Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Beatles Revolver

With The Beatles they were a hit before Revolver and they were known for their more pop, commercial sound with songs like "I Want To Hold your Hand' and 'Twist and Shout' but with Rubber Soul expanded their musical range they pushed the envelope even more with Revolver. Rubber Soul's influences were drawn from Bob Dylan and The Byrds but Revolver was worldlier influenced.

Before Revolver they never addressed political issues but in this album George Harrison addresses high rates of income tax on 'Taxman' and there were various instruments from other cultures like the sitar and tabla. The influences were seen with Paul being influenced by Motown with 'Got to Get You into My Life' and classical music and instruments with 'Eleanor Rigby' or 'For No One' and George was heavily influenced by Indian music, which was evident in 'Love You To'. 

Unlike previous albums there was not a group effort with all playing together on every song because there was no need. The Beatles still helped each with songwriting concepts and lyrics, which can be seen with McCartney and Lennon, there was not a concerted effort to accommodate every Beatles on each record. With 'Eleanor Rigby' there was mainly Paul singing over strings, there wasn't guitar or drums because it was not needed. Lyrically John was inspired for songs sometimes by conversations like an LSD influenced one in 'She Said She Said' or in 'Tomorrow Never Knows' it stemmed from Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Like The Beach Boys, The Beatles and George Martin used the 'studio as an instrument' by using compression heavily like on the drums and the lack of reverb. There are also the use of tape loops for backing vocals and the guitar that Harrison performed in 'I'm Only Sleeping' that was reversed later in the mix. They also doubled instruments like on Eleanor Rigby where the strings were doubled and made it from a quartet to an octet and with Harrison they doubled the guitar and made it sound like a 12 string guitar. In addition they used ADT, automatic double tracking that could be used to doubling a vocal.

Revolver is a great work and it was revolutionary and as an industry professional I loved the fact that they pushed the limits and did things with their technology that is astounding and inspiring. From a listener's perspective the tracks that I really like are 'Here, There and Everywhere' and 'Eleanor Rigby'.

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