Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Poetry of Song 6-13: Backmasking & 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)

19 comments:

Kasara Maloney said...

A) Back-masking lyrics, in my opinion, are really cool when they're not about evil things, an example being Eminem's "My name is" as when it's reversed it sounds like he says "Eminem."

B) A couple of the songs weren't available to listen to, like Ash "Evil Eye" however the songs I did listen to include,"Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zepplin, "Imagine" by John Lennon,"I'm So Tired" by The Beatles, "My Name Is..." by Eminem,The "Pokemon Rap", "Empty Spaces" by Pink Floyd,"...Baby One More Time" by Brittney Spears,
"Nature Trail to Hell" by Weird Al, "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen, "Hotel California" by The Eagles,"Revolution 9" by The Beatles,"Beat It" by Michael Jackson, "Paparazzi" by Lady Ga Ga and more. The songs I've listed all seem to sound legitimate to the accusation of back-masking found on jeffmilner.com. Lady Ga Ga is one of the more in depth examples because I've actually heard in more of her songs,prevalent back-masking often referred to as "Illuminati". Eminem also has some back-masking in the song "I'm not afraid." The songs all contain some form of back-masking.

Eminem's "My name is..." Example was one of the more interesting of the back-masking, as he appears to be answering his own question. Although I didn't get to listen to "Evil Eye" by Ash, the band confirmed that there was a backwards message within it. Led Zepplin, in "Stairway to Heaven" reversed clearly states " Satan" a few times, so I'd deem it valid. "Paparazzi" by Lady Ga Ga very blatantly states "Evil save us! These stars above, above... we model it on the arts of Lucifer." as the words "There's no other superstar you know that I'll be your papa... paparazzi. Promise I'll be kind." are said making it valid(in a beyond creepy way).

Every song I've listed appears to be valid in back-masking lyrics. More songs that appear to be valid in their back-masking claims include, ELO's "Fire on High", The Doors' "Break it Through", and At the Drive-in's "300MHZ". The lyrics overtly state, " "...your enamel made no reflection in our mirror coughing up the coffins cotton candy coated teeth these pockets were clinching all filled with teeth amnesia proletariat in the unlikely event that sarcasm is an unfitting dress amnesia proletariat amnesia proletariat amnesia coughing up the coffins cotton candy coated teeth these pockets were clinching all filled with teeth sharpened on the ******* hides of men..." which shows it's validity. Examples of those songs are on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_backmasked_messages. Back-masking is within many songs in today's society holding many hidden messages, although some may be faked others appear valid.

Katy Johansen said...

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backward onto a track that is meant to be played forward. Some songs are thought to have subliminal messages hidden in them when played backward that are slightly or much different than the song’s original lyrics. Most of the time, these backward messages seem coincidental. In some instances, these messages were unrecognizable until looking at the lyrics. Some of these songs had odd reverse lyrics, like Weird Al’s “Nature Trail to Hell”, when he is thought to say “Satan eats cheez wiz”. However, after listening to the songs again after looking at the lyrics in reverse, it was easier to understand them.
A song that was definitely using backmasking when it was recorded was Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces”. When listening to it play forward, the words are almost indistinguishable. However, when listening to it backwards, there is no doubt that they are saying “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink, care of the funny farm”. Another song that was deliberately using this recording technique is The B-52’s “Detour Thru Your Mind”. If the singer’s psychedelic rambling is played backwards, he can be heard saying “Oh no, you’re playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle”. Also, the song “Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)” by Bloodhound Gang, which is a ‘satirical call for people who have considered suicide’, had the lyric “Rewind and let me reverse it backwards like Judas Priest first did”. When you reverse the song at this lyric, it is heard as “Devil child, wake up and eat Chef Boyardee Beefaroni”.
Many songs that are believed to have some of these secret message are not very convincing. For example, in Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”, she says “There’s no other superstar, you know that I’ll be your papa… paparazzi. Promise I’ll be kind”. In reverse, this lyric is “Evil save us! These stars above, above… we model it on the arts of Lucifer”. It is highly unlikely that this was on purpose, since it is a little hard to understand the reversed lyric. Another hard to understand reversed lyric is in The Doors’ “Break on Through”. The line “treasures there” is thought to say “I am Satan” in reverse. Backmasking is a interesting way to record a song, but it is often hard to distinguish if it was done on purpose unless stated in the song or otherwise.

Gwen Saccocia said...

