the messages and words that are found from reversing songs are interesting and even scary sometimes, but other times people force the fact that someone was trying to send a message.

There are many famous songs that contain backmasking and some controversial messages, some even including the devil. Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” a verse going forward, “If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now, it's just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on.”, has strong references to the devil in reverse, “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 toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.” The sounds are definitely correspond with the words and could be interpreted as that message. The lyrics going forward are a bit odd and that hints towards backmasking. Small clues like strange wording or even lines that don’t make much sense can lead towards the assumption of backmasking being present in the song.
Reverse speech can be found in a lot of music and has a lot less seriousness then backmasking. It is hard to find examples of reverse speech since everyone wants to find a way to make it known as backmasking. in Eminem’s song “My Name Is” they chorus backwards states “Eminem” many times. This piece of work could be under either backmasking or reverse speech depending on how you look at it. I think that it was just a coincidence because of the complexity of the verse going forward. Many songs can contain words or phrases when reversed, but I think without the proper evidence they cannot be considered backmasking.

-Derek Fleming

Stee said...

Steve Schlehuber
Back masking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is deliberately recorded backwards in a track that is meant to be played forwards. This is something that is done with purpose instead of on accident. In the song, “Detour Thru Your Mind”, the B-52s clearly use back masked lyrics. While the record is played in reverse it states “Oh no you’re playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle”. This example of back masking seems to be making fun of the back masking phenomenon. It uses a mocking tone to make fun of the people who actually go home and play their records backwards to discover the hidden message. This song was probably made during a time when back masking was something that people really enjoyed and liked discovering. Back masking is not to be confused with reverse speech.
Reverse speech is when a record is played backwards and a hidden message occurs naturally. This differs from back masking because it is more of an accident than on purpose. In the song, “My Name Is” Eminem allegedly uses back masking. While played forwards the song says, “Hi, my name is”. While played backwards it sounds slightly like he is saying “Eminem”. This seems to be an example of reversed speech because it does not seem deliberate. Also this does not convey any sort of hidden message. Sometimes reversed speech seems to be portrayed as a purposeful message when artists are doing things completely by accident.

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