on 22 October 2005
Overshadowed by the massive adulation afforded to "Sgt. Pepper" - which for at least two decades after was considered the Beatles, and even rock music's finest hour - time has shown "Revolver" not only to be a better but much more pivotal work.
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.
When "Revolver" was finally given the Remaster it deserved as part of the 09/09/09 total BEATLES catalogue CD reissue campaign – Fab Four nutters the world over rejoiced. They got the UK 14-track variant of the album in glorious STEREO – and man did it sound good. But the glossy easy-to-smudge 3-way foldout card digipak lacked the aesthetic feel of the 1966 album artwork (short playing time too with no Mono mix which could easily have been included) and the 24-page booklet was big on colour photos but short on actual album history or place.
Well far be it for the Japanese to let that get in the way. Once again they get the last word – because this 2014 reissue campaign of Mini LP Repros for THE BEATLES on their patented SHM-CD format (Super High Materials) is truly gorgeous stuff and ups this already sonic wonder a further notch. "And Your Bird Can Sing" is too damn right. Here are the loaded details...
Released 17 December 2014 (reissued 15 April 2015) and using the 2009 Remaster done at Abbey Road Studios - this Japan-only SHM-CD of "Revolver" by THE BEATLES on Universal/Apple UICY-76972 (Barcode 4988005867490) is a straightforward transfer of the UK 14-Track STEREO album. It’s presented in a limited edition 5” Mini LP Repro Artwork and will be deleted in June 2016 (total playing time 34:47 minutes).
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. I’m Only Sleeping
4. Love You To
5. Here, There And Everywhere
6. Yellow Submarine
7. She Said She Said
8. Good Day Sunshine [Side 2, UK]
9. And Your Bird Can Sing
10. For No One
11. Doctor Robert
12. I Want To Tell You
13. Got To Get You Into My Life
14. Tomorrow Never Knows
"Revolver" (their 7th British album) was originally released 5 August 1966 in the UK on both Parlophone PMC 7009 Mono and PCS 7009 Stereo. The American issue followed 3 days later on Capitol T-2576 Mono and ST-2576 Stereo. The UK variant had 14 tracks (as listed above) - the US issue had 11. The three missing from the American LP (same artwork) were "And Your Bird Can Sing", "I'm Only Sleeping" and "Doctor Robert" which had appeared on the June 1966 US album "Yesterday And Today".
Using the 09/09/09 STEREO MIX of the album – this Japanese SHM-CD reissue also decides to keep it simple and loses the enhanced CD track called "Revolver Mini Documentary" that came with the 09/09/09 releases (two-and-a-half minutes of video footage - largely black & white in-studio shots featuring the voices of the Fabs and George Martin discussing songs and techniques on the album - it's directed by BOB SMEATON). The Super High Materials CD (SHM-CD) does not require special audio equipment – it will play on all devices and Toshiba claim that it offers a better form of disc with increased retrieval details. As someone who owns about 20 of them - I've found that claim to be true. The audio on this sucker through my Marantz CD/AMP combo (paired up with Tannoy Mercury V4 speakers) is just beautiful. The accumulative effect is to have even the most jaundiced ear sit up and take notice. Then there's the sexy artwork...
The EMI 24-page colour booklet returns as a separate entity - but there's also the usual 20-white-page Japanese booklet too that features some unreadable Japanese liner notes followed by the lyrics in English and a back page that pictures all 16 titles in this SHM-CD Reissue series. The attention to detail on the actual 1966 album sleeve is delicious. You get a hard card repro of the UK STEREO LP artwork complete with its glossy front sleeve and matt rear and 'flip back' flaps on the back cover (how did they reproduce this!). The label reflects the black and yellow lettering of the original British LP on Parlophone Records as does the rear cover artwork that advertises the use of an "Emitex" record cleaning cloth. They've even repro'd that Emitex inner bag too. There's an OBI strip – mine is Blue in colour for the 'Encore' reissue series of 2015 (see list below).
The Audio Quality on the 09/09/09 CD Remaster was and is magnificent. Both GUY MASSEY and STEVE ROOKE remastered the first generation stereo master tapes and to say they've done a good job is like saying the Great Wall of China is an ok building-project. Their work here is fabulous – monumental almost - it really is. The sound quality is glorious throughout - clear, warm, detailed - every single track a revelation.
