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May 18, 2004 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Sleep with me, I'm not too young. Backmasking in Britney Spears song?
posted by drezdn (58 comments total)

 
I'm too lazy to do it myself, but someone tell us about how fake it is.
posted by Mach3avelli at 5:57 PM on May 18, 2004


oliver, repent
posted by matteo at 5:59 PM on May 18, 2004


I've been tempted to try it with soundforge and see if it's the same... If I do, I'll post my take here.
posted by drezdn at 6:03 PM on May 18, 2004


"Stay in school. Obey your parents."
posted by ColdChef at 6:05 PM on May 18, 2004


It's all true, all of it. If you listen to portions of Toxic backwards Britney can clearly be heard saying: 'Justin is dead, Justin is dead etc.'

I hear she's moving in with Anton La Vey.
posted by bdave at 6:06 PM on May 18, 2004


Jesus and your bush; that's no titchy marrow.

(Scroll down, like all monged be, and slipping through ink blacky to slip slip slip...)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:09 PM on May 18, 2004


"Gooo to chuuuurrrrchh... Say your prayerrrrsss... Tithe! Tithe!"
posted by keswick at 6:10 PM on May 18, 2004


Can you believe there were once Congressional hearings on backwards masking?
posted by inksyndicate at 6:10 PM on May 18, 2004


"That Justin guy...is really a girl..and she's the devil"
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on May 18, 2004


This "Britney" -- is it something you would need a radio to understand or appreciate?

This "Britney" -- it vibrates?

And so on.

Back on topic -- I don't buy it. If you play enough songs backwards, you're bound to "hear" anything you want to hear. Um...and even if it IS true - WHO CARES? What would be the point? What possible impact could it have on anyone?

None.
posted by davidmsc at 6:19 PM on May 18, 2004


When you overlay overt messages with subliminal ones, the effect is, like, TWO TIMES STRONGER.
posted by eddydamascene at 6:23 PM on May 18, 2004


Yvan eht niojjjjjjjjj!!!
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:23 PM on May 18, 2004


Damn you, Ufez, you speedy devil you.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:27 PM on May 18, 2004


'I believe it was Satan in me'.
posted by tapeguy at 6:28 PM on May 18, 2004


I'd just like to say that I actually downloaded this song and reversed it with (cough) Sound Recorder, and you actually can hear "sleep with me I'm not too young" in the relevant places. That is all.
posted by reklaw at 6:32 PM on May 18, 2004


I reversed it myself, and it definitely sounds like it's there. Grant I believe there is a psychological effect when you're told what to listen for.
posted by drezdn at 6:35 PM on May 18, 2004


I find it amusing that there has to be the promise of subliminal dirtiness before most people will bother listening to this song.

Well, back to my grindcore. No need to be subliminal with a song like "Engineering A Pill Frenzy".
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:08 PM on May 18, 2004


Cthulhu fhtaaaaggggnnnnn
posted by Hypharse at 7:15 PM on May 18, 2004


Stig has been dead for ages, honestly.

Great post title, drezdn.
posted by yhbc at 7:17 PM on May 18, 2004


FWIW, (like drezdn) I downloaded it, reversed, and played it for my roommate and he didn't hear "it" until I told him what "it' was supposed to be.

Why was somone listening to that track backwards, anyway?
posted by shoepal at 7:18 PM on May 18, 2004


There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
-- Frank Zappa
posted by artlung at 7:21 PM on May 18, 2004


seriously though, dont want to turn this into AskMeFi: but anybody know anything scientific about the alleged subliminal power of this play-it-backwards thing? cause it sounds really flimsy.
posted by matteo at 7:31 PM on May 18, 2004


The argument by the true believers generally boils down to "we don't know how it works, but it must, because those evil satanists are doing it so much!"