Backmasking and reverse speech are technical inserts placed in a song to create an air of mystery for the listener. When the song is listened to backwards certain messages are clear and easily comprehended while others hardly qualify as backmasking or reverse speech. I believe that some people foolishly listen to reversed audios of songs and stretch backwards lyrics to meet the requirements of being considered as real backmasking and reverse speech. When backmasking is successfully embedded into a song it produces and dramatic effect, but when it fails the result is not implausible.

After listening to many different songs from Jeff Milner’s blog, certain ones could be classified as nonsense. John Lennon, a legendary musician, is suspected to have an example of backmasking in his song “Imagine”. His simple lyrics of “Imagine all the people” played backwards can be translated to “The people war beside me”. These lyrics played backwards do not entirely flow together, leaving this “use” of reversed speech as debatable. Another renowned music act, The Eagles, is also believed to possess backmasking in their famous, timeless song “Hotel California”. The original lyrics are intended to be listened to as: “In the middle of the night, just to hear them say,” but when reversed some people hear “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him”. The end is can definitely be distinguished to those words but the beginning of the statement (Satan he hears this) is a large stretch to fit a plausible usage of backmasking. The Pokemon Rap’s backmasking is an absolute farce. Not an eloquently composed song, the lyrics are “Gotta catch ‘em all!” repeatedly. Some suppose that when played backwards, one can hear “I love Satan,” repeatedly. Without looking at the proposed backmasked lyrics, the audio sounds like a bunch of gibberish and cannot be deciphered. These suggested reversed speech examples are not executed to the level that can be believed.

Unlike “Imagine”, “Hotel California”, and the Pokemon Rap, some songs do contain legitimate backmasking. The renowned band, “Queen”, utilizes reversed speech in their song “Another One Bites the Dust”. The lyrics are “Another one bites the dust,” over and over and when listened to the song backwards it is clear the lead singer is saying “It’s fun to smoke marijuana,”. There is no doubting he means to say marijuana. Props must be given to Queen on their execution as marijuana is not a simple word to be reversed and said. Certain songs when played forwards have indistinguishable lyrics, but when played backwards the words are crystal clear. I think it can be argued that is this really successful backmasking? Technology must make it easy to record words and then play them back reversed making them perfect to insert into the song. Weird Al and ELO utilize the technique of singing indistinguishable lyrics to reveal a hidden message. Adhering to the theme of Hell in his song “Nature Trail to Hell”, Weird Al provides the listener with an odd speech reversal. His lyrics can be heard as “Satan eats Cheese Whiz”. This message is peculiar, just like Weird Al himself. Electric Light Orchestra creates a creepy atmosphere with their backmasking. When their song “Fire on High” is played backwards the lyrics: “The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back,” are disclosed. It not only assures that the reversed speech is purposeful but also gives an eerie message to the listener. Successful backmasking is an impressive and intriguing songwriting tactic.

Meagan Graham said...

Backmasking and reverse speech can be a little strange at first, especially when they have extremely different meanings from the actual lyrics. however i think it gives the artist and the fans a way to convey feeling about the music in a way that connects them. creating a secret message in a song gives the artist the chance to convey their feelings to fans. It also allows fans to feel closer to the artist by discovering the hidden message. Although i feel thats a strange concept and a little unnecessary seeing as how not everyone will play a song backward.

Backmasking and reverse speech sometimes seem more made up by a listener because it would be comical if such an innocent song such as the pokemon theme song were to have an alternate meaning like devil worship or love of satin. some are very distinct and are clearly written to be there like in ELO’s “Fire on High” the song is played in reverse in the original track so that a message can be revealed when played backwards. i believe that a lot of songs do intentionally contain reversed lyrics to address ulterior meanings to the song. while some backmasking is coinsidently heard by the listener or made up.

A song might contain backmasking in a purposeful way. when the song is played in reverse the listener might be able to reveal the true meaning of a song such as in john Lennons “Imagine” the normal lyrics are “Imagine all the people” but when played in reverse its “The people war beside me” revealing a deeper meaning and Lennons real out look on the world and current events around him. Through backmasking Lennon is able to convey a true meaning in a way that allows for his song to have two meanings his positive belief in people and his negative.
Meagan Graham

Meagan Graham said...

Backmasking and reverse speech can be a little strange at first, especially when they have extremely different meanings from the actual lyrics. however i think it gives the artist and the fans a way to convey feeling about the music in a way that connects them. creating a secret message in a song gives the artist the chance to convey their feelings to fans. It also allows fans to feel closer to the artist by discovering the hidden message. Although i feel thats a strange concept and a little unnecessary seeing as how not everyone will play a song backward.

