Revolver - The Album That Left Everybody Else Behind Apr 17, 2014 16:35:47 GMT Mr Kite and bluemeaniepaul74 like this
Post by Amadeus on Apr 17, 2014 16:35:47 GMT
A couple of notes first. I grew up with the US version BUT, out of all the US to UK albums, Revolver was the LEAST troublesome transistion between the two versions, mainly because; there weren't extra songs added in, there were merely three songs left off. As if it were too long or something. The main thing was that all three songs were Lennon songs so getting the UK version in '87 merely gave the existing US Revolver a sense of balance that it didn't have before. So There! The UK version was most welcome from the getgo.
When I was in public school, (as in 'open to the public you Brits')grade K-8, the school's library had a couple of drawers of cassette tapes and 2 or 3 tape players with headphones and every week, each class had dedicated library time and I was obsessed with the tape drawer. Now my situation was that I listened to what my folks would play at home, which included 'Beatles '65', and imagine my delight when I found a Beatles tape (home taped) with Revolver on one side and Let it Be on the other. So specific songs, I have crystal clear memories of knowing them until I heard them again quite later on when I got my own copies of them. 'Taxman', 'She Said...' and 'Goodday Sunshine' are of very early musical memories. And of all the tunes on Let It Be, the ones I remember from then was 'For You Blue', 'Two Of Us' and 'Dig It'!!! Ha!
Revolver. Even though they were still technically a touring band, I sort of consider this the start of the studio years, especially since they NEVER performed any of these songs on stage. They were still doing 'She Loves You'. Only three years ago but a lifetime in the Beatles timeline. There were several new ideas and inventions that came along with this album. i.e.; Automatic Double Tracking for nearly every vocal on the record. Backwards tapes. Lots of compression and limiting to various instruments like the drums and the brass. And even further exploration of strange lyrical topics for a pop record. Leaving the tentative steps of Rubber Soul well behind. If Rubber Soul was thier 'wood and smoke (pot)' record, then Revolver was thier 'acid' record.
Being a totally new phase (in my mind) in thier career, it seems appropriate that it recieve a new and different sort of count in from thier debut album. A bit more of a sinister sounding one. And the topic? I'm sure this opening song alone was enough to send some of the kids scurrying to Herman's Hermits. For the time, it had a vicious sound. It's a heavy tune. The stabbing guitar chords. Paul's sophisticated 'hammer-on's' in the 'middle 8'. What a bass player he is. And there was no room for misinterpretation in the words. And the cherry on top; Paul's idea of a proto-shred guitar solo. How on earth did George get three songs on a 14 track album when he only got four songs on the 30 track album in '68?
Also, having heard the 'Anthology' version of 'Taxman', Soooo, glad they edited the guitar solo onto the end for a fadeout rather than the sudden stop. And naming names was much better than "anybody got a bit of money....."
I always loved this nice rythmic chamber piece of music. It's lovely to hear the music on it's own on the 'Anthology'. It's a composition all on it's own even without the words. If they were Paul's words, it just goes to show, he can write a bloody good lyric when he's not just focusing on rainbows, love and squirrels. It's notable that there are VERY FEW instances when Lennon and McCartney's stories don't match up about who wrote what. Lennon is convinced that these words were largely his. And McCartney is convinced that he wrote the music for 'In My Life'. Oh yeah, and the ADT mistake in verse one.
I'm Only Sleeping
What an unusual song for the 12 year olds. 'Let me sleep'? 'Float Upstream'? A VERY dreamy, sleepy sounding tune. Very in line with the lyrics. The groan in one of the stops. And another cherry: the backwards guitar solo. Very dreamy. See how articulate I am? Dreamy.
Love You Too
Another strange one for the kids? You see, The Beatles also copied a lot of other peoples' ideas BUT the point is, they adapted them to be Beatles' sounds and introduced all this 'other' stuff to the mainstream. Polluting the mainstream, if you like. Which sent thousands of other groups scurrying off in a hundred different directions to base careers on each new idea The Beatles introduced. Like it or not. Ok. Lyrically, some of it is good but really, 'making love all day long'? At the risk of embarassing myself; it's a bit of wishful thinking, no?
