The Beatles were sick of touring. Blasting out on low volume to deafening and screaming crowds was in no way fun in the pre-Marshall Amplifier era. It seemed pointless. After the deliciousness of Rubber Soul, The Beatles quit touring and returned to the studio to broaden their musical palette. They still released major singles at this point, yet the key factor was making an album to top everyone else at the time.
The result was Revolver. Being totally different and excellent compared to everything else at the time, Revolver was a landmark. Everything on it sounds light years away from what was considered pop/rock music at the time. Everything sounds different.
We hear the decidedly warped intro and then we burst into the song Taxman. This was the main political song by The Beatles to be recorded before John Lennon’s much later political efforts. It’s an excellent song by George Harrison about the 95% top tax rate introduced by British Labour PM Harold Wilson. “There’s one for you, 19 for me”. Direct and slightly aggressive.
The follow up is a sad orchestral ballad called Eleanor Rigby. It’s a reminder that we all pass on one day after major life events. The music definitely evokes sadness and is emotionally powerful.
I’m Only Sleeping talks about insomnia and lying in bed all day, just to sleep. It’s an excellent John Lennon piece with the then newly discovered technique of backward guitar pieces. It’s a good song by The Beatles.
Love You To is a George Harrison stab at a mixture of pop sensibilities and traditional Indian sounds via Sitar. It’s a strange irony to know that George Harrison barely had any say in The Beatles but wrote outstanding pieces regardless.
Paul McCartney hits his stride with Here, There And Everywhere. It’s a great love song and makes you listen to the softer arrangements and instrumentation intensely. Very solid indeed.
The childhood like song Yellow Submarine follows, sung by Ringo Starr. Ringo is hardly a great singer, but all the same, he carries this song well. Featuring a number of innovative sound effects, The Beatles paved the way for Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd right here.
The follow up She Said She Said was directly inspired by a John Lennon LSD trip. In fact, by this point, The Beatles were heavily into drugs, particularly psychedelics that were readily available at the time. This explains the overall sound of the album.
Good Day Sunshine was likely inspired by Paul McCartney listening to an early release of The Beach Boys Pet Sounds album. It sounds wonderful, with a snappy beat and two pianos placed into the mix. It’s great pop music.
And Your Bird Can Sing has some repeated riffs and psychedelic lyrics about nothing in particular. It’s just a really good pop/rock song and sounds decent for this album.
The sad story For No One comes next about being in love with somebody who clearly doesn’t you back. It’s a very sad tale of heartbreak and discontent. It’s surely a good song to listen to after a breakup.
The directly openly drug song Doctor Robert arrives and we hear various lyrics about a said doctor who will help at any time of day or night to deliver drugs. This was such an explicit thing at the time to talk about, so bonus points in that respect.
I Want To Tell You is a basic love song by George Harrison about self-expression of feelings within a relationship. The most quirky part of this song is the outro, with George Harrison using an Indian based harmony to exit it. A good twist musically.
Got To Get You Into My Life may or may not be about marijuana use. Regardless, it’s a great and brassy song, with horn sections all over it. Paul McCartney delivers an underrated song by The Beatles whilst evoking soul music.
The final song Tomorrow Never Knows is about as psychedelic as Revolver gets. In fact, it’s light years away from regular and ordinary pop music in that respect. With distorted vocals, sound effects everywhere and lyrics lifted from The Tibetan Book of the Dead, it will blow your mind apart in its own way.
This album changed the way people looked at popular music culture. No longer people had to set boundaries on the sounds that they made. Instead, the only limit became musicians minds. This is a great album and shows just how important The Beatles were to popular rock music culture.
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