Cathy Berberian: Revolution

Beatles songs go baroque! An operatic first!

Eventually, record producers realized that it's a bad idea to make entire albums of Beatles songs done in some unique or perculiar non-rock style. Unfortunately, that seminal moment did not occur until some time after opera singer Cathy Berberian recorded this unbelievable LP.

The liner notes on "Revolution" (a Beatle song that Cathy doesn't actually perform on it) start off rather tongue-in-cheek, asking "Who are they kidding? Is this another put-on, some sort of musical joke?" The notes quicky go on to assure the reader that it is not, but one listen to the music on this album and you won't know what else to make of it. Opera. The Beatles. Error. Error.

Call your friends over. Place your jaw squarely in the open position. Drop the needle on Revolution, and prepare to be amazed.

Cathy Berberian: Revolution
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I Want To Hold Your Hand (MP3) What were they thinking!?

See Also: Beatle Barkers

Your Comments:

J says:
I love the cover art, but didn't feel like spending $30 on a 45-year-old record with mono sound. A 2000s CD release was made called "Beatles Arias" which is out of print but somewhat available via torrent download. The CD seems to be comprised of the same 12 tracks in a different order, with a beatle (photo of a bug) on the cover, plus some bonus tracks. The sound quality of the CD is very clean, but I'm not sure about stereo. Anyway, this is on par with Mrs. Miller. The album was a one-trick gimmick and all the songs sound alike. If you decide to buy the old record, do so for the frameworthy cover. (05-03-2011)

Rob says:
Wow, this is really funny. But after a while you realize the brilliant arrangements for example the ones by Louise Andriessen.

If you like stuff like that I recommend "The Beatles Go Baroque" by Peter Breiner and His Chamber Orchestra. (09-12-2010)

danfan says:
Even Cathy Berberian knows there's one roulade she can't sing. (07-31-2008)

the ondeerer (? says:
In hell will the nashing of the teeth be louder than this musick? (12-21-2007)

Tony ( says:
I will bet anyone that John and George are both just spinning in mother Earth right now.If it aint broke,dont try to fix it.Sacrilage,and I didnt even like them much,until Rubber Soul.Enough. (11-19-2007)

Graham says:
And you can also hear a fascinating interview with Cathy (requires free registration) at:
Several of her Beatles renditions are played in full in that interview. I personally love her rendition of Eleanor Rigby ... (11-05-2007)

Graham says:
You can hear some of Cathy Berberian's work (requires Adobe Flash) at:
By listening to the playlist on that site it's easy to tell what an amazingly versatile singer she was. I want more ... (10-28-2007)

Bud Eagle says:
hey guys, you need listen to WING(Chinese singer from New Zealand) she is the killer, she can kill any song, even Beatles,Abba, Elvis, Queen etc. Go to CD Baby e look for WING... (10-12-2007)

haywood jablomy says:
Paul McCartney did write an opera. Anyone recall the "Liverpool Oratorio"? (07-17-2007)

cathy berberian ( says:
"When I did this work I did it seriously and for all the parents who taught at the time that The Beatles where absolutely disgraceful for their children ears. Thus I demostrate them that when Music is good there is no barrier between classical or pop or whatever....
When I performed the Beatles'song in my concerts part of the audience (the Classical restrict type) did not believe that those were Beatles'songs and they started to change their minds about the Fab Four and about their children's ears too."
So said now I can go back to my deep sleep. :-))))) (06-08-2007)

Ronnie ( says:
i thought this was amazing..almost a religious expirence making me want more..u should upload a few others she shook me! (02-18-2007)

Tim Constant ( says:
I got to hear Ms. Berberian in concert in the early 70s and I can tell you that whether live or in concert she possessed the most technically flawless and flexible vocal instrument of the 20th century. Stravinsky, Cage, Milhaud and Berio (to name but a few) wrote specifically for her voice because she was quite simply the only singer in the world capable of singing the kind of music that they wanted to write. Her sense of whimsy was equally developed as is evidenced by her vocal work on "Revolution." How could anyone with any musicality or even the most rudimentary sense of humor not get that this collection is a brilliant send up by a musical master. (01-21-2007)

Arnold J. White ( says:
I have written a book that deals with the possible ~"Spiritual"~ aspects of The Beatles. I have my book for free as a WORD document e-mail attachment. If you would like a copy, let me know. You can read an earlier version of my book at
And Cathy's recording? It is what it is. I enjoyed it. It made me want to Hold Her Hand. (10-11-2006)

Phil McRevis says:
When did avant - garde become a synonym for crap? Oh, pardonne moi, I've lost my savoir faire! (09-26-2006)

graeme Roberts ( says:
She was an avantgarde artist, a star who died too young. where are the CD's? has anybody got the edinburgh recital to pass on to me. I regret giving away my albums and would love to have that one back! (09-22-2006)

Jules ( says:
I have this record, and have been looking for the cd for a long time. I just picked it up from Many thanks to Jojo!! I've always thought it was hilarious! (08-08-2006)

frankie says:
she has a nice voice for opera but the beatles? (06-26-2006)

eric "paw macarthy" rock ( says:
Howdy! Cathy Berberian is barbarian! she rocks yeah yeah yeah! (05-18-2006)

vinyldiva ( says:
There is an alternate cover for this LP on its Polydor release. See it here: (05-02-2006)

Pierre ( says:
Cool! You should also check out "Visage", a piece written for Cathy Berberian by Luciano Berio (Her husband)in 1961. This is an awesome electronic piece with wild vocals intended to showcase every mood of a woman.It was well ahead of its time and precious little noise/avant-garde music can touch it!Interested? I have 3 copies of this. (03-17-2006)

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