article backmasking

Wall Street Journal Article Published Tomorrow

The article in the Wall Street Journal about backmasking that I was interviewed for is going to be published tomorrow. I’m pretty excited to see it. I had my photo taken by Bob Cooney (he’s in charge of media relations at the University of Lethbridge) and he is pretty excited for me. He wants to do a story for the Legend (the official University paper), and figures that the Lethbridge Herald and the Medicine Hat news will each also want to do stories.

He described getting into the Wall Street Journal as being like the Oscars of getting into the news. He was also pretty excited to be getting a photo credit for the photo he was taking. It will be interesting to monitor the stats on my site tomorrow and see if there is a big influx of visitors.

From the teaser exerpt of the article (it’s already online):

Playing songs backwards — a popular pastime from the days of turntables — went out of fashion when CDs arrived. But now it’s enjoying a new cult following thanks to Web sites and software that do the trick.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my backmasking page.

Update: Here is the Wall Street Journal’s archive of the story.

18 replies on “Wall Street Journal Article Published Tomorrow”

Call me when you have a minute Mon-Tues.
The phone number I have isn’t right.
In FLA. 800-548-3993
Just folow-up to the WSJ. It’s monday Am and I’m tardy.

no rush, no crisis, no problem

WSJ: It’s cool to play songs backwards again…

The first thing I do in the morning is read the Wall Street Journal online. Usually, it’s full of interesting news – from a work perspective, that is. Today, however, I was surprised and happy to read Dionne Searcey’s awesome article on…..

Jeff – I’m the producer of The Michael Smerconish Program on 1210AM WPHT in Philadelphia…a 50,000Watt CBS Affiliate. I’d love to have Michael tape a 10 minute interview with you sometime today to air during drive time tomorrow. Would you be so kind as to let me know your interest and availability? Many many thanks from TC

TC Scornavacchi
The Michael Smerconish Program

You might want to check out ELO. They were accused on Eldorado of backwards messages, which was a bunch of baloney, but after that they intentionally made backwards messages on their albums. Just silly stuff, really. Check out Face the Music, Time, and Secret Messages.


for someone not really familiar about media songs, can you please explain if a reverse song lyrics mean, for example, song lyrics says,”A-B-C” and reversing is, “C-B-A” ? – or something else – since if u pick up simple straight lyrics songs in writing and reverse them, sure they are not what you are claiming …. so what really it means when u r saying revering lyrics — thanks


I’m writing from the ABC News radio affiliate in Seattle. I read the article in the Wall Street Journal about backmasking and hope you might be available for a three minute long interview today. Please give me a call at (206) 404-3404. Thanks, Catherine

Dear Jeff,

Thanks for the great site. You forgot Princes pieace of backwards speak at the end of Purple Rain the album. It is at the end of the alblum and sounds like clear garble but if I remember it correct it translates to “God loves you, in god there is love” or something. Boy did I have to much time and pot on my hands back in 1984. I don’t know if this got trasfered over to the CD which I never owned.

Thanks for the laugh. Oh I could not make out any words when the songs were played backwards except on Pink Floyd. If I read the Backwards Lyics I could hear them. So if you look for Satan everywhere you will find him.

Maybe you should have people write down what the think the here first just as a double blind test. Then the could come up with their own lyics. I heard samon allot, maybe I was just hungry.


Miles Digby III

Congrats on your feature in the WSJ! I to loved the music on vinyl and was let down that you could not hear some of the artist “Easter eggs”. One of my favorite reverse tracks was from ELO called “Fire on High” from Face the music. Sounds like some sheep baaing but when you reverse it….”The music is reversible but time isn’t…turn back…turn back”.


Hi Jeff,

Just read your article in the Wall Street Journal…and now I find myself playing around on your website listening to all the lyrics. Britney Spears definitely makes me laugh the most!

Anyway, Bob Cooney set up an interview for me with you tomorrow, so it looks like I’ll see you at 9:30.

Take care and congratulations!

Kaella Carr
CTV Lethbridge

Late one night I was studying for an exam and I had the record player on. I was listening to ELO’s Face The Music. I left the arm up so the side, side A, played over and over again — it was just background noise and I was studying. Then, bored with studying I guess, I thought I heard something weird in the music, I think a song called Fire On High that has no words and that still plays on the radio to this day. So I played it backwords. At 4 am, studying late at night, I heard a loud, clear message from Fire On High that sounded like a voice from on high: “The music is reversible. But time isn’t. Turn back. Turn back! Turn back!! Turn back!!!!” Studying for my exams and wasting time playing music backwards at 4 am, I realized the voice was talking to me — I had to stop wasting time playing the record and get back to my studying!! Congrats on the WSJ article.

Hmmm. Backmasking eh? I wonder if that possibly helps to explain how Britney Spears alone and by herself has single handedly shaved 4 points off the collective IQ of the entire western hemisphere?

WM Palm Desert CA

interesting jeff. now with technological advances everyone can do this with simple audio editing software.

everybody deserves their 15 minutes, enjoy.

as for the media – sad to see that this twenty plus year old phenomenon is considered news. might be worth a look at that old journalism degree on the wall.

Thanks for the comment Superfunkomatic. I have to say though, I don’t really think this is a 20 year old story. The story isn’t so much just about backmasking as it is about how it’s now available to the masses through new technology. Maybe I’m biased but I think it’s a pretty relevant story for our times.

Check out Rick James’ Superfreak. I played on an old 33 when I was a kid. Backwards it repeats the word infamous over the chorus.

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