The release of The Beatles’ 11th album found John absent in the lead vocals but quite evident in the press. The Beatles’ album, “Revolver” found John singing lead on just two songs. John had made the mistake of saying that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. While the comment made no waves in England when made early in 1966, it brought a hurricane of anger when it was published in the United States later in the summer.
While The Beatles battled the problem caused by John’s unthinking comment “Revolver” was released. Whether by design or not, John only sang lead on two tracks. However George really showed his stuff on this album. George sang on three tracks including the first one, John sang on two, Ringo sang “Yellow Submarine” and Paul took over with a whopping five tracks. Ringo’s drum work was reaching new heights of excellence.
A number of things were obvious on this album, George’s talent, George’s love of the sitar that came from the third thing The Beatles had become involved with and that was Eastern Religion. He made friends with a talented man named Ravi Shankar. Finally The Beatles use of drugs was becoming more apparent in their music and would really hit on the next album. Also Paul’s use of orchestral instruments was an experimentation that became more and more used and more and more successful.
Paul was a storyteller who would later get involved in musicals.
The first track on the album was written by George and sung by him. It was called “Taxman” and reflected the unfair taxation they faced in the British system. I loved the beat and as usual the great Beatles’ background harmonies.
When I got this album I listened to “Taxman” about 42 times before even going to the next track, “Eleanor Rigby.” Paul as is his want blew me away with yet another level of melodic communication. He managed to tell a story in three verses that tore my heart out. And sadly was true. Here was magnificent use of instruments from the orchestra including strings and light brass. I have linked to an extra site to see the use of this instrumentation.
The third track of “Revolver” was “Love You To” by George with the use of the sitar and it was obviously Eastern (Indian) music. I cared little for it but many who were into change liked it. I had always been a straight melody, harmony and rhythm fellow and I guess I still am to a large degree.
Paul’s other tracks included “Here, There and Everywhere,” “Good Day Sunshine,” “For No One” and “Got to Get You Into My Life.”
“Here, There and Everywhere” and “For No One” were ballads with “For No One” the haunting thinking process of a jilted man who apparently had taken his love for granted. “Good Day Sunshine” was a “happy” piece while “Got to Get You Into My Life’ was “screaming McCartney.”
In the piece “For No One” the Beatles used an ending that became popular and that was no formal ending. I personally think that wrecks a song. It shows laziness as opposed to “art.”
George’s songs remained a little simplistic such as “I Want to Tell You” but he was definitely coming into his own. Also this song had some great harmonies as well as an interesting “off-chord” sound.
John sang “She Said She said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The first was a somewhat drug-inspired drug-dark song and the latter was another drug-Eastern-song.
Ringo sang the drug-inspired “Yellow Submarine” that allowed for other creativity. It became very popular with the Saturday morning cartoon-crowd as part of a “Beatles” cartoon series.
The Beatles’ “Revolver” seemed a little disjointed. It was. Drugs and religion and John’s mouth made for a lot of problems. However The Beatles began to reflect the culture of the United States. The “Hippie Scene” was emerging. The Beatles were bored.
The Beatles were ready to embark on their next level.
You Tube Website, “The Beatles- Taxman”
You Tube Website, “Eleanor Rigby-The Beatles”
You Tube Website, “Eleanor Rigby-Paul McCartney”
You Tube Website, “The Beatles-Love You To”
You Tube Website, “The Beatles, Here, There and Everywhere”
You Tube Website, “Good Day Sunshine”
You Tube Website, “The Beatles-For No One”
You Tube Website, “I Want to Tell You”
You Tube Website, “The Beatles Yellow Submarine”
You Tube Website, “She said She said”
“Revolver,” Album Capital T 2576 and ST 2576 (Stereo) 1966 August