|Story Behind the Album|
| Revolver is perhaps the best album made by the Beatles. While many feel that the next album, Sgt. Pepper, is their best work, many critics feel that each song individually on Revolver shows more strength than those on Sgt. Pepper. Revolver is a definite expansion from Rubber Soul, yet the gap isn't too large. Just by looking at the cover (done by Hamburg friend, Klaus Voorman) and the pictures of the Beatles in the sleeve show a change. The music is not as relaxed and marijuana laden as it was before, in fact, it moved into a new realm of music, acid music.
Before the making of this album, during the making of Rubber Soul, George and John and their wives, Patti and Cynthia, had dinner with George's dentist. During this meal the dentist slipped LSD into their tea, without the Beatles knowing it. Before they knew it, they felt ill, saw hallucinations and felt as they never have before. After they go over the frightening part of the "trip", they wanted to do it again under more controlled circumstances, and they did many times, and coaxed Ringo into taking some (Paul held out for some time), and this had a great effect on their music, especially John's, he took it much more often than the others.
Like Rubber Soul, on Revolver the Beatles experimented with many new sounds and ideas. There is music played backwards on their single "Rain", as well as distorted guitars, backward solos and tape speed adjustments. The songs on Revolver, from each of the Beatles, shows areas of rock that have never been tried before.
George's song "Taxman" opens the album with a count in like that on "I Saw Her Standing There", but the music is much different, this is also George's, first and only time having the opening song on the album. The song is about new subject matter, money not love, has distorted guitars, attacks (in a silly way) politicinas, and has a very strange sounding guitar solo played by Paul. On George's second of three, "Love You To", he also uses strange sounds and he once again uses the sitar, and sings about new messages, ones that will catch on in the near future. His last song doesn't stand out the much from the others, but like George's others, it is showing great innovation.
Paul, having been the only Beatle not taking acid on this album has music that is much different, and in great contrast to that of John's. Paul's songs are much more melodic and focused on love than John's. Perhaps his best song ever recorded, Eleanor Rigby, was the second song on the album, and it utilizes orchestration once again. Eleanor Rigby, is one of Paul's finest songs as everything is perfect, he is the only one singing once again, but it is also a very bleak song coming from him, perhaps his most bleak. The end line and the story ends on a tragic note, not typical of Paul. Other songs of his on there are very melodic, love centered and simple, like "Good Day Sunshine" and "Got to Get You Into My Lifef", which is actually about marijuana. Two other very well known McCartney classics from this album are, "Here There and Everywhere" , which Paul has said to be his favorite Beatles song to sing, and "For No One". Both are very simple yet use key changes from major to minor, extremely well and are very pleasing to the ear in between John's distorted songs. Also written by Paul, is the song Ringo gets his notoreity from, "Yellow Submarine". This song allows for a child to become aquainted with the Beatles, yet it is also loved by adults. The song uses no standard instruments used by the Beatles as sometimes they would be blowing in a bucket of water or making bubbles, etc..
John's songs show the stage of the Beatles progress at that point and how they felt as well as what direction they were going to move into. His first song on the album, uses a backwards guitar solo which sounds very odd, as well as vocal changes. He also continues to use distorted guitars and images on "She Said She Said" and "And Your Bird Can Sing". The former is about a statement made by Peter Fonda during an acid trip, and he was telling people how when he was younger he was clinically dead for some time and he was telling them "I know what it's like to be dead". The latter is a very confusing song with really no meaning. On "Dr. Robert", John tells the listener about a doctor who gives out medicine, acid, to those who want it. He found the idea of people singing thiese lyrics to be hilarious as they were about the taboo of acid using. John's strangest track by far, and the strangest made by the Beatles, is the last song "Tomorrow Never Knows" which indicates the direction headed to. He uses tape loops, backward guitar solos,sped up guitar to sound like birds, as well as change his voice by sending it through an organ. When making tje song he told George Martin that he wanted to sound like a monk addresses people from a hill high up. This sound was almost achieved, and the result is a very eery sounding John, with a very strange message. The actual lyrics are from a book by renowned acid advocator, Timothy Leary, called the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Messages in the songs sound very strange, yet to many in the next year they would make perfect sense.
Revolver is maybe the best Beatle album made. The ideas are very very innovative and were never tried previously. The innovations catch the listner's attention, andmake for great songs. The drug taking in particular was a very important influence in the songs being made at the time. This album is no doubt a great one by the Beatles.
| 1. Taxman [Harrison]
2. Eleanor Rigy
3. I'm Only Sleeping
4. Love You Too [Harrison]
5. Here, There, and Everywhere
6. Yellow Submaring
7. She Said She Said
8. Good Day Sunshine
9. And Your Bird Can Sing
10. For No One
11. Dr. Robert
12. I Want to Tell You [Harrison]
13. Got to Get You Into My Life
14. Tomorrow Never Knows