Backmasking and reverse speech sometimes seem more made up by a listener because it would be comical if such an innocent song such as the pokemon theme song were to have an alternate meaning like devil worship or love of satin. some are very distinct and are clearly written to be there like in ELO’s “Fire on High” the song is played in reverse in the original track so that a message can be revealed when played backwards. i believe that a lot of songs do intentionally contain reversed lyrics to address ulterior meanings to the song. while some backmasking is coinsidently heard by the listener or made up.

A song might contain backmasking in a purposeful way. when the song is played in reverse the listener might be able to reveal the true meaning of a song such as in john Lennons “Imagine” the normal lyrics are “Imagine all the people” but when played in reverse its “The people war beside me” revealing a deeper meaning and Lennons real out look on the world and current events around him. Through backmasking Lennon is able to convey a true meaning in a way that allows for his song to have two meanings his positive belief in people and his negative.
Meagan Graham

Jennifer Berard said...

Backmasking is really interesting because you get to kind of see how peoples minds work. Also it seems almost like looking for treasure when your trying to see if you can hear the hidden messages within the songs. However, I don't believe that most of the messages real or intentional. In my opinion most of those hidden messages are just peoples minds deciphering sounds into actual words tricking the brain into thinking those sounds are a message, but some artists do put hidden messages into their songs on purpose.

For the most part the songs that supposedly have backmasked lyrics sound more like gibberish and are trying to make quite a stretch in some cases. Take ‘Break On Through’ by: The Doors, the lyrics that have the hidden message are ‘treasures there’ but the reverserved lyrics say ‘I am satan’. Now when I listened to this it sound like nothing but a bunch of weird noise, and this isn’t the only backmasking that sounds like gibberish. Some others are ‘Beat It” by: Michael Jackson and “Stairway To Heaven” by: Led Zeppelin, both songs sounded more like gibberish than a message said backwards even though ‘Stairway To Heaven” does have some distinguishable words in it however not enough to prove that it was a backmask.

Now most songs don’t really have backmasking within them, but some artist put real backmasking within their songs. Some of those artist are ELO, Pink Floyd, and Weird Al. In ELO’s song ‘Fire on High’ there is some indistinguishable lyrics in the song and when the song is played in reverse you hear this...'The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back.' Its the artist’s way of having a little fun with his listeners and tease people who are looking for backmasking. Another song that has some intentional backmasking in it is Pink Floyd’s song ‘Empty Spaces’ the backmasking in this song 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).' Its the same for Weird Al’s song ‘Nature Trail to Hell’, which has a backmasking that says… ‘Satan eats Cheez-Whiz’. All of these backmaskings were completely intentional and meant more as jokes for their audience than anything else.

So in my opinion most backmasking in songs are really just people who have overactive imaginations that seem to be running a little wild. But there are a select few songs that truly do have some hidden messages within them. And most of those backmasks are just the artist having a little fun with their music and their fans.

Jared S said...

Backmasking, or backwards/reverse speech, is the reversing of records or sound files of songs and lyrics in order to obtain different, or sometimes even demonic, words in the song. Many people believe that reverse speech is a real world psychological phenomenon, while others dismiss the idea. In my opinion, the allegedly perceived "alternate" lyrics are simply the result of the human brain making connections to actual words through meaningless gibberish, the same way that a cloud in the sky may resemble a human face if a person were to look at it (although the shape was not formed intentionally). This type of phenomenon is known as pareidolia. Although the theories and conceptions behind backmasking may be interesting, the "overt and covert speech" phenomenon just seems to implausible to be anything other than a cult-like belief or pseudo science.

In the early 1990's, there was a prevalent hysteria that surrounded backmasking, with many believing that certain songs were "cursed" or "demonic." Around that time, comedian/musician Weird Al Yankovic made a song that served as satire for the hysteria, titled "Nature Trail To Hell." In the song, there is a line where speech is audible, but the words have been reversed. When played backwards, you can hear, unmistakably, Weird Al say "Satan eats Cheez Whiz." Knowing that there would be people who would reverse the track, Weird Al intentionally inserted these words for a comedic value.

"Nature Trail to Hell" is also parodying the Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven," which contains one of the most notorious examples of backmasking of all time. When reversed at a specific point in the song, the following lyrics can be heard: "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 specific example became famous because the reversed lyrics could be understood easier than many other backtracked songs. When asked about this in an interview, Robert Plant (vocalist and tambourine man of the band) completely refuted the accusations and expressed disappointment with the listeners. Although convincing, I do not believe that the demonic references were intentional or occurred as a result of any kind of "psychological phenomenon."

