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REVOLVER

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.36 | 600 ratings

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thehallway
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Revolver is today extremely acclaimed, but in the 60s was never as popular as Sgt Pepper, or even Rubber Soul. It shows The Beatles at the very centre of a heavily creative period, in which, having previously moved beyond simple rock & roll, they would travel from carefully crafted baroque, folk, rock and pop songs through to increasingly experimental and psychedelic material, culminating in the film and album of Magical Mystery Tour. The pairing of Revolver and Sgt Pepper are probably the favourites because they have the best balance of light, friendly folk and pop (Rubber Soul) and crazy, over-produced, psychedelia (Magical Mystery Tour). Of this middle period, Revolver maintains a more guitar-based, rocky sound, but isn't without it's violins and oboes either.

'Taxman'; George's very cool rocker that the band decided was good enough to open an album. 'Eleanor Rigby'; AKA the greatest song ever recorded that only contains a string octet and a vocal. 'I'm Only Sleeping'; well-written psych-folk from Lennon with first ever use of backwards guitar. Talk about a good opening to an album! Then it's 'Love You To', a fine sitar-based ditty from George but weaker than 'Within You Without You', 'Here, There and Everywhere', one of Paul's less interesting ballads, 'Yellow Submarine', the nautical sing-along with Ringo, and 'She Said, She Said', a John number that helped contribute to the very idea of what rock music was, and would become. Side one is great with only a couple of moments of mediocrity.

'Good Day Sunshine' is potentially the happiest piece of music I've ever heard, which makes me happy too. 'And Your Bird Can Sing', maybe the one throwaway track on the album, because it's just a basic rock song with a forgettable melody. 'For No One' = my favourite. Paul plays the clavichord and sings this dark ballad, with a horn solo. Simple but effective. 'Doctor Robert' is a great song that grows on you, with some cool changes of key and lovely breaks with Hammond organ. 'I Want To Tell You' is George's third on the album, and in the same league as his two cracking rockers on Rubber Soul. Then it's Paul's 'Got To Get You Into My Life', which is an okay piece of 'white soul' but a little enthusiastic on the brass. Finally, 'Tomorrow Never Knows', a philosophical, heavily treated, psychedelic, wonderous, droning journey of tape loops, repetitive vocals and amazing drums. Lennon here reveals that he is not only sleeping, but that he is writing great songs during this period of domination from McCartney.

I consider a Beatles album successful if I find myself wanting to repeatedly listen to at least ten of the songs...... on Revolver I do that with eleven, and it's particularly great if you ever get bored of the over-production on the next two colourful albums. 5 stars, no less.

thehallway | 5/5 |

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