The SHM-CD amplifies the punch in the brassy "Got To Get You Into My Life" and the delicate "Here, There & Everywhere". The hiss level is barely audible on any of the songs - but what you do hear are new instrument flourishes. The brilliant George Harrison guitar playing on the New York Drug Pusher song "Doctor Robert" is at last to the fore, the lone horn work of Alan Civil on "For No One" is suddenly so pretty, while Ringo's superlative drumming on "Tomorrow Never Knows" is now absolutely huge to a point where the clarity and sheer whack of the Remaster brought me to tears. The strings on “Eleanor Rigby” are beautifully full and shock your senses even now - some five decades after the event. If you love this record, you're in for a treat. I love the wallop and anger in "Taxman" – guitars filling my speakers with venom. Another winner is the huge sound from "She Said She Said" where John feels like he's going to kick your speakers in (kick something in anyway). Ringo has his ditty moment with the mad "Yellow Submarine” with those strange engine noises half way through somehow now more bizarre and creative than I remembered. And the riffage of "Doctor Robert" is equal to the splendor of "Paperback Writer".
Between this series of 16 SHM-CDs, the American Capitol Records collection and the white Mono Box set - I'd have to say that these three are the pinnacle of Fab Fourness - and Beatles collectors will quite rightly lust after and covet all three.
What a band and what a recorded legacy they left behind. Float downstream indeed...and if you do...do it with this SHM-CD as your raft...
PS: For info purposes - there are 16 STEREO titles in THE BEATLES Japanese SHM-CD Reissue Series. The first wave came in December 2014 and then a repress in April 2015. Purchasers should note that 'both' issues have the same catalogue numbers and barcodes. The way to recognise the difference is the sticker colour on the front plastic. 1st Issues come with Red Stickers and were released 17 December 2014 - 2nd 'Encore' Reissues come with Blue Stickers and were released 15 April 2015. I’ve provided Barcodes but to locate the right pressing CD on Amazon - but you will need to check with your seller first to see which pressing you're getting (most sellers will identify as either 1st or Encore so there’s no confusion).
1. Please Please Me (Universal/Apple UICY-76966) – Barcode 4988005867438
2. With The Beatles (Universal/Apple UICY-76967) – Barcode 4988005867455
3. A Hard Day’s Night (Universal/Apple UICY-76968) – Barcode 4988005867452
4. Beatles For Sale (Universal/Apple UICY-76969) – Barcode 4988005867469
5. Help! (Universal/Apple UICY-76970) – Barcode 4988005867476
6. Rubber Soul (Universal/Apple UICY-76971) – Barcode 4988005867483
7. Revolver (Universal/Apple UICY-76972) – Barcode 4988005867490
8. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Universal/Apple UICY-76973) – Barcode 4988005867506
9. Magical Mystery Tour (Universal/Apple UICY-76974) – Barcode 4988005867513
10. The Beatles [aka The White Album] (Universal/Apple UICY-76975 & 6) - Barcode 4988005867520
11. Yellow Submarine (Universal/Apple UICY-76977) – Barcode 4988005867599
12. Abbey Road (Universal/Apple UICY-76978) – Barcode 4988005867605
13. Let It Be (Universal/Apple UICY-76979) – Barcode 4988005867612
14. Past Masters (Universal/Apple UICY-76980 & 1) – Barcode 4988005867629
15. 1962-1966 (Red Album) (Universal/Apple UICY-76982/3) – Barcode 4988005867636
16. 1967-1970 (Blue Album) – (Universal/Apple UICY-76984/5) - Barcode 4988005867643
on 21 February 2003
In 1966, the Beach Boys released their masterpiece, 'Pet Sounds', after being inspired by the Beatles' 'Rubber Soul' which had been released the previous year. It presented a creative challenge to the Beatles, and the world waited to see whether they could respond with an album worthy of restoring their primacy in the compelling artistic competition between the two bands. With 'Revolver', they did that and more.