Cassie Phillips said...

Backmasking is when a message is hidden in the reverse of a song that is made to be played forward. It has been a controversial subject since the 1960’s when a hidden message was supposedly found in a song written by Beatles, proclaiming in the reversal of the song that one of the band’s members was dead. Many believe that these secret messages are examples of Reverse Speech, a concept that ordinary things said can have a deeper, hidden meaning when played backwards. In some examples of reversed songs, words are easy to pick out and decipher. In others, the proposed reversed message seems only apparent when the listeners attempt to search for the desired words. In my opinion, if I can pull the hidden messages out of the reversed lyrics without the aid of words to search for, then the artists intended to incorporate a message within the song.
In certain songs, I believe hidden messages were intentionally integrated into into them by the artists. In “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd, a section of the song has indistinguishable lyrics when played normally, however, when played backwards actual words can be distinguished instead of gibberish. When reversed, the listener will hear “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)” as if the singer is talking to the listener. Much like Pink Floyd song, ELO’s “Fire on High” seems to be inarticulate when played normally, but when reversed it actually says “The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back”. The B-52’s “Detour Thru Your Mind” contains an obvious, yet strange message when reversed. The singer says "I buried my parakeet in the backyard. Oh no, you're playing the record backwards. Watch out, you might ruin your needle" as if to poke fun at the backmasking fanatics desperately searching for hidden codes. In the song “Cry of the Vatos” by Oingo Biongo, the entire song seems to be just composed of a pulsing beat and gibberish. However when you reverse the song, the listener realizes the gibberish was really the singer preaching the love of God and the religion of Christianity when he says "Just once or twice is good for your soul / Praise God! Brothers and sisters! /Accept Jesus into your heart and you will saved!” At the beginning of “Absolute Power” by Tech N9ne, indistinguishable lyrics are said until the intro ends and the song begins. When reverse, the intro is revealed to hold an articulate message. "I've traveled many roads and seen many things in search of fortune and fame” the singer says. In numerous songs, the gibberish perceived in the normal playing of the song is actually distinguishable, hidden messages when played backwards.
In some songs, I believe the perceived hidden messages are more forced by listeners than intended by the artist. In Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”, it is believed to contain the lines of “Evil save us! These stars above, above... we model it on the arts of Lucifer” when played reverse, but even when searching for the suspecting message, I still didn’t hear it. This the same case for “Hotel California” by the Eagles and “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears where the proposed secret words I struggled to hear in the revere audio. In The Doors’ “Break on Through”, the listener is supposed to hear “I am Satan” when it is reversed, but personally I think it is too much of a stretch. Much like “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen where some believe the message of “It's fun to smoke marijuana” is hidden in the reversal of the song. When I played the song, I didn’t originally hear most of the hidden words until I look at what the message was supposed to be. Some of the songs that people claim to contain satanic and profane messages I would not have been unable to distinguish without specifically searching for the words, and even then, I still did not quite hear the hidden messages.

Tom Mackie said...

Back masking and reverse speech are two interesting and different angles to view music from. Back masking is the intentional insertion of a reverse message. Examples of this can be found in "Empty Spaces" by Pink Floyd and "Fire on High" by ELO. Usually, in these cases, the original lyrics are indistinguishable, but when played backwards reveal a very clear message. In these examples, the messages are actually acknowledging their existence. In "Empty Spaces", the message starts with "Congratulations. You have just found the secret message.". In "Fire on High" it begins with "The music is reversible" I really like this technique and I think it adds something more to music rather than the sound it adds when played forward. Adding back masking to music gives an extra connection to the listeners. Reverse speech, on the other hand, is unintentional. Examples of this are Paul McCartney's "Band on the Run" and Weird Al's "Nature Trail to Hell". In "Band on the Run" one can hear "Marijuana, marijuana. The law, the law will banish us". Ironically, Paul was banished from going to Japan years later because weed was found in his suitcase. In "Nature Trail to Hell", "Satan eats Cheez Whiz" can be heard when the song is listened to backwards. This message doesn't seem too far fetched for a Weird Al song. I personally believe that most of these examples are made up. They are hard to hear when you don't have the supposed message in front of you. However, when you do read what it says, things seem very clear. This effect, I think, is psychosomatic like many "phenomena". However, certain examples of reverse speech could be conscious. For example, in several Beatles songs, references to Paul being dead are found in the reverse speech. This is because of the conspiracy surrounding him. Many people believed that he was killed and replaced with a look-alike in 1966. Because the band found this funny, they often put "clues" in their songs and album covers. In one song, at the end, John shouts "Cranberry sauce" which was later to be misconstrued as "I buried Paul". The most prominent clues, though, were found in reverse speech. In "I'm so tired" gibberish while played forward can be heard as "Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him, miss him" backwards. These examples, I believe, were intentional. In many other songs, however, the messages seem bogus; especially those referencing Satan. In order to find these, the discoverer had to be looking for them . Presumably those who dislike the artist. Many people, when they do not like something, feel the need to give it a bad name. Finding hidden satanic messages is one way to do that.

