Revolver. Now here is an album I can write an entire review for that I need not listen to this week. But, of course, I did anyway
The Beatles are my favorite band. I enjoyed their music when I was a child in a very pure way, kind of as I described last week – non socialized. And then again as a young adult when I was buying my own CDs there was a time when I would do enough chores just to buy the next Beatles album. I went my through St. Pepper phases and Abbey Road and early Beatles phases. There isn’t a Beatles album I don’t like. And yes, I include the Yellow Submarine soundtrack in this (though the movie terrified me as a child).
But Revolver is the best Beatles album! If my ship was sinking and I knew I was to be stranded on a deserted island (with a record player, amp and speakers) I would reach for Revolver and a raft. In that order.
Yes, I love this album. And have many memories associated with it. Kind of amazing considering it was released 15 years before I was born. I remember doing visual art inspired by “Eleanor Rigby”- a literal interpretation of a woman with face kept inside a jar. I recall singing “Good Day Sunshine” walking home from a kiss from my girlfriend in grade 9. And drifting asleep to the sounds of “Tomorrow Never Knows” after coming home from a long day at high school.
Some people simplify the Beatles stylistically in two eras – pre-drug and post-drug. If this is true, let’s say that Revolver is the gateway. Their songs are tight, catchy and exciting as on their previous album, Rubber Soul, with songs like “Taxman” and “Got to Get You Into My Life”. But the dark, sophisticated, all-string arra
ngement for “Eleanor Rigby” and the experimental, psychedelic “Tomorrow Never Knows” are most definitely breaking new ground. “Here, There and Everywhere” is one of my favorite songs on the record. I always forget how beautiful it is until it’s playing.
Revolver, to me, is the best of the Beatles. Despite the strings, the sitars, backwards guitar riffs and lava lamp finale it still manages to sound like a band. The album is with peppered with little imperfections which they embrace. The opening of the album sets this tone with the studio sounds, a count in and hacking cough before breaking into the groovy bass and tight guitar shots of Taxman.
The LP cover design really captures how I feel about the two complimentary dimensions of the album. On the front- an intriguing artistic collage, including ink portraits, cartoons figures, photos with lots of personality. Plenty of complimentary and contrasting ideas overlapping to take in. And on the back – a candid shot of the John, Ringo, George and Paul in a studio setting engaging with each other. A reminder that it’s “just four guys” in a studio doing what they love and that’s all.
Check these other blogs for more on Revolver and the Rewind Button Blogs: