Use of Your 'Revolver'
by ALMIE ROSE (writing as PATRICK BATEMAN)
Do you like the Beatles? Formed in 1960 and musically active for a mere 10 years they completely revolutionized the relationship between popular and rock music. The band really came into their own in the late sixties, during which they produced the spectacular 1966 album Revolver. The band’s previous release, Rubber Soul, hinted at the change in sound that was to come but it was really on Revolver that the boys were allowed to stretch musically and create something new.
Right from the deep bass opening on “Taxman” it’s clear that this is going to be one groovy psychedelic album. One can’t forget that in the early 00s Rolling Stone named Revolver the number three album of all time, behind the over-produced and ultimately confusing Sergeant Pepper and His Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The second track, “Eleanor Rigby” tells the heartbreaking tale of an ugly woman murdered by a priest. The crescendo of violins steadying Paul’s voice warning of “all the lonely people” who are out to get us is breathtaking in its horrifyingly simple quality. The lyrics on this album go beyond the usual mop topped boy-gets-girl lyrics, as shown in the next track as well, “I’m Only Sleeping.”
And is that a mandolin in the background? You bet it is. Strange instruments are further incorporated into George Harrison’s song, “Love You To” and while interesting on its own merit it didn’t become the hit that “Eleanor Rigby” or “Yellow Submarine” became. I wonder how Harrison feels about that. Paul McCartney was really the band’s star, churning out hit after hit, while the rest of the fellows only tried to keep up. “Here, There and Everywhere” is another fantastic effort by McCartney, who tried to replicate the “shimmering quality” he found in The Beach Boys' “God Only Knows.”
Then comes “Yellow Submarine” or, let’s let Ringo sing one. “Yellow Submarine” is more than a child’s tune; it represents the yearning we all have to abandon our daily lives and submerge into the ocean with the Beatles. Again, it isn’t about boy needs girl (at least not until “Got To Get You Into My Life” nearer the end) and this is important to note.
“She Said She Said” is a rare throwaway track. What follows it, “Good Day Sunshine” is another superb ditty by McCartney, who “feels good in a special way” something we can all relate to and appreciate. Lennon’s tracks “And Your Bird Can Sing”, “Doctor Robert”, and “I Want To Tell You” fail in their ability to make you feel renewed with hope the way McCartney’s lyrics can. Lennon’s songs have a heavier quality to them even when he tries to mask them with the optimism that McCartney naturally has in his tunes. It must have been difficult for Lennon to work with such a far superior member of the group. Case in point: “For No One” is a real gem. “And in her eyes you see nothing,” McCartney narrates, painting a bleak portrait of a woman who ruined his life, warning us not to make his mistakes and follow on a similar path.
Had Revolver closed on “Got To Get You Into My Life” the album would have been absolutely pristine; instead it closes on Lennon’s droning “Tomorrow Never Knows”, a cacophonous mess of seagull noises and sitars. Regardless, Revolver is a fantastic album that hits a high note in the group’s career and will endure for years to come.
"Here, There and Everywhere" - The Beatles (mp3)
"I'm Only Sleeping" - The Vines (mp3)
"Love You To" - The Beatles (mp3)
"Tomorrow Never Knows" - Phil Collins (mp3)
"She Said She Said" - The Beatles (mp3)