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The Beatles - Revolver CD (album) cover

REVOLVER

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.37 | 621 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles 1966 record would be one of their most experimental. This would also be the last record that would be followed with a tour, after the show in Candlestick Park in San Francisco in late August 1966 they would become a strictly studio band. The albums that poured forth following Revolver were all of high caliber, and they were all highly experimental. They can all be rooted to this album, though, the often hailed masterpiece Revolver. While I don't think Revolver is a masterpiece, is certainly is an album to look for and it certainly has a lot of progressive tendencies. The Beatles were a creative factory, pumping out album after album of great works, and beginning with Rubber Soul, they really started to get cooking. Throughout the 14 tracks on this album you will be moved, you will hear rocking tunes, you will hear funny children's numbers, and you will hear Raga influenced pieces that really take you to another world, but in all this is a spectacular journey that everyone should take at least once.

The album opens with the first of three George Harrison pieces in Taxman. This song has an incredible bassline from McCartney as well as a killer McCartney guitar solo. Great opener (it might be one of the best opening songs they did). Eleanor Rigby is one of their first flirtations with an orchestra, with this piece being strictly orchestral. It has a nice melodic feel to it and the saddening piece is really heightened with the extensive string sections. I'm Only Sleeping is a playful piece with some intuitve guitar work and some fun vocals from Lennon. Love You To is the first of George Harrison's many excursions into Raga influenced indian music. He hired an array of musicians to help him acquire this atmosphere, and it comes off perfectly. It's my favorite Indian song of his and it really sheds light on his future projects with the Beatles. Here, There, and Everywhere is a wonderful Paul McCartney ballad (he often says it is one of his absolute favorites) with some great backing musicianship. Yellow Submarine is often considered to be a throwaway piece, but in my opinion is a great and fun number that would be the inspiration for an entire film. The entire atmosphere of this song is playful and quirky, with great vocals from Ringo and backing sound effects added to give the illusion of being on a submarine.

She Said She Said is one of the first acid trip songs from John Lennon, the title coming from when Peter Fonda told Lennon he knew what it was like to be dead (obviously changed from he to she). It's a poppy piece that is playful and fun. Good Day Sunshine has a great melody line and a fantastic walking pace to it, as well as uplifting lyrics and fantastic piano play from McCartney. And Your Bird Can Sing has some fantastic unison lead work from Harrison and Lennon as well as some quirky lyrics. The riffing on this song is utterly superb and it's one of my favorites on the album. For No One is another somber McCartney piece with a great french horn solo from Alan Civil. It would pave the way for songs like She's Leaving Home on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Doctor Robert is another fun piece from Lennon, with a great chord progression and some great hammond in the middle sections. I Want to Tell You is the third Harrison piece on the album, and it carries the same sort of sentiments and feelings as songs like Think For Yourself. It has some fun drumming from Ringo and a convincing vocal performance. Got to Get You Into My Life has some fun horn sections and some great vocals from McCartney as well as a nice walking piano line. Tomorrow Never Knows is a psychedelic masterpiece, full of backwards effects, varying sounds and a true sonic attack of music and vocals. It's easily the most creative and experimental song the Beatles had produced up to that point, and it really shows the progressive tendencies of the band.

In the end, Revolver is where things truly started getting progressive for the Beatles. Is it full blown progressive rock? No. What it is is highly experimental and highly original music that challenges the listener with a lot of varying moods, atmospheres, and instrumentation, and it comes off great. It isn't a masterpiece, in my opinion, but it's damn close to one. Comes highly recommended from me for fans looking for early progressive rock at its finest (albeit not 100% progressive rock). 4.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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