The Beatles: Revolver

I’m embarrassed to say it, but at 29 I just re-discovered this album, and it’s brilliant! Certainly one of my all-time favorites.

A brief history:

Growing up my parents had hundreds and hundreds (I’m pretty sure over 1,000) albums. I always had a lot of music when I was a kid. Sometime in the mid-80s, we got a CD player, and all the records got sold, and less than half were replaced on CD over the course of my childhood. Of course, one thing that did get replaced was the Beatles albums.

In middle school I listened to the Beatles all the time. I’d sit by the stereo with headphones on and listen to, usually, the Beatles, a few select Broadway soundtracks, or Billy Joel’s greatest hits. When I listened to the Beatles it was mostly specific tracks, not the whole albums. So, I’d listen to maybe 5 or 6 tracks on the White Album, half of Magical Mystery Tour, the title track off Let It Be, two or three songs from Rubber Soul, etc etc. On Revolver I probably listened to Yellow Submarine.

So, for the past 20 years I’ve just ‘known’ in my head that, “well, I don’t like Revolver that much . . . I don’t think it’s that great an album,” without having sat and listened to it since 1989.

I got a gig for a Mardi Gras festival here in town, and we’ve been asked to do an all Beatles set, so I’ve been listening straight through my collection to find songs that would be appropriate. And, I’ve found something I did not expect. The singles off of this album are the worst tracks on it by far. Love You To, She Said She Said, Tomorrow Never Knows, I’m Only Sleeping, are all amazing. It’s the band at its best. Edgy, yet retaining an essential Beatles-ness. Genre-busting yet poppy. The transition between pop and psychadelic undertones manages to work without feeling disjointed.

Just a brilliant album. It might vie with Abbey Road for best Beatles album.

IMHO, it is the best; certainly my favorite. I read somewhere that every song on it spawned a genre - a bit of an exaggeration but getting from Taxman to Tomorrow Never Knows is an interesting trip…

I was blown away when I first heard Revolver. “Love You To” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” in particular are favourites of mine.

One…(tape squeal)…two…(tape squeal)…three…four (cough)…one (guitar noodle)…two…(background shout)…(guitar comes in)…and off we go!

Real Beatles fans always say that they hit their peak with Rubber Soul and Revolver. I agree.

Just to nitpick, though, there were - amazingly, in retrospect - no singles released off this album in the U.S. “Yellow Submarine” was on the British version and that was released as a single with “Eleanor Rigby” on the b-side in both countries. But for the most part, this album is recognizable because every song got played, not because it had a mess of singles.

Why do supposed “real beatles fans” assume this (or is your post tounge-in-cheek)? I think the White Album is the equal of those records.

I don’t understand this post. “Yellow Submarine” was the single released from this album in the U.S. Were you under the impression that it wasn’t on the American edition of the album? (The three songs left off the U.S. Revolver LP, because they had already appeared on Yesterday and Today, were “I’m Only Sleeping,” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” and “Doctor Robert.” All John songs, you’ll notice, which left the U.S. album oddly Paul-and-George-centric.)

It’s a masterpiece. Its songs have become so familiar that it’s nearly impossible today to listen to it objectively and imagine the impact it must have had upon first being released. (I wish I had been there!) It says a lot about the band’s amazing talent that Beatles fans can actually argue over whether or not this was there best album!

And that descending three-part harmony during the final verse of “And Your Bird Can Sing?” Sonic heaven…

Melody Maker voted Revolver the best album of all time back in 2005.

I sometimes wonder what it must have been like to listen to this back in '66, and what I would’ve thought after hearing Tomorrow Never Knows the first time. Would I have been “OMFG, that’s the greatest thing evah!” or “WTF?!?”

I’ve had to replace my Beatles collection twice in my life - both times, I started with Revolver. #2 is Sgt. Pepper’s, which is a great, great album with possibly the finest ending song on any of the Beatles’ albums but, unfortunately, does have a dud or two (Fixing a Hole, I’m looking at you). I don’t think Revolver has a dub. Some songs are more favored than others, true, but not a misstep on the entire album.

