There is something almost comical in that first line, who was it written by — the vocation of St. John to pen a White Album of NT scripture, the translation of an august personage to someone sitting carelessly in a corner, writing weird crap. Their vocals lend the song an a feeling of fear and foreboding, with the refrain, who is that writing, John the revelator, repeated as mantra. The voice, which seems to go all the way back to the dawn of time, is the one of big-time son house, although John the Revelator was in fact written by gospel-blues legend Blind Willie Johnson. Son House recorded this classic gospel-blues song in 1965, popularizing the Blind Willies songs to blues musicians everywhere.
Delta blues musician Son House recorded multiple a cappella versions of the song during the 1960s. Blind Willie Johnson recorded The Revelator by John The Reverend at his fifth and last recording session for Columbia Records on April 20, 1930, in Atlanta, Georgia. John the Revelator was first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930, with his version appearing on The Anthology of American Folk Music (to which Peter Murphy contributed — see About the Author). Some also deal with God, judgment, and redemption, and perhaps the best known of them all is John the Revelator, written and first recorded by a visionless preacher from Texas, Blind Willie Johnson.
The title of Peter Murphys book is taken from the traditional song of John of Patmos, the name given to the writer of the Bibles Book of Revelation, identifying himself by living on the Greek island of Patmos. The Bibles Book of Revelation itself was written by the writer of John of Patmos. Martin Gore describes the song as a heavily over-interpreted, older gospel melody about John of Patmos.
St. John, beloved disciple — the one, according to the Gospels, who stays up at Gethsemane while Jesus is bleeding out — according to tradition, ended Saint Johns days on the Greek island of Patmos, holed up in a cave and writing what became the White Album, Revelations Book of the New Testament. The future of the apostle John, sometimes called the beloved one, or the revelator The apostle John, sometimes called the beloved one, or the revelator, is a mystery to the world.
Although John wrote a Book of Revelation explicitly for the Christian community in seven cities, the message is not intended only for them. The rest of what John wrote in Revelation is filled with creatures, angels, beasts, dragons, and all sorts of cool imagery. There are many Johns in the Bible, and it is easy to become confused as to which one you are reading about.
How much I like a song depends on what version I am hearing, but with no such history concerns, I was able to fully appreciate this one, not having to worry about whether somebody else had done a better version somewhere else and I was missing it. John Devine is a teenage boy stuck in a small Irish town, with a single mom, no real friends, and a pretty disturbing obsession with body pests, mostly gut worms. Once the story got past the first part, where we meet John Devine for the first time, and I would settled into the slower pacing of the tale, I found myself engrossed by the story. John Fusco learned, over time, never to allow the story to be trapped into the box of genre, so long as the DNA is grounded in his own authentic voice.
The record is so varied that Fusco and his team initially considered breaking it into two albums, or maybe a set of EPs. All of the dichotomies at work–between John Fusco and Petit (a noted jazz guitar player and producer), Mississippi and Vermont, Checkerboard and Meadowlark, down-home blues and introspective songwriting–created a dazzlingly eclectic record. My own music comes from the blues and gospel, but some stories and themes found styles that caught me off guard, too; they found musical engines that crossed boundaries and broke any boundaries.
This classic blues-gospel song is the classic call-and-response format and has been influential for blues artists since the 60s. The song has been performed both lamentatively and as an undiluted expression of joy, in folk blues, New Orleans jazz, and with full gospel choruses.
Between recording and lyrical complexity, this classic blues-gospel song was mostly forgotten a few years later. True, Depeche Mode did indeed record a song called John the Revelator, but although it contains Biblical references, it is really a denunciation of President George Bush, and has almost nothing in common with Blind Willie Johnsons themes or intentions, nor Son House.
John Fusco has let far too many songs slip through his fingers over the decades, having had no time to work on them (he has written over 15 major films and TV shows, starting with a semi-autobiographical script called Crossroads). Now John Fusco has begun laying too many songs to go, dipping into his lifes experiences and memories to produce a collection that is at once broad-stroked and deeply felt, in the same way that each of his scripts or novels are. John Devine goes through many emotional experiences, his life changing almost entirely from one end of the story to the other, and you feel every single one of them. I enjoyedJohn The Revelator far more than I expected after the first few pages.