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.
on 23 July 2008
Though not as immediately accessible as the folk rock of Rubber Soul, 1966's Revolver is an album that had aged with consumate grace. Having largely shaken off the mop-top image of songs such as 'She Loves You' and 'Please Please Me', the hugely successful Beatles were now in a position where they could afford to spend months in the studio perfecting their music and craft. The decision to quit touring also allowed for greater experimentation as none of the new tracks had to be recreated in a live environment.
Revolver has, for over 40 years, lived in the shadow of Sgt Pepper but, in all honesty, it is a far better record. Paul supplies the quota of ballads with the lovely 'For No One' and his career besting 'Here There And Everywhere' - one of John Lennon's favourite ever Beatles tracks. Macca also contributes 'Elanor Rigby' and 'Good Day Sunshine' - both of which are peerless examples of contemporary pop (and yes they do still sound modern and fresh).
Lennon himself was no slouch either and it's his willingness to push the boundaries that really lifts Revolver - 'She Said She Said', 'Doctor Robert' and the harmony driven 'And Your Bird Can Sing' effortlessly bridge the gap between ringing guitar pop/rock and the drug feulled mini symphonies that would dominate Sgt Pepper a year later. George's fine 'Taxman' also showed a songwriter poised on the edge of true greatness and is a real 'pot boiler' of an opening track.
Revolver was a landmark album in 1966 and it still sounds just as contemporary and exciting today - even 'Yellow Submarine' !
on 16 April 2006
There is so much to marvel at on this 1966 album that is it is difficult to know where to start. I think if one thing stands out it is the sheer melodic brilliance of Paul McCartney whose songwriting is at an absolute peak throughout. 'Here There And Everywhere' is just about his most affecting ballad, even perhaps topping 'Yesterday' from the previous year. The melody is made in Heaven and I don't use that word lightly. 'For No One' is a masterpiece with its descending chord sequence and beguiling melody. And this is from a man with no classical music training! And if that wasn't enough we have 'Eleanor Rigby'. No wonder Lennon was effusive in his praise of his partner on this album. The standard of these three songs is so high it's not even funny. McCartney would reach these heights in later years but when you've reached this level it is hard to equal. Here on this album his touch is one of sheer genius. The other two McCartney songs are hardly lightweights either: 'Good Day Sunshine' brims with optimism and colour, in the same way that Harrison's 'Here Comes The Sun' was to do 3 years later. And 'Got To Get You Into My Life' is a soulful classic with its distinctive horn refrains and thought-provoking and uplifting lyrics.
And that's just Paul's contribution.
Meanwhile Lennon is exploring other avenues such as the world of dreams in 'I'm Only Sleeping' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and when one hears these songs presented alongside Paul's melodic masterpieces, one can truly wonder if this is the same band. Here John and Paul perfectly compliment eachother and although the styles are different, it makes for a captivating listen. On this album, The Beatles were at the peak of their powers and believe it or not were still touring the world singing 'She Loves You' at this point. No wonder they quit touring. They saw it first on 'Rubber Soul' from 1965, that there was another world to discover in the studio, away from the screams and adulation. Where they could reach artistic heights only dreamt of previously. There is still some evidence of the rock and roll days from Lennon on the blistering 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'Doctor Robert' both featuring some great electric guitar and harmonies to boot. 'She Said She Said' may not be much of a song but the delivery is electric. And Loud.
And then we come to The Quiet One. George Harrison. 'Taxman' is one hell of an opener and timeless in its message and about the most pulsating thing Hari Georgeson has committed to vinyl. Even Roy Carr and Tony Tyler were impressed. The other two George tracks are weaker for sure but fit the format perfectly.
And somwhere buried in here is 'Yellow Submarine' which many people have slighted over the years. OK so it's a children's song which sounds a bit lost amidst it heavier brothers here. But in its way it is timeless. And after all it led to the film of the same name which must stand as one of the greatest animated films for kids. Ever. Ask any Blue Meanie if you're not convinced of this.
