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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Beatles Reveolver Review (part 1)

By 1966, the Beatles were becoming one of the greatest bands of the decade, but the release of their 7th album, Revolver, confirmend that the they really were on of the bands of the 60's. The smooth, acoustic sounds of Rubber Soul was replaced by a slightly more heavy, electric and (most importantly) psychaedelic sound.

(1) Taxman

More or less George Harrison's prime song on the album, it's a punchy and energetic opening. A sort of sinde comment on the high taxes the fab-four had to pay translates into a simple but effective rocker with a blistering solo played by Paul McCartney (marking the start of the regular reshuffling of band mambers between instruments.)


(2) Eleanor Rigby

A clear predecessor to the more orchestral arrangements like 'She's Leaving Home' and 'Goodnight', this, like Rubber Soul's 'In My Life', showed the maturity the Beatles were capable of showing in their songs. A haunting and emotive story with a strong sense of lonliness, and boasting a wonderful string arrangement by George Martin, this is definitely one of the best on the album.


(3) I'm Only Sleeping

This is the first taste of the psychadelia on Revolver with it's backward-tuned steelstring guitars and trippy double-tracked voacl sections. It's no surprise that there's definitely a laid-back sense to the whole song (with a barely audable yawn somewhere in the middle of the song) seeing as John Lennon, obviously, wrote it about how much he loved sleeping. For all the laziness inspiring the song, it translates into a strong and highly enjoyable tune.


(4) Love You To

Harrison's second song furthers the interesting, but ultimately slightly silly, Indian inspired phase that the group went through (but only George seemed to really latch on to.) Some twisty, entertaining lyrics and interesting music can't help hide the fact that this is maybe style over substance.


(5) Here, There and Everywhere

While most of Revolver's other tracks expand what the Beatles could do in some way or another, this one seems to hark back to the basic heartfelt semtimental crooning from which the they became so famous. That said, some the music is nice and very easy to listen to and, as your mother would say, 'it's got it's heart in the right place.' Nothing new but that's not necissarily a bad thing.


(6) Yellow Submarine

Certainly one of the Beatles most famous numbers (and Ringo's only song on the album). With a slightly mad sensibility throughout (both lyrically and musically) it's very hard not to like this. It certainly showed how odd the Beatles could be (much like many songs on the 'White Album' - Wild Honey Pie, Piggies.....) but for God's sake just don't over analyse it. This is simply a classic.


(7) She Said She Said

This probably challenges Taxman, Eleanor Rigby and For No One as best song on the album. Definitely increasing the trippy sensability the album evokes, this is a heavy and striking song which is a good pin-point of the more obvious influence drugs began to play in the Beatles song writing. Based on Lennon's first acid trip with actor Peter Fonda, it's clear that Lennon was out of it when writing it. A slightly eerie atmosphere in the lyrics is balanced out by a steady guitar riff and an outstanding drum track, certainly one of Ringo's best. All of these elements add up to unusual but highly listenable song that marked a change in the way the fab-four thought about their song writing.


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