Backmasking

October 22nd, 2008

Backmasking is a recording technique which is recorded backwards that is meant to be played forward. It is a deliberate process, whereas a message found in the reversal may be unintentional. It was popularized by the Beatles, who used backward vocals on their 1966 album Revolver. Since then, artists have used back masking for artistic, comedic, and satiric effect, on both digital and analog recordings. It has also been used to censor words for clean versions of songs. The most controversial discussion of backmasking would be during the 1980s when Christian groups claimed that certain rock groups used backmasking to promote satanism.

Although we may not hear it when the song is played forward, if we were to play it backwards, we can get a pretty clear hearing of it. Now you may wonder, why care if you cannot hear it by playing it forward?  The reason why it is such a controversial topic today is because it is considered to be a type of subliminal message. Subliminal messages pass through the human mind consciously but affects certain parts of the subconscious mind. This can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, value and belief systems. Its like tricking us into thinking a certain way that other people want us to think. There are many songs that are out there, particularly rock groups, that are under criticism for backmasking such as “Highway to Hell” and “Another one bites the Dust”.

Many people have uploaded videos on Youtube.com of songs played backwards with their interpretations of what the backward vocals are saying. Now could these musicians be spreading subliminal messages through their music? That is definitely a possibility. In my opinion, if you find out that one of your favorite songs is under criticism for backmasking, you should listen to it backwards to try to find out if the musician is trying to trick you into thinking a certain way.

Works Cited/Further Reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backmasking

Related Posts

Biographies, Debate Topics, Urban Legends, Videos



Our Sponsors





  1. Terry
    January 24th, 2009 at 01:56 | #1

    To read more about backmasking go to this link and read the article.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/378135/backmasking_secret_messages_in_music.html?cat=15

  2. January 6th, 2010 at 17:15 | #2

    Thank you, intresting story

    JFM Sars Angel of Revenge

  3. January 30th, 2010 at 05:33 | #3

    This one is really interesting! Loved reading it^_^

    I remember when I was doing my graduation my psychology lecturer talked about this when it comes to subliminal messages. It was really interesting. One student mentioned Eagles’ Hotel California and we got to read some article about some bands that use backmasking in their music. It mostly talked about how most of this involves promoting satanism.

  4. October 17th, 2010 at 21:52 | #4

    anyone who wants to see an intentional use of this to make fun of the idea of “satanism” being hidden in music, look up Mindless Self Indulgence BackMask Backwards on you tube. playing forward it tells you to “play this record backwards and go **** yourself” sounds offensive. When you do listen to it backwards though it has about 25 positive messages. such as “go to church” ;) just thought it was interesting for this topic.

  5. ghosts are real
    June 22nd, 2011 at 15:16 | #5

    >.> play my name is backwards and get its emminem

  1. No trackbacks yet.