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The Beatles - Revolver CD (album) cover

REVOLVER

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.37 | 636 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars The first 'proto-prog' album from the fab four. They had started to experiment a bit on Rubber Soul, but here they get even more experimental. Only Brian Wilson and Frank Zappa were also coming up with adventurous rock music at the time. This is the only studio album they did in 1966; before they released two a year. This was released around the same time that they decided to no longer tour. None of the songs here were ever perfomrd live by the group. For the first time George Harrison gets three of his songs on a Beatles record.

The intro to "Taxman" was added after the song was recorded. McCartney plays the awesome guitar solo. Only John, Paul and George appear on "Eleanor Rigby"...as vocalists. All the music is done by a string section. Lyrically, it's the most 'serious' song they did up to this point. "I'm Only Sleeping" features backwards guitars. The Beatles accidentally invented the backwards tape stuff; when they recorded the B-side to the 1966 single "Paperback Writer" called "Rain" a tape operator by mistake played John's vocals backwards at the end. Lennon loved the effect so much he wanted to release the whole song backwards!

"Love You To" features Indian musicians on sitar and tabla. George does the vocals which at times sound vaguely Indian. Most of the Beatles fans at the time had never heard music like this before. "Yellow Submarine" is of course a great kids song with sound effects. "She Said She Said" has some great drumming from Ringo. Not many Beatles songs make you want to play air drums to them. "Good Day Sunshine" is an underrated song for these guys. I've always liked it. There is an overdubbed Ringo in the chorus(or is it McCartney?).

"For No One" is a McCartney 'love song' with some great French horn. "Got To Get You Into My Life" is an R&B song with a horn section. "Tomorrow Never Knows" was unlike anything else that came out in 1966. Lennon was really getting into LSD by the time Revolver was recorded. At one point he wanted a group of Tibetan monks to sing on the song. The whole song is based around Ringo's hypnotic drum pattern. There is sitar, bass, piano and all sorts of effects. Backwards guitar, backwards Mellotron...backwards everything. Lennon's vocals have been treated as well. Working with 4-track recording technology in early 1966, it's amazing how much effort was put into this song. A great experimental song that should be heard by everyone.

The Beatles influenced many people to want to pick up a guitar. With Revolver, they influenced many who wanted to experiment with the studio. One of the reasons they gave for not playing live anymore was that they could not duplicate the studio recordings on stage. One of the best albums of the 1960s and a great Proto-Prog album. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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