"The nature of the backtracked messages in many modern pop songs is so sinister as to leave no doubt to the intentions and affiliations of these singers"

On closer examination, though, even most religious-types have to admit the whole backmasking thing is most likely 99.4% crapola. This last link does have some more explanation of some of the "real" theories behind the thing, though, including the notion that Satan puts the voices on there himself! (begging the question: does the Dark Lord get royalties?)
posted by yhbc at 7:47 PM on May 18, 2004


A radio station I was listening to did a big segment on this. The general consensus was the "I'm not too young" was easily heard, but the "Sleep with me" part was stretching it.
posted by Pockets at 7:49 PM on May 18, 2004


I downloaded the mp3 and reproduced the experiment on my Web page. It's completely legitimate.

Here's my version: http://www.badmouth.net/
posted by hipnerd at 7:59 PM on May 18, 2004


There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another.
-- Frank Zappa


Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.
-- Frank Zappa
posted by ChasFile at 8:07 PM on May 18, 2004


I, for one, welcome our backmasking overlords!
posted by mwhybark at 8:08 PM on May 18, 2004


How do you even do this intentionally, if you wanted to?
posted by smackfu at 8:15 PM on May 18, 2004


mmmm... schoolgirl britney....


oh, wait? what? sorry. got distracted.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:24 PM on May 18, 2004


The Stairway/Satan reference creeped me out even more (I reversed this one myself; it's legit.
posted by gramcracker at 8:33 PM on May 18, 2004


So Satan will only corrupt me if I mistakenly listen to my music in reverse. I almost feel a little bit sort of safer.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:35 PM on May 18, 2004


Thanks for that, hipnerd. I agree with those that can hear it, but wouldn't if not prompted....or I suppose that's the point?
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2004


Many years ago, when I was a radio disc-jockey and was playing around in the studio, I had a neat idea. I recorded something I said, reversed it, and painstakingly transcribed the reversed phonemes as best I could. Then, I recorded myself speaking the reversed version, and then reversed that. The result was really cool. It was like an alien speaking English.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:38 PM on May 18, 2004


Ufez Jones: No problem. Someone forwarded it to me this morning, and I heard the backtracking clear as a bell. It was so clear, that I doubted it's authenticity. So I had to prove it myself.

I'm not sure what the point of backtracking is today. In the old days, kids screwed up their albums playing them backwards and had to buy another.

Good marketing strategy for the bands.

Can't ruin a CD like that, though.
posted by hipnerd at 9:04 PM on May 18, 2004


Then, I recorded myself speaking the reversed version, and then reversed that. The result was really cool. It was like an alien speaking English.

They also used that trick in dream sequences in Twin Peaks ("I've got good news").
posted by eddydamascene at 9:15 PM on May 18, 2004


Etheral Bligh - that's how the dialogue for 'The Little Man From Another Place' in the show "Twin Peaks" was done as well. Did you have a co-worker named Lynch who observed you doing this?
posted by GriffX at 9:18 PM on May 18, 2004


dang - eddydamascene beat me to the pedantry! Oh well, you are doubly INFORMED.
posted by GriffX at 9:20 PM on May 18, 2004


Couple things:

First, see the "authority" on subconscious backmasking.

Second, to Ethereal Bligh, sure, I've done that too. Held little conversations with friends on AIM that way (they were just typing, mind you, and were annoyed ;) ). I believe some avant-garde composers in the 60's tried that technique too. Radiohead made their song "Like Spinning Plates" by Thom singing the whole song backwards, then playing it backwards. They didn't use that for the final - he just learned from that and did a dead-on imitation of how it sounds. It fits with the song's overall musical theme of backwardsness, too, especially because the melody was composed in part by reversing the backing track of "I Will," a song they ended up releasing in its original form on the next album.
posted by abcde at 9:25 PM on May 18, 2004


begging the question: does the Dark Lord get royalties?)

"but, mr Valenti, you don't underrstand! I'M FIGHTING AGAINST SATAN!"
posted by matteo at 9:48 PM on May 18, 2004


Etheral Bligh, I used to do that too. I used windows sound recorder though, no access to a radio station. It was pretty cool.
posted by Nothing at 9:54 PM on May 18, 2004


1.) If a song is filled with terribly satanic and sexual lyrics when it is played forwards, what will it say when it is played backwards?