And Ringo. Well he learnt to play chess on Sgt Pepper. Here he is more than once called upon to produce the goods, particularly on 'She Said She Said' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. And on the single 'Paperback Writer/Rain' single released at the same time but not featured on the album. On these tracks his drumming is massive. No wonder this is the accepted pinnacle of The Beatles' entire career. Up against some pretty stiff competition for sure but song for song I struggle to see how any band could topple this album. Not even The Beatles. One word to sum it up? So many spring to mind but I will settle for one. Staggering :-)
on 14 September 2009
I've lived with the new digitally re-mastered Revolver for nearly a month and changing my review a little... (Date - October 7th 2009).
In comparison to the 1987 CD the sound is definitely fuller. On each track there is a better balance between vocals and instruments and more detail can be heard in the instruments too. (The 1987 CD higlighted the vocals a little too much in my opinion so the tracks were not always quite punchy enough.) McCartney's bass is more prominent and the electric guitars of Harrison and Lennon generally chime with a little more definition and clarity. The sometimes spiky sound of the 1987 CD has been replaced by a friendlier richness - but this sometimes comes at the price of less intensity and tracks sounding a little muddy (notably and unfortunately on She Said She Said [track 7] - one of my favourite tracks). Here There and Everywhere (track 5) is noticeably louder than the tracks preceding and following it. Ditto for Good Day Sunshine (track 8) and Got to Get You Into My Life (track 13). Tomorrow Never Knows (track 14) - still an incredibly revolutionary sounding track - unfortunately now sounds anti-climactic because of these volume anomalies. Hmmmmm ....all the LOUD tracks are McCartney's. Anyone up for a conspiracy theory??!! (Track volume levels on the 1987 CD and the stereo vinyl album I've owned since 1977 were pretty even). These volume problems can make the album a slightly frustrating listen - which is a real shame considering what an incredible piece of work it is.
More postively - the brass section on Get To Get You Into My Life sounds a lot more lifelike as does the French horn on For No One (track 10).
If you've never heard this album before - BUY IT!!! You'll have no previous versions to compare it to - so my criticisms above may not mean that much to you. The music deserves at least 73 stars!! You will be blown away by its inventiveness, melodicism, exquisite harmonies and guitar interplay. The Beatles were still sticking to seven songs on side one and seven songs on side two that had been their template since Please Please Me. This discipline focused their experimentation and produced their most exciting and coherent album.
If you already own the 1987 cd and you're only interested in the music (and not being a collector) I'd say the 2009 remaster is nice to have but certainly not essential - especially if your stereo equipment is not particularly high-end. If your only copy of Revolver is on vinyl I would buy the 2009 remaster as it does have a vinyl-like quality and you get to preserve your vinyl album for longer.
I've also bought stereo digital remasters of A Hard Day's Night and The White Album. Both of these are more obvious improvements on the 1987 CD releases. However I think there's been a missed opportunity. If the albums had been re-mixed from the multitrack masters and new mixdown masters created from these (rather than just re-mastering the original mixdown masters) the leap in quality would have been enormous. Rolling Stones albums Let it Bleed and Beggars Banquet that were re-mastered around 5 years ago sound incredible and show what could have been achieved with The Beatles re-mastered series.
Ok I've said my piece. I'll leave the mono v stereo debate for others....
on 28 April 2000
Revolver has always played second fiddle to the Beatles' famous masterpiece, Sgt Pepper. It is true to say that Revolver does not have the same cohesiveness of its successor (nor does it have that song to end all songs, A Day in the Life), but in general, Revolver has the better tunes.
It starts with the proto-punk satire of Taxman (famously "borrowed" by the Jam in "Start"), only to follow with the wintry strings and tragedic lyrics of Eleanor Rigby. The album then varies between early psychadelia (I'm Only Sleeping), Indian ragga (Love You To), childhood singalong (Yellow Submarine) and soul (Got to Get You Into My Life). Here, There and Everywhere is one of the Fabs' most beautiful songs (although their own version is a little sickly) and For No-One is a hidden gem, perhaps one of MacCartney's 5 best songs.
She Said, She Said, Good Day Sunshine, And Your Bird Can Sing - all add to the summery, West-coast vibe of the album, and then something weird happens.
