I assume everyone reading this has a copy of the Beatles' "white album" on hand. (You cannot possibly hope to understand popular music without a complete Beatles catalog. End of story.) Anyway, if you're like 95% of the population, when you get near the end of the second disc, and you hear someone muttering to George Martin about claret, you probably lunge for your remote and hit "skip track," landing you safely in the arms of Ringo and the enormous string section introducing "Good Night." (Or maybe you're a real rocker and you skip that track, too.) In my occasional role as God King Emperor Dictator of the Galaxy, I hereby command you to actually listen to that skipped track, "Revolution 9," about three or four times (and if you're curious, here are two very detailed analyses of what's going on there: the first from the well-known musicological studies of every Beatles track by Alan W. Pollack; the second an exhaustive (and exhausting - but rewarding) analysis from Ian Hammond). It's okay: "you will not die - it is not poison." For whatever reason, maybe because I've always tended to listen to albums as albums, or maybe just because I sometimes like weird, avant-garde-ish noise, I've always listened to "Revolution 9," and having done so, I'm familiar enough with it that I know its structure, know its musical motifs...in short, it sounds like a song to me now.
And I'm guessing something similar was at work for The Shazam, for how else can you account for this cover of "Revolution 9" which, against all odds, turns the piece from an assemblage of tape fragments, only some of which have traditionally "musical" content, into an actual song...albeit an oddly structured song. Who would have guessed that that jumpy little guitar part about halfway through the original could be reproduced and made the basis for the sort of mod little dance-number part The Shazam make of it? Or that the original's ending could be transformed into a very Who-like finale? And it's important to note that, as far as I can tell, The Shazam played all these parts, rather than sampling them from the Beatles' recording.
I've only somewhat enjoyed other Shazam records - but the EP this is from (titled Rev9) is my favorite, with its leadoff track "On the Airwaves" making the case for theremin as rock'n'roll lead instrument.
The Shazam "Revolution 9"
The Shazam "On the Airwaves"