The Beatles – Revolver

[EMI; 1966/2009]

It’s a common theme in early Beatles discography discourse to use phrases like, “The Beatles were just getting started” or “It hints at the greatness that lies ahead.” Some will say it started with Help!, others will say Rubber Soul. No matter where readers align themselves in this debate, there is one undeniable truth about the Beatle’s discography: Revolver finds the band’s greatness coming to fruition. Maybe there’s a glimpse of it in songs like “Yesterday” or “In My Life” but by Revolver the brilliance/genius/magnanimity/etc. had been fully established and enacted to a level that remained unparalleled for the rest of their recording career.

For proof, one need look no further than the experimentation (something unheard of for a band of the Beatles’ fame in the 60’s) on “Tomorrow Never Knows”; it’s a tape loop of McCartney laughing somehow becoming the birds heard in the opening seconds; or Lennon’s desire to sound like the Dalai Lama singing from a hilltop (achieved with surprising accuracy). By now, the trance like effect of the backwards guitar loop on “I’m Only Sleeping” has been used ad-nauseum in modern recording, but it must’ve been exciting to listen to on wax in ’66. With this remaster it’s not hard to envision (see, I didn’t even have to use “imagine”!) a brand new generation of listeners becoming engrossed in just how new this music–and this record as a whole– sound.