Here we highlight The Beatles’ 1966 album, “Revolver”, in brief. This was The Beatles’ seventh studio LP of course. However, even though the Fab Four were diversifying, their distinctive sound still persists. In fact, click the button on the right to hear clips from all the tracks on “Revolver” and see for yourself.
Release Date: 5th August, 1966
Recorded: 6th April – 21th June, 1966
Album Duration: 35:01
Record Label: Parlophone
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Rock, pop and psychedelic rock
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick also Peter Vince
John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, harmonium, tambourine, tape loops, handclaps also finger clicks
Paul McCartney: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, piano, clavichord, tape loops, handclaps as well as finger clicks
George Harrison: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, sitar, maracas, tambourine, tambura, tape loops, handclaps also finger clicks
Ringo Starr: vocals, drums, tape loops, tambourine, shaker, cowbell, maracas, handclaps as well as finger clicks
George Martin: piano, organ also backing vocals
Mal Evans: backing vocals and bass drum
Neil Aspinall, Geoff Emerick, Pattie Harrison, Marianne Faithfull, Brian Jones and Alf Bicknell: backing vocals
Tony Gilbert, John Sharpe, Sidney Sax and Jurgen Hess: violin
John Underwood and Stephen Shingles: viola
Derek Simpson and Norman Jones: cello
Alan Civil: horn
Eddie Thornton, Ian Hamer and Les Condon: trumpet
Alan Branscombe and Peter Coe: tenor saxophone
Anil Bhagwat: tabla
02) Eleanor Rigby
03) I’m Only Sleeping
04) Love You To
05) Here, There And Everywhere
06) Yellow Submarine
07) She Said She Said
02) And Your Bird Can Sing
03) For No One
04) Doctor Robert
05) I Want To Tell You
06) Got To Get You Into My Life
07) Tomorrow Never Knows
The “Revolver” album cover now sees The Beatles as predominantly illustrations, although true pictures of the Fab Four are still there, albeit as smaller images. However, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Pete Shotton took them from newspaper articles.
Unlike previous Beatles’ album covers, which featured the photography of Robert Freeman, the main artwork on the “Revolver” album was by Klaus Voormann. The Beatles knew Voormann from their Hamburg days and knew he was into art after studying the subject, obviously. So, The Beatles played the album to him and with the offer of £40 on the table, Voormann had to come up with suitable cover art.
At the time, flower power and the psychedelic era was coming to the fore together with vivid colours. However, Voormann resisted the trend and drew the images in a black pen.
He also went on memory rather than get the Fab Four to pose. Obviously, his focus was on the hairstyle, although the eyes and lips had to have large characterisation. George Harrison’s eyes became piercing while John Lennon’s had a sly look to them.
Klaus Voormann does indeed appear on the cover art, he is the image in the centre of George Harrison’s hair. Moreover, like the “Rubber Soul” album before this one, the name of The Beatles doesn’t appear on the front cover.
They recorded the “Revolver” album between 6th April and 21st June, 1966, at the EMI Studios in London of course. Their experimentation with tape loops and reverse sounds continued together with the addition of varispeeding, close audio miking and automatic double tracking (ADT).
Revolver was the last album from The Beatles before their retirement from touring. Indeed, the Fab Four were going to concentrate on the recording studios at Abbey Road now. After all, their sound nowadays was becoming more sophisticated. Besides, The Beatles were wearing out well before the making of “Revolver” and their previous “Rubber Soul” album. In fact, the recording of Revolver came after a three-month break at the start of 1966.
Beatlemania did take its toll on The Beatles, but we still had a few more years of studio recordings to come. Moreover, some people believe the next few years saw the best of the Fab Four, despite being a studio-based band.
The theme of the “Revolver” album is one of death, transcendence from material concerns while drugs played their part. In particular, LSD. So, we now have an album full of psychedelic rock, electronica, progressive rock and world music. Many critics regard “Revolver” as the best Beatles’ album, but obviously this comes down to individual tastes.
Eleanor Rigby is a typical example of sadness that resulted in a sad and lonely death, of course. But, its not all doom and gloom. Take “Yellow Submarine”, for example, this is an novelty song with children in mind. Then there is the upbeat “Got To Get You Into My Life”. Of course we start to see the psychedelic songs, “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” coming through.
All in all, Revolver has something for everyone while not disappointing the core Beatles fans. Of course, recreating this sound live at the time would have its complications. As a result, The Beatles didn’t try to do this. In fact, the release of the album saw the end of touring.
It also came out at the time of John Lennon’s destructive comment that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. The resulting outbursts from the Christian community in America saw the Bible Belt burn their records and books etc. However, this didn’t upset the core Beatles fans too much there. Perhaps Lennon could have worded things differently, but he always had his outbursts.
Revolver went straight to the number one slot upon its release on 5 August 1966. Out of a total of 34 weeks in the charts, seven of those were at the top. From the album, they released a double A-side “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine” which also went to number one in the charts.
Have Your Say
The Beatles’ Revolver has many great songs as you will agree, therefore, why not make a comment about the album here. However, we also have a massive Beatles Forum which has a dedicated post especially for this album. Now you have the best of both worlds so, no excuses, have your say today!