2.) Listen to any of these songs backwards without looking at your monitor. Suddenly those words you could hear before are gone, because you can't read along! Magic! (Although, I must admit, I could hear Britney's words. But not the Led Zeppelin, or the Michael Jackson, until I read along with it.)
posted by whoshotwho at 9:58 PM on May 18, 2004


So, matteo, you're fighting for Mr. Valenti then?












Zing!
posted by Hackworth at 10:02 PM on May 18, 2004


nitpicker:

That quote about Music and Dancing is not I believe actually a Frank Zappa quote.

some randon quote commentary
posted by mary8nne at 10:08 PM on May 18, 2004


Britney knows the names of all the ancient gods...
posted by wfrgms at 10:18 PM on May 18, 2004


Um, she's over 18, and by and large her only appeal to men is that she's hot. I think that if there was backmasking going on in a Britney Spears song, it would be to get across a message that isn't being gotten across rather well already.
posted by bingo at 10:36 PM on May 18, 2004


Um, she's over 18

She actually wasn't over 18 when the song was recorded/released. Not that this proves anything, or somehow makes it wrong, but if it was done on purpose (which would be really strange/conspiratorial) does make it extra creepy.
posted by drezdn at 11:14 PM on May 18, 2004


My fave backwards masking moment was the gospel-esque ditty at the end of darling nicki.

Here's something you can try in the comfort of yr home which will reveal the secret message God is sending all of us.

Record yrself or a loved one saying "Jesus Loves You."

Now play it backwards.

You will clearly hear "We smell sausage."

The theological implications are quite terrifying.
posted by pandaharma at 11:35 PM on May 18, 2004


I once played a Steve Martin album backwards ("Comedy Is Not Pretty"). If you play the bit backwards about the "googlophonic stereo with the moonrock needle," he clearly says "Yeah, and we will play in the woods."

Ominous. Indeed.
posted by NedKoppel at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2004


Ohhhhhhh--I will SING because I live with SATAN!
posted by mcgraw at 7:45 AM on May 19, 2004


Yeah, that's right, I said SING!
posted by mcgraw at 8:30 AM on May 19, 2004


I don't get it. Here's my rough ASCII transcription of the phonetics:

"..with you I lose my mind, give me a si-"
wIT ju aj luz mE majnd, gIv mi E saj

And backwards:
jas E im vIg, dnEm Em zul ja uj TIw

Or, roughly:
yoss uh eem vig, dnum um zool ya ooi thew

I'm thinking what we're hearing is a more slurred version, something like:
sss w ee, num um zoo ew

or, to those so inclined:
sleep with me, I'm not too young
posted by oissubke at 8:41 AM on May 19, 2004


Ethereal Bligh, seems a lot of us have tried the reverse phoneme reversed recording for fun. Clearly, we have/had too much time on our hands. Raise your hand if you downloaded Missy Elliot's track and reversed it to see if indeed she had flipped it and reversed it as she declared.
posted by shoepal at 8:43 AM on May 19, 2004


There was a little toolshed where Britney Spears made me suffer with sad Satan.
posted by bargle at 8:54 AM on May 19, 2004


She actually wasn't over 18 when the song was recorded/released.
17, legal in Texas...STATE AGE OF SEXUAL CONSENT LAWS. Where is she from, Louisiana 17.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:43 AM on May 19, 2004


Debunk this. NSFW, saw it last week.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:51 PM on May 19, 2004


my GOD thomcatspike.

you know that shit ain't real.

but if it is...

80
posted by mcgraw at 5:19 PM on May 19, 2004


you know that shit ain't real.

No, it's not. But good grief, convincing, isn't it? It's actually this girl (semi-nudity). Fake Detective has another shot (nudity) from her photo shoot that should pretty much debunk the claim.
posted by quarantine at 10:02 PM on May 19, 2004


How about "He's lost his clothes = Don't you know that you're toxic." From toxic.
(Warning ogg sound file)
posted by nasim at 3:54 PM on May 21, 2004


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