Jason said...

Back masking could mean a series of things, but when it comes to music it could very well be a coincidence. Because if someone listens to a song backwards it makes no sense and sounds scratchy. So if you ask a random person they will say they hear a bunch of scratches. But if you ask a religious person they will say its the devil. However there are some musicians who actually do have hidden messages in the reversed version of the song. But in my opinion, it just seems all like a big coincidence.
Most people when asked about back masking, or reversed songs will think of "stairway to heaven" by Led Zeppelin. But there are more songs out there, such as "Reverse Will" from the video game "Silent Hill". The original song gives off an eerie sound as if something bad is about to happen, which makes it kind of scary. However, after listening to it reversed you can slightly hear the prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep" / "I pray the Lord my soul to keep" / "If I should die before I wake" / "I pray the Lord my soul to take". Now this may be intentional because the reversed song is played in "Silent Hill 2" and being the nature of the game, it would make sense that the back masking of this song would be a prayer of some kind.
People over look the songs and just go on what they hear from the normal version and what that story has to say. But then there's are songs that tell a much different or refer to the actual song once said backwards. Such as Tools "Intension" which sounds like any other Tool song, it can either be good, messed up and/or tell a story. But for this song, once listened to backwards you can hear "Listen to your mother. Your father is right. Work hard. Stay in school. Listen to your mother. Your father is right. Listen to your mother. Your father is right." This can be heard at the beginning of the song, which is strange because the song already sounds like its in reverse, or maybe it is and this is the normal version? Either way, the original version sounds creepy until the singer begins to sing, which still gives off a creepy-ish vibe. But when reversed it can sound a bit creepy and the new lyrics may be hard to hear, but they are in there.
So what does this mean? Do all songs have secret demonic meanings behind all of them? No, not all, or none of them could be for all we know. Because the new lyrics are found from what people think they are hearing versus whats actually being said. That's what people need to understand, and if it sounds like someones talking about Satan, that doesn't mean they actually are. So just enjoy the song for what it is instead of being caught up in the reversed messages, if there are any.

Caeley Whalen said...

In the case of ‘backwards messaging,’ many reasoning's can be argued for many songs. Some messages are very clear, and it is obvious that the lyrics were written the way they were to convey a certain type of message. However, some reasoning's are questionable and the messages are not clear. Whether those who discover these messages are looking for reasoning behind the artists previous actions, or the messages are purposefully put in the song, backwards messaging presents interesting ‘meanings’ behind certain songs.
Many messages appear forced and quite obvious. For example, Weird Al is known for his quirky twists on popular songs. In his song, “Nature Trail to Hell,” the proposed lyrics in a section of the song are indistinguishable. However, when played backwards, the unclear lyrics reveal the message, “Satan eats Cheez Whiz.” Whether or not Weird Al was being serious, it seems that the lyrics were meant to be played backwards. Another example of clear meanings in backwards messaging is in Pink Floyd’s song, “Empty Spaces.” Once again the lyrics are indistinguishable when played forwards, but when played backwards the speaker of the song 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)” It is obvious that these lyrics were meant to be played backwards to discover the ‘secret message’ when the voice says, “Congratulations.” Finally in, “Fire on High,” by ELO, the lyrics in a certain line are not clearly identified as actual words, but when played in reverse, the lyrics clearly state, “The music is reversible but time is not... turn back... turn back... turn back... turn back.” Often when the lyrics of a song are indistinguishable and then played backwards to reveal a clear set of lyrics, it is inarguable that the song was purposefully written that way.
Backwards messaging can also be completely unclear. Pokemon is a popular brand with the target demographic of children. In the “Pokemon Rap,” the catchphrase of the brand is repeated three times: “Gotta catch 'em all, gotta catch 'em all (yo) Gotta catch 'em all, gotta catch 'em all (yeah).” When these lyrics are played in reverse, some think that writers of the song were trying to say, “I love satan. I love satan. I love satan, I love satan.” However, when this brand has a young audience, it seems strange that the writers of Pokemon would try and portray such a disturbing meaning. Next, in the popular Queen song, “Another One Bites the Dust,” the speaker says, “Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust,” but when reversed, the lyrics supposedly sound like “It's fun to smoke marijuana. It's fun to smoke marijuana. It's fun to smoke marijuana. It's fun to smoke marijuana.” However, it is hard to clearly hear the ‘hidden message’ without the help of lyrics. When lyrics can be coherently understood in a song when it is played forward, but are unclear when played back, it presents a case that only those who were involved in the making of the song can answer.
Backwards messaging has two extreme ends: either the song or line is meant to be played back, or those who discover the messages in reversed songs are looking for something that simply isn’t there. Back masking can be witty or quirky, like Weird Al’s lyrics, or have a deep message like ELO’s “Fire on High”. Also, back messaging can become very forced and unclear, like the “Pokemon Rap”, or “Another One Bites the Dust”.

