Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Revolver

revolver

“Revolver” was released on the 6th August 1966 eight months after “Rubber Soul” which given their track record in recording and releasing albums must have seemed like a lifetime to your everyday Beatles fanatic.

In between in June they released one of their best singles in “Paperback Writer”, their first single not about love, backed with the equally brilliant “Rain”. This flip side recording perhaps more than any other single track reflected the progression the band was making with Lennon’s acid filled psychedelia coming to the surface big style topped by some George Martin backwards recorded Lennon vocal.

In this one song the Beatles of old had regenerated from “pop” to something totally new and different the question would be could their audience grow with them?

Given their heavy schedule they started to make film “promos” of some of their songs to save them the slog of continual performances on television shows around the world…perhaps they invented MTV

As such the album was awaited with great interest…could the band take it to a new level and if so would it be any good?

revolver back cover

This was their seventh album release in three years and was the third, following “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Rubber Soul” to feature all original compositions with George Harrison logging a new first, three songs on the one album.

The sleeve represented a new image for the band this time designed by their friend from the Hamburg days Klaus Voormann. On hearing the album his view was that the sleeve would have to reflect the sounds on the record and that the design would need to take the same step forward from what had gone before as the music had.

Voormann completed some sketch drawings of the band from memory then together with the band chose some photographs from magazines and papers cut them out and superimposed them on the drawing.

Original Sketch

Original Sketch

At this point the group had yet to decide on a title for the album, thus in July when the title “Revolver” was chosen, to reflect the revolving of a record on a turntable, nothing to do with guns, it had to be added into the design at the last moment.

Out of interest here is the concept put forward by Robert Freeman.

Freeman proposed making a photo montage using the Beatles’ four faces for the Revolver sleeve. When you would spin the sleeve, the four faces would melt into one. But the result wasn’t really satisfying. The montage is reproduced in The Beatles Anthology book.

freemanrevolver

Okay so what about the music then,on looking back you could appreciate that this album in 1966 would be like a breath of fresh air to the music critics of the world, if you were a Beatles fan back then brought up on a heavy dosage of catchy lovey dovey pop tunes then to some this may well have been a test of faith.

The album must mean a lot to many people as even now it is always going to appear in the Top 5 of any given “Best Album Of All Time” poll undertaken by the coffee table glossy music mags of the current age.

Is this 40’s plus nostalgia viewed through rose tinted glasses or is it really a masterpiece of all time?

For me it is a masterpiece of IT’S time but would I consider it a “classic” album or a “definitive” album, well I do believe it to be definitive of its time and it did without doubt move progressive music forward and it has influenced many another artist toward producing great music.

For me though a “classic” album has to be one which you can play from start to finish with every track hitting home. Granted there are not too many of them about and everyone will have their own chosen few of which “Revolver” may be one, as for me then I am happy to listen to this on CD or via the trusty iPod because the old faithful skip button can be put to good use.

Does anyone really want their listening to be interrupted by the sitar dirge of Harrison’s “Love You To” or the bleating of Ringo on “Yellow Submarine”?

Don’t get me wrong some of my favourite Beatles songs are on this album with “Here There And Everywhere”, “For No One” and “Got To Get You Into My Life” being particular favourites, the latter being a fair indication of the feel and sound which would follow with “Sgt Pepper”.

Your day breaks, your mind aches
You find that all her words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you

She wakes up, she makes up
She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry
She no longer needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

You want her, you need her
And yet you don’t believe her when she says her love is dead
You think she needs you

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

You stay home, she goes out
She says that long ago she knew someone but now he’s gone
She doesn’t need him

Your day breaks, your mind aches
There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head
You won’t forget her

And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years

Then there was “Tomorrow Never Knows” different in so many ways from the rest of the album and the rest of the music industry at large, if people thought the afore mentioned “Rain” had psychedelic “influence” then this would blow their minds!

So there you have it, love it or loathe it no-one could or can ignore “Revolver”

Given the summer release The Beatles had no new product available to assist in their continual Christmas domination of the marketplace hence the release of the album that brought The Beatles into my life.

a collection of beatles oldies

For more information on this album click HERE

To buy the music of The Beatles click HERE

Visit www.thebeatles.com

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September 12, 2009 - Posted by | Old Music, Video |

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