Best of the Beatles: Revolver

A few days ago, we examined Rubber Soul, so now it’s time for ze vun, ze only - Revolver!

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Revolver in terms of both the Beatles’s development as a band and the development of popular music in general. Whereas with Rubber Soul, the band was under pressure both in terms of composing and recording to make the Christmas market, with Revolver they had the freedom to set their own schedule and take as much time as they wanted. And they did. They looped tapes. They reversed guitar tracks. They weaved newspaper through piano strings. Every aspect of every song was mulled over and reworked incessantly. Nowadays, it is considered one of the first truly psychedelic LPs - if not the.

A few (or more than a few) fun facts about the album: for Revolver, the Beatles had a fairly hard time coming up with a suitable name. At first, they decided to call it Abracadabra - until they found out the name had been taken. Then, Lennon wanted to call it Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle, which was rejected. My personal favorite came from Ringo - the Rolling Stones had recently released their Aftermath album, and Ringo suggested they called it After Geography. Paul eventually came up with the winning title - Revolver is actually a pun, referring the both the handgun and the revolving motion of the record turntable.

With that, let’s vote! Or be like me, and start switching between voting for five songs before eventually giving up. :smiley:

If I listed my 10 favorite Beatles songs, no song from this album would be on it.

But if I had to choose between those songs and this album in its entirety, this would win in a heartbeat. Amazing stuff that works so well together.

I’m going to vote for “Eleanor Rigby,” although “Got To Get You Into My Life” is my favorite song on the album.

I voted for Tomorrow Never Knows, which I think is the Revolver-iest track on the album and also the one that I listen to most often. It’s experimental and fascinating and I love that drum loop.

My favorite album, period. Part of the reason is that my favorite song shifts over the years. Right now I am going through a She Said She Said phase. Mind-blowingly perfect psychedelic power pop. Rain isn’t included on the album, but was the Revolver single along with Paperback Writer, and is similarly perfect.

She Said She Said will almost certainly win & I have no problem with that. But, For No One is one of my favorite Paul songs. I may drag my feet before voting.

I’m with you on “No One”. I haven’t voted yet either - but some of my favorites are “Elenor Rigby,” “No One,” and “Here, There and Everywhere.” Something about HTaE is just so . . . perfect. Sure, it’s not as wildly experimental or innovative as some of the other songs, but the melody is magical. Another one of my tops songs - and a track that is mainly passed over on this album - is “I’m Only Sleeping.” Again, I don’t really know why it appeals to me so much, but something about that pounding rhythm just works. It taps right into my soul. Plus, I’ve never been a morning person, so I sympathize with the message. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Got to Get You into My Life” is a sentimental favorite, as I recall it playing a ton on the radio during 1967,when I was but 5. But “Tomorrow Never Knows” has the top spot-I can’t imagine what a bunch of naive suburban kids thought of that song when it first came out…

Favorite is definitely For No One.

But I honestly don’t know if I could designate a single “best” track from Revolver. I get stuck at three or four of them.

It’s difficult to choose only one on all the albums. And my current favourite song isn’t necessarily my favourite song last week. That being said, I’m a guitarist, so “And Your Bird Can Sing” is my favorite song on that album.

I believe George Martin pretty much thought Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt Pepper (and the non-album singles released during that time) were all sort of one long mega album. Or something like that. Revolver always struck me as a dry-run for Sgt P.

Now we’re talking. This is a really, really tough one. Today, I say “She Said, She Said.” But it could easily be “Tomorrow Never Knows” or “Eleanor Rigby.” Those are the three stand-outs for me.

“Got to Get You Into My Life” is one of their most joyous songs. Still a tough decision.

This one was actually kinda easy: Tomorrow Never Knows. I wish I could go back and hear the song again for the first time.

Ever heard 801’s cover with Eno on vocals and Manzanera on guitar? It’s awesome too, in a different sort of way.

Funnily enough, it was apparently Paul’s “ode to pot.” In some places it makes more sense than it being a love song - “did I tell you I need you/every single day of my life.”
But I never would have guessed just from hearing the song.

Great album all the way through, but Taxman’s my favorite off of this one, no contest.

It has an awesome bass line coupled with tight drums, a percussive rhythm guitar and sorta snotty lyrics. By the time you get to one my favorite lead guitar parts (apparently played by two different folks), I’m already sold.

I have adored this album since I was six years old. Every song on the American version is great, and each in its own way; I like two out of the three extra tracks in the British version, too (the exception being “Doctor Robert”.)

When I was 11, I thought “Love You To” was the best Beatles song, period (and I loved “I Want to Tell You,” too – George again.) When I was 15, “For No One” introduced me to French horn, and “Taxman” to blistering short guitar solos (and I noticed that *Sgt. Pepper’s *“Good Morning Good Morning” was similarly awesome – only years later did I find out they’re both by PAUL!).

When I was 20, I realized (while, ahem, in an altered state) that “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the greatest piece of music ever written. (And check out the squishy Anthology alternate take!). Lennon was the genius behind this one (great self-challenge to restrict himself to one chord, basically!), but everyone contributed – Paul’s bag of tape loops, Ringo’d incomparable drum pattern…

When I was 25, it was all about “Eleanor Rigby,” “Here, There…” (the close-to-the-mike vocals had spooked me out when I was six!), and “Got to Get You…” – three sides of Paul at the peak of his creative powers and good taste.

But now I’m in my forties, and it’s been all about “She Said She Said.” This one rocks! It’s loud, it’s got great drum fills, and its simple chords and straightforward arrangement are balanced by inscrutable (but not too inscrutable) lyrics and a weird (but not too weird) sequence of time signatures in the “when I was a boy” sections.

Thank you, Peter Fonda, for annoying John with your babbling that fateful evening!

Alan Pollack points out how the guitar lick in this (both the shorter version and the extended version) resemble the part in certain Baroque pieces (cantatas?) like Bach’s “Wachet Auf!” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” where a solo instrument plays an extended catchy melody like that between verses and/or “middle eights.”

I was split between “Elanor Rigby” and “Tomorrow Never Knows”. I voted for the latter, which tied both songs for the lead. It’s interesting that one is very sparse (violins only), while the other is so lush (those drums!), but they’re both running away with the lead.

I just don’t know.

‘Here, There and Everywhere’ is beautiful. ‘For No One,’ I love the french horn. ‘Taxman’ is a *huge *step in George’s writing career. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is obviously a game-changer for pop music. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is just a great innovative psychedelic jam (watching Don Draper listen to it on Mad Men sort of let me hear it again for the first time, which was cool).

But I gotta go with ‘Taxman,’ Harrison fan that I am. It just rocks, and the lyrics are just classic George.

To me, the litmus test is whether I, without thinking, start singing along with the song. On this record, it’s Here, There and Everywhere.