Life Struggles in Rap said...

In multiple songs that have been recorded and produced in studios, have been analyzed and broken down. These music clips have revealed different messages in them, and these messages were found when the music clip was reversed. With an original meaning or lyrics already in that part of the song, once they were analyzed and reversed; The clip of music seemed to have a more interesting and odd meaning. These clips of music were broken down and analyzed thoroughly enough to the point where the whole message was revealed.
In the song “Fire on High”, there was a short clip of the song where if you reversed the song; You can vaguely hear “The music is reversible but time is not… turn back… turn back… turn back…”. The music clip normally was indistinguishable however once reversed, the message was very true. Ths message had a deep meaning and seemed to be oddly planned. Telling the listener that you can reverse music, but time is not reversible. Assuming that this message was planned, are all these messages planned? Or are they ironic and odd.
Many of the messages involve satan or evil. This reversed music clips are very different from one another. Especially the ones that are clear and easy to hear and the songs that make you have to really listen to hear what it is saying. These messages are very odd and the power to control the way the listener hears the song can send multiple messages throughout the song.

Life Struggles in Rap said...

In multiple songs that have been recorded and produced in studios, have been analyzed and broken down. These music clips have revealed different messages in them, and these messages were found when the music clip was reversed. With an original meaning or lyrics already in that part of the song, once they were analyzed and reversed; The clip of music seemed to have a more interesting and odd meaning. These clips of music were broken down and analyzed thoroughly enough to the point where the whole message was revealed.
In the song “Fire on High”, there was a short clip of the song where if you reversed the song; You can vaguely hear “The music is reversible but time is not… turn back… turn back… turn back…”. The music clip normally was indistinguishable however once reversed, the message was very true. Ths message had a deep meaning and seemed to be oddly planned. Telling the listener that you can reverse music, but time is not reversible. Assuming that this message was planned, are all these messages planned? Or are they ironic and odd.
Many of the messages involve satan or evil. This reversed music clips are very different from one another. Especially the ones that are clear and easy to hear and the songs that make you have to really listen to hear what it is saying. These messages are very odd and the power to control the way the listener hears the song can send multiple messages throughout the song.
-Ryan Landry

Life Struggles in Rap said...

In multiple songs that have been recorded and produced in studios, have been analyzed and broken down. These music clips have revealed different messages in them, and these messages were found when the music clip was reversed. With an original meaning or lyrics already in that part of the song, once they were analyzed and reversed; The clip of music seemed to have a more interesting and odd meaning. These clips of music were broken down and analyzed thoroughly enough to the point where the whole message was revealed.
In the song “Fire on High”, there was a short clip of the song where if you reversed the song; You can vaguely hear “The music is reversible but time is not… turn back… turn back… turn back…”. The music clip normally was indistinguishable however once reversed, the message was very true. Ths message had a deep meaning and seemed to be oddly planned. Telling the listener that you can reverse music, but time is not reversible. Assuming that this message was planned, are all these messages planned? Or are they ironic and odd.
Many of the messages involve satan or evil. This reversed music clips are very different from one another. Especially the ones that are clear and easy to hear and the songs that make you have to really listen to hear what it is saying. These messages are very odd and the power to control the way the listener hears the song can send multiple messages throughout the song.
-Ryan Landry

Life Struggles in Rap said...

