presents...

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
(click picture to magnify)
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Songs:

I Want To Hold Your Hand (MP3) What were they thinking!?

See Also: Beatle Barkers

Your Comments:

TERRY HUFF (AHUFFTB11108@AOL.COM) says:
I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR SITE. I WOULD LIKE TO
BUY CATHY BERBERIAN'S "REVOLUTIONS" AT A
REASONABLE PRICE, PERHAPS TRANSCRIBED TO COMPACT
DISC. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR TO ME HOW TO DO SO.
IT MAY BE THAT I MISSED SOMETHING WHEN I DIALED
"WWW.FRANKLAROSA.COM/VINYL/BIGIMG/CATHY.JPG".
I WILL TRY A SHORTER STRING.
THANX. TH. (02-24-2003)

TERRY HUFF (AHUFFTB11108@AOL.COM) says:
I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR SITE. I WOULD LIKE TO
BUY CATHY BERBERIAN'S "REVOLUTIONS" AT A
REASONABLE PRICE, PERHAPS TRANSCRIBED TO COMPACT
DISC. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR TO ME HOW TO DO SO.
IT MAY BE THAT I MISSED SOMETHING WHEN I DIALED
"WWW.FRANKLAROSA.COM/VINYL/BIGIMG/CATHY.JPG".
I WILL TRY A SHORTER STRING.
THANX. TH. (02-24-2003)

Bonnie says:
I couldn't stop laughing. I thought I was gonna hurt myself. :) (02-15-2003)

DAN McCORMICK (hdanmc@attbi.com) says:
I own Berberian's 'REVOLUTION'.........now what do I do?

How much is it worth?....It's in very good shape!

Dan (02-01-2003)

Rich says:
Hey, she's still the only opera singer every referred to by steely Dan. (01-26-2003)

anita v.d.Zwan (awcvdzwan@wanadoo.nl) says:
I only have a question.
Is er anybody who could tell me the tittle of the album from Cathy Berberian on wich she sings a
folksong from Azerbijan, written by her husband Luciana Berio?????????? (01-26-2003)

Sia Ayrom (siaayrom@yahoo.com) says:
Owww.... my ears are bleeding (01-21-2003)

Sigrún Hlín says:
This woman is a genius and nothing but. (01-15-2003)

Spiveysgp (spiveysgp@hotmail.com) says:
Did someone inflict pain on this singer to do that to a Beatles song???? (01-11-2003)

Strings Galore says:
Please link more cuts from this record! Cathy Berberian is terrific, but I especially love this song's arrangement. Sounds like Mark Mothersbaugh's scores for Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. (01-09-2003)

simon says:
just for some context:

I remember reading that she dedicated a concert performance of "Ticket to Ride" to Joan Baez (this was about the time Joan Baez put out an album covering both Dylan and Villa-Lobos)

Anyone who doubts Cathy's ability to seriously sing either classical *or* popular music should get the CD "Magnificathy", where she sings Monteverdi, Debussy, Cage, Busotti, Kurt Weill and Gershwin, and finds the appropriate voice for all of them. She also does "Ticket to Ride" in the style of this audiolink, and her own composition "Stripsody" which mixes fragments of Schoenberg with Charlie Brown quotes. (12-24-2002)

Ben Opie says:
How unfortunate...Berberian was an amazing vocalist, and not recorded nearly often enough. I mean, the sound clip is amusing and I'd buy the LP in a heartbeat if I came across it. But she could do so much more. I'd recommend seeking out her record album on Mainstream in which she sings works by Luciano Berio, Sylvanno Bussotti and John Cage. The works on that record are not nearly as amusing but her performances is astounding. (12-21-2002)

Bill Shackelford (Bill@tarnhelm.net) says:
I WANT this album!!

I had heard a couple of excerpts on a bargain anthology of Berberian's work but before now was unable to locate the source.

Her untimely death robbed us of a great musician and a great wit. (Sorry, folks, but she was pulling your leg there. I'm sure the Beatles did love it--and her!)

Let us hope that this album, along with the Glyndebourne festival evening of songs ("There are Faires at the Bottom of Our Garden"), will be reissued soon.

P.S. I discovered your web site while following up on today's New York Times preview of the new CD release of Ethel Merman's Disco Album. (I'm not sure how many degrees of separation that puts Luciano Berio and Ethel Merman, but it's nice to think about. (12-06-2002)

open mind (openmind@skynet.com) says:
WOW! and to think I believed Beatles fans to be open minded people. Cathy Berberian IS a great singer, and she has humour too, like the Beatles but unlike their fans. In case anybody is interested THEY liked it. (10-29-2002)

Christopher Trott says:
HOLY CRAP!! That was really foul!!! blaaaa! (10-22-2002)

maíra says:
cathy was misunderstood...
and her performance on berio's pieces is superb, but she should be acknowledged for the rest of her work too. (10-03-2002)

doogie (doogie@doobie.com) says:
God, this is even worse than the barking dogs! this woman must have really hated the Beatles. Some people just don't get it..... (09-24-2002)

Adrian (leverkuhn@uol.com.br) says:
uhh... u don't have a clue till u've heard her sing Berio's sequenza for voice. That almost make her "I wanna hold your hand" sound ok ^^ (08-21-2002)

Joseph Gallant (notquite@hotmail.com) says:
Apparantly, Cathy Berberian was a better operatic soprano than this album would suggest.

I think she was indeed doing this album as a tongue-in-cheek spoof.

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" almost sounds like it was sung by Mrs. Miller! (08-20-2002)

A pained Beatles fan says:
Ugh. I don't know about wanting to hold her hand; I think I'd rather smother this singer with a pillow . . . (08-17-2002)






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