|1. Revolver Documentary|
|2. Eleanor Rigby (2009 - Remaster)|
|3. I'm Only Sleeping (2009 - Remaster)|
|4. Love You To (2009 - Remaster)|
|5. Here, There And Everywhere (2009 - Remaster)|
|6. Yellow Submarine (2009 - Remaster)|
|7. She Said She Said (2009 - Remaster)|
|8. Good Day Sunshine (2009 - Remaster)|
|9. And Your Bird Can Sing (2009 - Remaster)|
|10. For No One (2009 - Remaster)|
|11. Doctor Robert (2009 - Remaster)|
|12. I Want To Tell You (2009 - Remaster)|
|13. Got To Get You Into My Life (2009 - Remaster)|
|14. Tomorrow Never Knows (2009 - Remaster)|
The Beatles’ transition from a gigging unit to studio band was sealed with this record: a mature, complex, frequently witty work, there is simply no filler to be found on Revolver. Paul McCartney’s creativity is aflame, this collection housing his most durable material. Many writers would struggle to manage just one song of the calibre of Eleanor Rigby, For No One, Here, There and Everywhere, Got to Get You into My Life or Good Day Sunshine. Here, McCartney effortlessly delivers all five.
Although John Lennon’s material is more slender – Dr. Robert, I'm Only Sleeping – it’s still memorable, and he steals the show with his final song, the Tibetan Book of the Dead-referencing Tomorrow Never Knows, which points the way to not just the group's future but also the next few years in rock. Asking producer George Martin to make him sound like the “Dalai Lama chanting from a hilltop”, Lennon’s looped and flanged drone still sounds unlike anything else in rock. As the track, built around an aggressive Ringo Starr drum loop, collapses after three minutes into honky-tonk piano, it concludes a remarkable work, perhaps The Beatles’ most consistent album.
And all this is without mentioning George Harrison's Indian experimentation on Love You To, his searing attack on the tax system – that’ll be Taxman – and the best kid's pop song of all time, Yellow Submarine.
Within a month of the album's release in August of 66, The Beatles gave up touring. There was no way they could replicate this new sophisticated and experimental sound on stage beneath a barrage of screams. --Daryl Easlea
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Why? Well caught, in early 1966, between a global audience who simply wanted more of their peerlessly tuneful "pop" songs, and a musical mind-set that was a million miles away from where they'd been only a year or so before, the Beatles pulled off the extraordinary feat of pushing rock music's boundaries out to the edge while showing that musical innovation could still be integrated into a satisfying melodic framework. The result? Well at its most extreme "Revolver" has "Tomorrow Never Knows" & "Love to You" (two of the mid-60's best avant-garde tracks) colliding head-on with "Here There and Everywhere" "Eleanor Rigby" & "For No One" (three of the most beautiful MOR ballads ever made) with each sitting, quite comfortably, within what has to be the broadest musical canvas ever committed to disc.
But it's what goes on between these extremes that makes "Revolver" such a brilliant album. In "Taxman", "I'm Only Sleeping", "She Said She Said", "And Your Bird Can Sing", "Doctor Robert" & "I Want to Tell You" the Beatles took the explorations that others (most notably the Yardbirds and the Byrds) had started and then applied their outstanding song-writing skills to them to show just how good this new music could be. And, because it was so good, they catapulted it straight into "the mainstream", laying down a reference point which others were bound to follow. What happened over the following year of huge musical change, culminating in "Sgt. Pepper's" anthemic but far less challenging celebration of it, owed a huge debt to "Revolver" - not only the Beatles best album but the catalyst for a scale shift in rock music.
If you haven't done so recently, play it and be amazed... and if you still don't own it, get it straight away.
Here we have the most important exponents of popular music captured at the peak of their powers. Containing the finest moments of Lennon ('Tomorrow Never Knows'), McCartney ('Eleanor Rigby') and Harrison ('Taxman'), 'Revolver' is not merely the best album by the Beatles, but quite possibly the best album by anyone.
More seamlessly than any of the Beatles' albums, 'Revolver' combines entertainment with innovation. Even its poppiest tracks, such as 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'Doctor Robert', feature pioneering qualities - the most notable of which are the aggressively guitar-driven melodies. Indeed, for the prominence of the lead guitar, this is the most Harrisonian of all their albums. Even more original is McCartney's 'Eleanor Rigby' - in my opinion the greatest of all the Beatles' songs. That a normal human being like you or I could produce something so special with a violin, a voice and 120 seconds of recording tape is extraordinary.
The motherlode of imagination, however, is Lennon's 'Tomorrow Never Knows' which, despite being the first track to be recorded in the 'Revolver' sessions, provides the album's finale. Built on a recurring drum loop and backed by psychedelic sound effects, Lennon's vocal soars (reaching a glorious zenith with "love is all and love is everyone") despite being engineered to sound remote and detached. 'Tomorrow Never Knows' achieves the impossible in being both psychedelic and perfectly coherent and convincing. And this, remember, was pretty much their first attempt at psychedlia.
'Revolver' represents the genesis of modern rock. It is integral to the history and development of popular music, and should be passed down from generation to generation as solemnly as a family heirloom. Maybe if the Beatles hadn't recorded it, someone else would have eventually come along and made something of similar quality and importance. We, however, cannot know and must therefore revere this plastic disc as Christians revere the Bible.
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