It was 49 years ago today...

There is NO question: I am a hardcore Beatles fan. I experienced my personal Pentecost when I saw them on Ed Sullivan, I ached in the flesh until I got my first guitar and I find that their music continues to resonate with my soul all these years later. I can't get enough of their second release in the US on Capitol - The Beatles' Second Album - which is a total mess but so hot and wild. I knew my life had changed in new ways upon listening to Sgt. Pepper that summer afternoon when I first brought it home on June 1, 1967. But truth be told, my two favorite Beatles' album are Rubber Soul and Revolver. And if I had to pick one album to spend the rest of my life with it would be Revolver.

It was released in 1966 on this day 49 years ago:  August 5. Someone said that Rubber Soul was a pot album while Revolver was an effort fueled by acid. No question whatsoever! And yet this record has everything: it is experimental and totally pop, caustic and comforting, rock and roll being reborn in the studio and social commentary being re-imagined in the minds of four musical geniuses (plus Sir. George Martin.) There is George Harrison's best Indian-world music song, stunning electric guitar work, a baroque string quartet, Motown horns, Harrison's swirling guitar riff played through Leslie speakers, McCartney's heart breaking love songs and Lennon's wild ass psychedelic paranoia. 

The prelude to this fest, of course, was the single: Paperback Writer/Rain

And then, throughout the summer of 1966, they Beatles released other tracks from Revolver to build momentum. Just listen to the play list from the UK album  and you'll have to agree that this was a monster:

+ Taxman
+ Eleanor Rigby
+ I'm Only Sleeping
+ Love You Too
+ Here, There and Everywhere
+ Yellow Submarine
+ She Said, She Said
+ Good Day Sunshine
+ And Your Bird Can Sing
+ For No One
+ Doctor Robert
+ I Want to Tell You
+ Got to Get You into My Life
+ Tomorrow Never Knows

My all time favorite from this winning effort - and it is an excruciating call for this old man - remains: And Your Bird Can Sing. I love everything about this song - and hope to play it live some day before I leave this realm.

When my daughters were young we used to play "name that tune" by dropping the record needle on a song and seeing if they could name the artist and song. They became damn good music critics - and big Beatles fans, too. So, on this grand day of remembering, it seems right that we're off to babysit Lou who hasn't quite grasped the word "grand dad" yet and calls me something that sounds an awful lot like one of Revolver's backwards tapes.


Peter said…
Revolver was a tour de force, even though critic Rex Reed condemned the album as "flat" and the Beatles' appearance as "fat". For my part, I loved it, though my guitar odyssey began with the Byrds.
RJ said…
I loved the Byrds, too, Peter but the Beatles first rocked my world: I was nurtured on Little Richard and Elvis so I was ripe for what the Fab Four did - and the Byrds just made it more fun. Love.

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