Nice western adaptation of sitars. And the searing volume pedal guitar chords (or is it backwards guitar chords?) The Indian percussion. very nice. It's a western style song (based on only one chord) but the Indian instrumentation made it interesting and exotic. And started a whole industry of incense and musical gurus (to show us the way, man).
Here, There And Everywhere
Just a beautiful love song. I love Paul's voice. He had So MANY sounds wrapped up in those there vocal cords. A bit of light relief after the heavy beginning.
What can one say about Ringo's tune. Just a lark really. A harmless bit of fun. A bit of comic relief before the next nightmarish song. I suppose opinions are split on this tune but if you were dropping 'syds' while listening to this record, Yellow Submarine' is as much a trip (bizarre man!) as any song.
She Said She Said
Nice distorted guitar intro. Nice compressed drums to bring up those cymbal crashes. Very much a wall of sound. There are no spaces in this recording. The time sig change for the middle was jarring to these childish ears at first but ultimately, a very good twist. And the lyrics? I loved them. "I know what it's like to be dead"? I used to go around school blowing peoples minds, quoting this stuff to them! Yeah! I'm cool!
Good Day Sunshine
It sounds like summer. A jaunty little tune. Actually, typical McCartney. The all rounded entertainer.
And Your Bird Can Sing
Deuling guitars. So it was two people playing. Was it one of the first instances of dual guitars? You know, the dual guitar thing that Iron Maiden are so good at? Bloody catchy tune. One thing I DO like about the Anthology version is the music stopping after the last verse and then rolling back in again.
For No One
Another Beautiful Macca tune. Nice classical instruments. Making it DIFFERENT! That was the goal of this album; to make everything sound different! Paul's voice is just as smooth as butter here. Nice sad tune coupled with the lyrics. I'm a sensitive type.
To me, just a typical mid-sixties rock tune spiced up by the organ/guitar strum for the 'Well, Well, Well' bit.
I Want To Tell You
I liked the riff. I liked 'that' drum fill. I liked the dissonant piano in the one line. But most of all, as an adolescent, THE LYRICS! Holy crap! That blonde chick in grade nine? I DID want to tell her but she didn't want to know. Enough to make you want to chew your own foot off. NOW who looks foolish, huh?
Got To Get You Into My Life
It was a single in 1976. And SOMEWHERE out there, is a mix that has that drum roll left in!!! As I recall, it somehow ended up on Apple pressings of Revolver in the early '70's, at least in Canada. I just know that I've heard it before. For those of you who don't know what it would sound like, check out the mix of the song on the ANTHOLOGY DVD. The severely compressed brass sound would become part-time standard for various '70's top 40 songs. A very catchy tune. A brilliant vocal and nice introduction of guitar before the last chorus.
Tomorrow Never Knows
The biggest game changer was placed at the end of the record, yet was the first to be recorded. Paul recalled that John showed up with a new song and said it was only one chord. And of course because that was 'different' they were keen to give it a go. It's a very short melody line but it is a damn compelling recording that (in my mind) hasn't dated at all. At least, The CHEMICAL BROTHERS didn't think so since they based thier whole career on re-recording variations of this one song. Ringo's 'break-beat' made the tune along with the droning tambura. Paul's influence was the sound effects tape collage which was eveidence of his exploring the avant-guarde scene around London. Bringing the underground overground. And of course: The Leslie speaker! Apparently thier jaws dropped when they heard John's voice come through it. It was all John's obsession looking for a way to make his voice sound different, not like himself that caused Geoff Emerick to break open a Leslie Cab and use the effect. He said that after that, they wanted EVERYTHING shoved through it. Guitars, drums, pianos etc. Which, if you listen to the mono version of SGT PEPPER, they did just that.
Based on the lyric, I think John was a kind of 'wannabe' hipster. Bringing the gospel of Tim Leary to the masses. Oh well.
So there you have it. I'm still looking to find 'that' mix of 'Got To Get You Into My Life'.
The first 'studio' only album and so far the pinnacle of thier career.
Yours truly, No Flies On Frank