In multiple songs that have been recorded and produced in studios, have been analyzed and broken down. These music clips have revealed different messages in them, and these messages were found when the music clip was reversed. With an original meaning or lyrics already in that part of the song, once they were analyzed and reversed; The clip of music seemed to have a more interesting and odd meaning. These clips of music were broken down and analyzed thoroughly enough to the point where the whole message was revealed.
In the song “Fire on High”, there was a short clip of the song where if you reversed the song; You can vaguely hear “The music is reversible but time is not… turn back… turn back… turn back…”. The music clip normally was indistinguishable however once reversed, the message was very true. Ths message had a deep meaning and seemed to be oddly planned. Telling the listener that you can reverse music, but time is not reversible. Assuming that this message was planned, are all these messages planned? Or are they ironic and odd.
Many of the messages involve satan or evil. This reversed music clips are very different from one another. Especially the ones that are clear and easy to hear and the songs that make you have to really listen to hear what it is saying. These messages are very odd and the power to control the way the listener hears the song can send multiple messages throughout the song.
-Ryan Landry

Lizzie said...

Backmasking is the ability of a song to be recorded backwards in way that it’s almost meant to be played forward. Listening to the original version of one song and completely forming it into reverse speech, some songs don’t make sense. Although, once you know what the lyrics are supposed to sound like, you can clearly hear the message behind it. As you keep listening to the song and feel a connection towards it, the reverse speech ties the messages together. The backmasking of a song conveys the message of what the artist is trying to say. Creating a message through the words backwards sometimes can convey a meaning and or feelings on why the artist wrote the song.
Some people have their mind set knowing that a certain song with create a message using reverse speech, although again it’s just their mind tying to believe it. In some songs including “Pokemon Rap” and “Paparazzi” I feel as though the reverse lyrics are so off and although I can’t tell what it’s actually saying, it’s almost gibberish. People’s mind have deciphered from what they see and what they believe. In this case however, it’s what many people hear without realizing what they are supposed to hear. These songs show no meanings to backmasking considering the words that come out are them singing lyrics but backwards.
Now, listening to some more songs I have come to realization that there are some songs that really have backmasking formed within. The song “My name is…” by Eminem portrays the real meaning of backmasking in an anomalous kind of way. The lyrics forward convey questions while the lyrics backwards actually answers the questions. Although I didn’t have to figure that out with the lyrics, you could listen to the backmasking of the song and figure out what the words convey using your ears and listening close. Also John Lennon’s “Imagine all the people” conveys a double meaning because of know the reverse lyrics. The song itself distributes a positive outlook, while the backmasking verses of the song conveys the negative view. The reverse lyrics of this song state “the people in war beside me”; the statement really ties the whole song together creating a meaning some may never thought of.
I find it quite interesting listening to a song normally and then flipping it around and listening to it backwards. Sometimes I hear prattle and nonsense, but those few songs that have the words clearly said convey the real meaning of the song in a positive or negative way. For instance, the backmasking of John Lennon’s song made me actually enjoy the song even more considering it has that hidden message that plays a huge part of the song.

Emily Eberle said...

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forward. In some songs you can hear the message clearly while in other songs the message is harder to hear. Sometimes the message is purposely put into a song and other times is accidental.
Some backmasking is hard to hear or may seem forced. The song “Hotel California” by the Eagles supposedly contains backmasking. The line, “In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” can be translated to “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” When listening backwards, that line is hard to understand. The song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson also sounds stretched when played backwards. When the line, “tell you it’s fair, so beat it” is played backwards, you can slightly hear “I believe it was satan in me.” This line is harder to hear. Another example of forced backmasking is the Pokemon Rap. Forwards it says, “Gotta catch them all.” Some believe that when it is played backwards it says, “I love satan.” This example is also hard to distinguish what is said when played backwards. When the backmasking is done this way, it can be questioned by the listeners.
Other song have things purposely recorded in reverse to convey a message. The song “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd displays a message. Forwards all you hear are indistinguishable sounds while backwards you hear “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm.” Pink Floyd had recorded the message and put it in the song backwards. Another song that displays this is “Nature Trail To Hell” by Weird Al. When listening to the song forward you hear noises but when you listen to it in reverse you hear, “Satan eats cheez wiz.” Although this isn’t a normal message, it was still recorded in reverse The song “Fire on High” by ELO also displays a message in reverse. When you hear the song you again hear indistinguishable sounds yet backwards you hear “The music is reversible but time is not.. Turn back.. turn back.. turn back.. turn back.” This message was also purposely added to the song. When backmasking is done successfully it can be impressive.