After TNK, my favorite song on Revolver is I’m Only Sleeping, followed closely by Bird, Rigby, and For No One.

This is the one Beatles album I feel I should get next but I have no idea if I’ll like it.
I REALLY loved the White album and hated the early beatle’s stuff. I thought nothing would really work- that I’d only be able to enjoy the White album.
And then I discovered Abbey Road. That’s my fav. Beatles work but I love it more for the first half than the second but both parts are great…

And I’m just afraid to go out and pick up Revolver (as I don’t recognize any of the songs on it, I’ve not heard any of them). Revolver and Rubber Soul…

*I mean ‘their’

As in Here, Their and Everywhere

Nah. The White Album was the generification of the two. There is no comparison.

Revolver may not be my favorite Beatle album (Rubber Soul and Let it Be are its rivals) but Eleanor Rigby is my single favorite Beatle song. It’s been remade many many times including by some greats (Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin come immediately to mind), there are punk and metal versions, Paul himself has done acoustic and extended versions [including theweird instrumental video for the song in Give My Regards to Broad Street), most recently perhaps is David Cook’s version (which I didn’t care for), but- totally subjective- to me the original has never been topped.

Real Beatles fans are the snobby ones who got into their albums while the rest of the U.S. was stuck on singles. They therefore have problems with Sgt. Peppers, The Beatles, Abbey Road, and Let It Be, which came over in form identical to that of the British albums. I normally don’t care what their opinions are, but I do agree that the break up of a band as a cohesive unit, with drugs affecting John the worst, started being a serious truth in 1967. That makes 1966 the end of the band as it was, with the double a-side “Penny Lane”/“Strawberry Fields Forever” as the transition to pure John songs and pure Paul songs that would plague them for the rest of their career.

Yeah, somehow I missed seeing “Yellow Submarine” on the U.S. track list. It was not as great as the other songs on Revolver and didn’t make No. 1 in the U.S. “Eleanor Rigby” was a double a-side but only went to No. 11. That song is truly as great as anything else, the best McCartney song ever. And the death knell. If he could write that without John he could write “Penny Lane” and leave John to write “Strawberry Fields” and then Sgt. Pepper featured them running off in different directions, although they still had moments of finishing off each other’s work as before. Not the same, though.

When I went out to get my Stereo Beatles Albums I decided just to spend $30. Instead of 3 albums I got Revolver and “The White Album”.

I was sort of surprised that Revolver ended up being my favorite, as Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road and* Magical Mystery Tour* were the ones my mom gave me as a youngster (on tape, in the 80’s) but I wanted to hear the new remastering and I felt that Revolver was the initial album with the biggest range, followed by The White Album.

I then decided Revolver was my favorite Beatles album, and probably has been since I first discovered it (early 90’s maybe?) It does indeed rock!

I get what you are saying from a “cohesive” standpoint, but jeez…regardless of whom wrote what, songs like “Strawberry Fields”, “Rigby” and “Penny Lane” are great songs nonetheless.

I’d agree that Rubber Soul and Revolver are their peak. Either that or the “Penny Lane”/“Strawberry Fields Forever” single. Abbey Road is their most overrated album.

Reading about the making of the White Album in Anthology, it is clear that this is the beginning of some of the other Beatles dropping into record the song of one Beatle, as opposed to a group recording. I agree about the split, but I think the Paul vs John verses in “A Day in the Life” show this also - inside a single song.

In any case, the White album had the lowest percentage of really great songs of any album to that point, not counting the Magical Mystery Tour travesty.

“Revolver” has always been my favorite Beatles album. “Good Day Sunshine,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” “For No One,” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” still just blow me away. I was always lukewarm towards “Eleanor Rigby,” though it’s a superb song, and “Here, There and Everywhere” hasn’t aged well in my head. On the other hand, I like “Love You Too” quite a bit better than I did as a youthlet. And it’s virtually impossible not to like “Yellow Submarine.”

My favorite of their albums, too. Whenever I make a Beatles CD mix, it is usually an assortment of their songs over their career, plus this album in its entirety.