Backward messages in Music

usually it is Christian Fundamentalist who are worried about backward satanic messages in the music that might turn kids into Satan worshippers. Are there any examples that give credence to the rumors? Not that I believe in the rumors, but do they ever give an explanation on how is it possible that a backward message can affect the subconscious?

the term is “backward masking” - if you do a google search you’ll turn up plenty of ‘examples’ and documentation on the if’s and how’s etc.

Simon Singh cites a heartily amusing backwards version of Stairway to Heaven (he had a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan) as an illustration that you can arbitrarily find patterns in anything if you are looking for them, rather like seeing shapes in clouds.

On this page, click on the link under the photo of the priest George LeMaitre.

That link credits, which has tons of <excrement> that might respond directly to the OP. Not that it’s credible, but it is a comprehensive rundown of that point of view.

BTW I saw Singh doing this on TV and it was truly stunning how a bunch of noise suddenly sounds like something when someone puts the words in front of you. LOL.

It’s 99% bull-puckey. I’ve been looking for these messages for a very long time, and I would be the first to believe they were there. But when you listen to the really (in)famous songs backwards, you hear…music being played backwards. Now, when you speed up or slow down the track, sure, things pop out that could song like certain phrases. Especially when someone gives you subtitles and a bouncing ball to follow along.

But really, it’s just not there. There are examples of “classic rock” with bona fide backward-masked messages about satan, but they come from precisely the artists you’d expect: Ozzy Osbourne and the like. Death metal bands and the like.

Suggestion: get a freeware wave editor and an mp3 of “Stairway to Heaven”, play it in reverse, and give your sober mind three tries to hear anything. Chances are, you won’t.

Got a cite? I find it really hard to believe that any death metal band would put backwards Satanic messages in their songs when they’ve already got the forward ones.

The question isn’t really “What you can hear if you reverse the music and then listen carefully?”

The question is can your subconscious mind ;

1/ memorise the sound of the words being pronounced
2/ reverse it
3/ make out words
4/ be influenced by them against your will

Just the first of those steps seems a stretch. The next three are unlikely on their own. Adding them all up together is just beyond bad science fiction. Quite beside the complexity of it all, why would your subconscious mind want to do this?

I’ve allways thought it would be funny as hell if one of those bands inserted, as a backwards masked message, something along the lines of “Stay in School, Jesus Loves You” just to mess with the heads of the folks who play stuff backwards listening for Satanic messages.

Another thing I’ve heard about is how you can convert images into sounds that, when run through an osciliscope, will reform the images. Some bands will take these sound bytes and mix them into their songs. Images used have ranged from an image of the artist’s face to, in one song, a collection of pictures of the guy’s cat. I don’t have a cite handy, but I can find one in a bit.

It doesn’t say backwards, just subliminal, but as Judas Priest can tell you it’s no rumor.

dammit I wasn’t done

Not exactly satanic, but I used to have an Iron Maiden album that had some definate backward tracking on it. I couldn’t tell what it was saying backwards, so I recoreded it onto a reel to reel deck (back when I still owned a reel to reel deck) and played it backwards (so that the voice was now normal), and it said something like “Forsooth, said the thing with three bumps”.


A couple of decades later I still don’t know what it means.

If the Judas Priest case Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (never thought I’d type that particular phrase) referenced is the one I’m thinking of, the members of Judas Priest went to the same album and, using the same techniques, found other hidden messages like “I want a lollipop” and other silliness. The case against them fell apart rather quickly after they played the “I want a lollipop” part in court.

If this really worked then these bands would be putting in messages saying, “Send a stack of unmarked bills.”

There is a backwards message in the original Diablo game - when you confront the final boss, it plays a really creapy sound. If you extract the sound, and play it backwards, it comes out as:

:eek: :smiley:

Somewhat tangential but I had to find at least one reference to The Who for MBB&B. This fanatical site obliged but with no specific reference. Alas, I was not able to find even a reference to that specific album.

Emphasis mine.

One has to wonder at the skill of a lead singer who can sing “Ooh baby getcha booty on ma weenah” while simultaneously making it sound like “Send $5 to the Church of Satan by midnight tonight.” The very peculiarities of spoken language make this absurd at first glance.

However, I can testify that some music has had subliminal backards messages included. There was a band in the 80s that did this. There is a strange satanic voice in the background of the song. If you play it backwards, you’ll hear a voice compelling you to…

…join a dating service.

(I was in that band. The dating service ad was the only talk radio station I could find when I did that track.)

Ah, yes, but I found some backward masking on a Mormon Tabernacle Choir album…

When you played it backwards you get a bunch of old tuna casserole recipes.


Take one can of tunafish and drain…
Add a cup of mayonaise…
Cook one pound of elbow spaghetti…

Fascinating information. Unfortunately, I’m now addicted to the stuff, so that backward masking really must work!

Now that’s evil!

Now there’s someone who wouldn’t recognize an ironic joke if it bit 'em.

Believe it or not. Nah, no cite, sorry; I haven’t the time to look for it.

On Weird Al’s album, Dare to Be Stupid, he placed two backwards messages:
“Satan eats cheez-whiz”
“You have too much time on your hands.”

I haven’t heard them, personally, and I forget which songs they were supposed to be.