Deep Dive: Revolver
The Beatles' seventh studio album, "Revolver," was released in 1966. Its album cover is, yet again, iconic in that it shows a collage of the group with line drawings of each member, drawn by Klaus Voorman. Paul McCartney said, "he knew us well enough to capture us rather beautifully in the drawings. We were flattered."
It album art to me is most interesting in that it is the first depiction we get of the group as something "other than themselves." It's not straight photography, but rather Klaus' interpretation which hints at themes of the music being more free-flowing and subjective.
The record starts off with the first track by George, "Taxman." It's a rather funny song, facetiously commenting on the progressive tax taken by British government of Harold Wilson. (He even name drops him in this song, too.)
"Eleanor Rigby" is another of those Beatle songs that just resonates with so many people for whatever reason. I never was a huge fan of it, but it's nice to see performed at Paul's shows. The crowd absolutely goes wild.
"I'm Only Sleeping" is led by John and is one of my favorites on the album. It has a more experimental edge and is starting to hint at the essence of the psychedelic period of the group.
"Love You To" is another great one by George. It's influence is clearly Indian music, and I think George really does a great job of incorporating it into the album. There are some very interesting lyrics in the song as well.
"Here There And Everywhere" is the next song, and it's such a classic. One of my favorites as well. It's more of a basic love song by Paul but a classic to me, nonetheless. This is said to be Paul's favorite of his own catalog of music.
Okay...now...next is "Yellow Submarine." I'm not sure I have a whole lot to say about this one beside the fact that I saw Ringo perform it in Atlanta. I despise this song. It just doesn't do anything for me.
"She Said She Said" is another one by Lennon that is sort of more psychedelic rock, and I love it. The guitar on it is outstanding and the lyrics are kind of chilling, but the tone of the song is so happy. "And you're making me feel like I've never been born."
I love this song--"Good Day Sunshine" is such a cute song! I love how it builds up at the beginning. It's so memorable. Just a feel good song.
"And Your Bird Can Sing" is the ninth song on the album. It's said to be about Mick Jagger/The Rolling Stones. The idea of conspicuous consumption vs. the talent of The Beatles.
"For No One" is another slower one I like a lot on this album. It's a Paul song, and to the date it was one of the most mature songs that he had written. The song is most known by its French horn solo at the minute mark of the song.
This song is quite funny. It goes so perfectly on this album. "Doctor Robert" is exactly what you might think it's about--a doctor who has all the drugs and pills. Lennon considered it a "semi-autobiographical song" as he was the one who had all the goods. Funny.
"I Want To Tell You" is the twelfth song on the album and it's one I sort of forgot about. I really like this one. George sings it. It has a great melody and progression. It's a good one for "the quiet Beatle" as it's referencing the endless thoughts that can run through a person's head leaving them without anything to say. "If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things."
"Got To Get You Into My Life" is such a great song also. Paul has a powerful delivery on this recording and it's a thrill to see in concert. Another feel good song that just makes you want to sing along to.
The last song of the album, "Tomorrow Never Knows," is the PERFECT ending to the album. It's so ambiguous and psychedelic. The opening lines, "turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream" speak volumes of the song. It uses loops and reversed sounds and a much more experimental approach to music production at the time. It's like a pre-"Revolution 9" song.
After listening to this album all the way through again, for the first time in a while, I have to say that I forgot how much I enjoy this album. It's such a turning point for The Beatles and you can truly start to gauge their growth and development while studying their music in segments like this. Ending the album with "Tomorrow Never Knows" and showing their use of loops and more experimental and reversed noises quite perfectly sets the stage for their next project, the critically aclamed Sgt. Pepper.