Apparently it's only distorted laughter, but what sounds like a flock of seagulls descends from the heavens, a thumping drum-beat starts up and Lennon's highly-compressed vocal commands that you sit up and pay attention. This isn't the happy-chappy mop-tops any more - this is the real deal, the point where they were truly on top of the world. Tomorrow Never Knows is so far ahead of its time that even the cutting-edge Chemical Brothers have shown themselves to be in debt to the piece. From here, the Beatles would go onto Strawberry Fields Forever, the afore-mentioned A Day in the Life and other musical masterpieces. Just think how incredible their transformation was - in 1963 they were singing She Loves You, and just 3 years later they deliver this record. That's the equivalent of Boyzone evolving into Einsturzende Neubauten in a couple of years - no I don't think it'll happen either!
This album would put all but a handful of other bands' greatest hits collections to shame, and yet the Beatles could rustle it up within a couple of months. Listen and be amazed.
on 22 June 2003
Revolver is a fabulous album. Don't know why, but it was not well-publicised in Australia in 1966. I didn't even hear about it until after Sgt Pepper.
This is the first Beatles album to include studio chatter, though the chatter and count in at the beginning of Taxman were added afterwards! Taxman breaks new ground, with direct references to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and Greek mythology. Thus, from the album's beginning, you know that The Beatles are charting new territory.
Eleanor Rigby is one of the very best Beatles lyrics. The harmony is simple [you can play it with two chords], and the musical arrangement for string octet [2 each of the instruments used in a string quartet] is much more sophisticated than Yesterday's, though that is clearly its inspiration.
George created a clever backwards lead guitar solo for the middle and end of I'm Only Sleeping. It is hard to imagine the song without it [though that is how it was first released in the US.] Lennon has skilfully created music that sounds as lazy as its lyrics.
Love You To also breaks new ground with its more full use of Indian instruments and scales. It is leaps and bounds further on the way than the first attempts in Norwegian Wood.
The vocal harmonies of Here, There and Everywhere recreate some of the great moments of Rubber Soul. George Martin says this is one of Paul's favourites of his songs.
Yellow Submarine introduces interesting sound effects, mostly created in the studio for the simple singalong song. Ringo plays his part perfectly.
She Said She Said is John's first foray into unusual rhythms. The song still sounds contemporary, 35 years later.
In Good Day Sunshine, Paul pays tribute to The Lovin' Spoonful. The pianos and vocals evoke a happy Summer's day. The surprising key change at the end of the song still stops you in your tracks.
Lennon's And Your Bird Can Sing has a wonderful obbligato played by two lead guitars. This is a clever musical arrangement, with a great bass line, too.
For No One has a simple descending bass line, and a great french horn solo. But McCartney sounds a little out of tune on a couple of descending phrases, as he did on a descending section in Hold Me Tight [from With The Beatles].
George's I Want To Tell You makes effective use of an opening crescendo [like Eight Days A Week], dissonance and the #9 chord [itself jarringly dissonant], so effectively used by Jimi Hendrix in Purple Haze and Foxy Lady. This was really my introduction to dissonance.
Got To Get You Into My Life has a great Tamla Motown sound, mostly created by the brass instrumentation.
Tomorrow Never Knows is one of the most unusual Beatles songs, due to the creative collaboration of Lennon, the writer and singer, and McCartney [who did the tape loops that are such an important part of the song].
One of the cleverest Beatles albums, and the favourite of many.
on 22 September 2004
Tentatively entitled Beatles on Safari, the album which thankfully would become known as Revolver comes very high in polls announcing The Best Pop/Rock Album of all time, and deservedly so, for frankly, it is better than anything that went before, and most certainly anything that came after. And yes, that includes Pepper where the first cracks of the Beatles' demise are evident. Revolver is the finest group recording of the Beatles. Their eponymous offering two years later runs mighty close, but the songs that made up the White Album were mainly solo offerings aided and abetted by the help of whoever else happened to be in the next studio.
This is the Beatles at their creative height. They had conquered the world, they were about to ditch touring once and for all and concentrate their efforts in the studio, instead of rushing through two 25 minute sets of two and three year old songs poorly played and hardly audible anyway.