Emily Eberle said...

Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forward. In some songs you can hear the message clearly while in other songs the message is harder to hear. Sometimes the message is purposely put into a song and other times is accidental.
Some backmasking is hard to hear or may seem forced. The song “Hotel California” by the Eagles supposedly contains backmasking. The line, “In the middle of the night, just to hear them say” can be translated to “Satan he hears this. He had me believe in him.” When listening backwards, that line is hard to understand. The song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson also sounds stretched when played backwards. When the line, “tell you it’s fair, so beat it” is played backwards, you can slightly hear “I believe it was satan in me.” This line is harder to hear. Another example of forced backmasking is the Pokemon Rap. Forwards it says, “Gotta catch them all.” Some believe that when it is played backwards it says, “I love satan.” This example is also hard to distinguish what is said when played backwards. When the backmasking is done this way, it can be questioned by the listeners.
Other song have things purposely recorded in reverse to convey a message. The song “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd displays a message. Forwards all you hear are indistinguishable sounds while backwards you hear “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old pink, care of the funny farm.” Pink Floyd had recorded the message and put it in the song backwards. Another song that displays this is “Nature Trail To Hell” by Weird Al. When listening to the song forward you hear noises but when you listen to it in reverse you hear, “Satan eats cheez wiz.” Although this isn’t a normal message, it was still recorded in reverse The song “Fire on High” by ELO also displays a message in reverse. When you hear the song you again hear indistinguishable sounds yet backwards you hear “The music is reversible but time is not.. Turn back.. turn back.. turn back.. turn back.” This message was also purposely added to the song. When backmasking is done successfully it can be impressive.

Jake Munoz said...

Backmasking is a technique where an musical artist will create lyrics that can be both comprehended in the overt and covert modes of speech. While highly controversial, backmasking in popular music can be used to express opinions, reveal a secret, or to hide a hidden message. There is no large majority of people that either believe or do not believe in backmasking, however some examples seem undoubtedly to be forms of the lyrical mechanic. Personally, I believe that if backmasking in a song seems ridiculous or too coincidental, then a coincidence is probably all that it is. The most famous examples of backmasking can be found in songs by Queen, John Lennon, and of course, Led Zeppelin. These examples can be seen as coincidence, or as a way to convey a message to the public and are highly opinionated.

Queen is a very popular example of a band that possibly used backmasking to convey a message to people. In their song “Another One Bites the Dust”, a very clear message about drug abuse can be heard when listened to backwards. “It’s fun to smoke marijuana” is the message heard by most people and seems very likely that this was done intentionally. The band has a history of drug use and it is not surprising at all that the band found a way to work this into a song.

John Lennon is known for his peaceful views and anti-war state of mind. His wrote songs about peace, talked about peace, and dreamed of a world that was nothing but peace. It’s no surprise that in his well known song, “Imagine”, one can find a hidden message describing how he sees the world. When the line “Imaging all the people” is played backwards, one can clearly hear him say “The people war beside me”. Whether this is coincidence or not, the world will never know, but it seems very likely that John put this in the song intentionally given his views of the world.

Led Zeppelin is one of the many super famous bands believed to have sold their souls to the devil to be able to write iconic music. People often point toward their song, “Stairway to Heaven” to back up this claim. The songs lyrics when played forward can even have controversial meanings to some people, however when played in reverse, people hear even more. The line “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.” is already an out of place line that makes little sense to the obscure meaning of the song, which is what fuels the controversy. When listened to backwards, it sounds like a bunch of gibberish to most people, but when paired with lyrics, people hear a message about Satan. The message being, “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”. Though most people would like to believe that this was done intentionally, it seems highly unlikely that Led Zeppelin was able to put together an entire verse that complimented itself that also held a hidden message when played backwards about Satan. My personal opinion is that this example is not real and just very coincidental.

Examples of backmasking are found all of the time in music. People want something to talk about and linking artists to the Devil, drugs, and satanic practices is a great conversation starter. Typically, good and real examples of backmasking are found in small, shorter lyrics rather than large excerpts from songs. Artists such as Queen and John Lennon have arguable examples of backmasking which seem likely, however large examples like Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” seem highly unlikely because of the degree of difficulty that it takes to even create a small example of backmasking. Not only that, but real backmasking and good examples of it are very clear and don’t require translation, coincidences often do because people hear what they want to and what they are told.