Revolver finds all four Beatles - for the last time - pulling in the right direction. McCartney echoes the melodies of Bach, his lyrics for once don't let hime down (For No-One) and his bass playing, mainly thanks to his new Rickenbacker is inspired and melodic. Lennon is high on acid (She Said She Said) or asleep (I'm Only Sleeping) or simply out there somewhere else (Tomorrow Never Knows). George's playing is tight and gritty, the metalic guitar sounds of She Said.., the grossly overlooked And Your Bird Can Sing, the sweet lines in Here There and Everywhere, yet he was prepared to step aside and let Macca take over on George's own vitriolic Taxman, where Macca's fine Epiphone Casino lead sounds shapr enough to cut you. Incidentally, that same solo appears three times on Revolver: twice on Taxman and later, played backwards on Tomorrow Never Knows.
George was also maturing as a songwriter, showing more variation than both Lennon and McCartney at this point. Witness the material anger of Taxman (Ha! Ha! Mr Heath!); the Indian drone of Love You To (why does everyone spell this title incorrectly?) and the strange I Want To Tell You, featuring that metallic guitar sound once again. Add to that his find lead break on Macca's motown inspired Got To Get You Into My Life and it's a good day in the office from George.
Ringo performs superbly on Revolver. His drumming on Tomorrow Never Knows is spot on (great sounds as well. The Beatles were truly searching for new soudns at this point). Likewise on Got To Get You Into My Life, Taxman and I Want To Tell You. His BEST contribution bashing the skins was recorded at this time but didn't appear on the album. Ringo rates his drumming on Rain (a b-side of all things!) as his finest ever. He's probably right although it's a shame that the recording techniques evident on Abbey Road were'nt yet available where for once, the bass drum is punchy and in the dead centre of the mix. Still in 1966, the bass drum is hardly audible in comparison.
Revolver is the work of four men who knew exactly what they both wanted as individuals but more importantly, how to contribute to their collegues' desires. The Beatles sound great, play superbly and the album has that overall feel that connects each song together. In other words, you can tell the songs were recorded at the same time, for the same album. Note also, the influence of Indian music on this album. The drone of Love You To (where the song remains in one key [C#m in this case]), appears also - to a lesser extent admittedly - on Macca's Got To Get You (in G)and on Lennon's Tomorrow Never Knows (in C major). Also, the guitar solos, whether performed by George or Paul, have an Indian feel to them trying to emulate the sounds of the sitar.
For me, Revolver is simply where you aim if you are a musician. You want a good tight sound, good lyrics, melodies and cracking songs. Yes, you want Lennon's up and at it with Macca's moments of reflection. You want some kind of uniformity in your sound yet want to experiment with new sounds all the time. You want good singing and fine craftmanship with your instruments.
Two points before I sign off. a) For No-One is Macca's finest contribion to the Beatles and is lyrically staggering. The way it ends, with a question mark leads me to point b) Note how many songs end in a key different to the key the song started in!
The Beatles were venturing up every avenue in the studio. Soon, they'd make a bit of a U-turn before the wheels fell off. It was all downhill from hereon because frankly there was nowhere else for them to rise to!
on 20 August 2001
This is surely the greatest album of all time, and better than their more publisised next offering in the form of Sgt. Pepper. Every song is incredible - even 'Yellow Submarine' fits in well. It caters for many tastes, so everyone will enjoy it. Until 'Abbey Road', this was George Harrison's greatest work on a Beatles album, with opener 'Taxman', the mystical 'Love You To' and the funky 'I Want To Tell You' fantastic songs. Lennon at the time was creeping ever more towards frequent isolance, but this allowed for some of his greatest songs to be made, like the wierd 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. This song was the first ever to feature sounds never heard before on any album, let alone a pop album, and pushed further the boundries to which a song could be made. His other songs 'Doctor Robert', 'She Said She Said' and 'And Your Bird Can Sing' are fabulous rock songs. And for the first time, Paul showed he was capable of making songs equal to his writing partner, with the love song 'Here, There and Everywhere', the sad Eleanor Rigby', the feel-good 'Good Day Sunshine', the thoughtful 'For No One', and the Motown-influenced 'Got To Get You Into My Life'.
This album was really the first 'studio' album - meaning they used the studio to make their instruments sound wierd, and their voices to sound different. This blew away the music industry, and still does. No one will ever produce an album better than this. One final word: listen to track 3 - John's 'I'm Only Sleeping' - one of the greatest songs ever written.