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  Revolver: Review, Analysis. Reload this Page

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PostSubject: Revolver: Review, Analysis. Reload this Page   Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:33 am

Released - August, 1966

Track List

1. "Taxman" (George Harrison) – 2:39
2. "Eleanor Rigby" – 2:07
3. "I'm Only Sleeping" – 3:01
4. "Love You To" (Harrison) – 3:01
5. "Here, There and Everywhere" – 2:25
6. "Yellow Submarine" – 2:40
7. "She Said She Said" – 2:37
8. "Good Day Sunshine" – 2:09
9. "And Your Bird Can Sing" – 2:01
10. "For No One" – 2:01
11. "Doctor Robert" – 2:15
12. "I Want to Tell You" (Harrison) – 2:29
13. "Got to Get You into My Life" – 2:30
14. "Tomorrow Never Knows" – 2:57

Perhaps it’s fate that Revolver’s first three tracks and it’s last three tracks are written by the three main songwriters of The Beatles. Harrison, with Taxman and I Want To Tell You; Lennon with I’m Only Sleeping and Tommorow Never Knows; McCartney with Eleanor Rigby and Got To Get You Into My Life. Maybe it’s just clever track positioning by the boys. The idealist in me prefers the former. The title Revolver has a double meaning. The first meaning, which I already elaborated on, deals with the literal revolving of a record on a turntable. The second meaning, alluding to a firearm. In a way, this album really was a gun. The boys, sick and tired of the mop tops and screaming crowds, are laying waste to the old Beatles, the “Love Me Do” guys, and dumping the bodies on the side of the river, never to look back. Turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream...

Taxman (Harrison)
The song starts off with a voice counting off. “1...2...3...4....1....2" and then BAM, the guitar kicks in, and is ready to kick some ass. It’s interesting to note that the first line of the song is “Let me tell you how it will be.” Now the Beatles are in control. The guitar solo isn’t actually played by Harrison, it’s McCartney. It’s an energetic way to start off the album. One of the better songs on the album. Although, in reality, there really are only two songs on this album that I personally think are mediocre. The rest are of a very high quality.
YouTube - The Beatles - Taxman

Eleanor Rigby (McCartney)
Ahh, look at all the lonely people. Where do they all come from? Where do they all belong? Key questions raised in this Paul masterpiece, one of the first pop songs to deal with the issue of loneliness. The lyrics are deceptively simple little vignettes:

The image I get in my mind here is a lady standing at a distance on a street corner, watching the end of a wedding. The bride and groom are rushing out of the church to get into their car, and people are throwing rice. After it’s done, she walks up to the rice and picks it up and stares at it. She goes home and puts makeup on(face in a jar) and waits for somebody. This is her whole life. The rest of the verses are sort of self explanatory. Maybe this one is too, but I felt a need to put this analysis here.

YouTube - Eleanor Rigby

I’m Only Sleeping (Lennon)
This is a song about Lennon’s favorite pastime: being in bed. That’s where he wrote most of his songs, in bed with his TV on. Note the backwards guitars. A technique that is employed many times by The Beatles. This is also the first time this album that Lennon mentions streams as a metaphor for drugs.
YouTube - The Beatles - I'm only sleeping

Love You To (Harrison)
George Harrison was heavily influenced by Indian culture and music in these days. He was always the quiet Beatles, the cynical one. In a way he was the most impressionable one too. In the early days before they were famous, an 18 year old Lennon would usually go on dates to the theaters or something, and a 16 year old Harrison would always be tagging along. McCartney, Lennon and Harrison all had gaps in their life that they desperately needed filling, and Harrison filled it with religion in his later years. He was first heavily influenced by Ravi Shankar, and this is his first song that seriously tries to incorporate classical Indian music into a song, and not just a sitar playing. It’s a rather good song in my opinion, although not one of his most popular songs.

An Asian musical commentator wrote:


Here, There, and Everywhere
Here is the first weak spot of the album, in my personal opinion. According to McCartney, it’s one of his favorite compositions. George Martin, their legendary producer is of the same opinion. It’s a nice love song, but we’re seeing a pattern that Paul will get a bad rep for in later years: All he f*cking writes are love songs. Yeah, sure there are exceptions, but for the most part, they are love songs. Paul was the one Beatle who held out the longest on taking LSD(ironically he was the first Beatle to admit publically to taking it, causing a media sh*tstorm). The peer pressure was amazing. But, they say that once you take acid, you’ll never be the same again. To George and John, that was a pretty cool concept. Ringo is the type of brash guy who will try anything once. But not Paul, no he was a good boy when growing up. He doesn’t want to change. Look at where he is now, top of the f*cking world! Why change that? What if you can’t make it back home again? These are all issues Paul was dealing with at the time. Oh yeah, the song. It’s mediocre in my opinion, certainly not a stand out.

YouTube - The Beatles - Here, There and Everywhere

Yellow Submarine (Lennon-McCartney)
You know how they say with trilogies, that the middle tale is usually the weakest. In Revolver, these two songs in a row are the weak section of the album. This is one of the more popular Beatles songs, there was a movie based off of it, really trippy, it inspired a lot of psychedelic art in the 70s where it started to become mainstream using it in commercials. It’s a little kids’ song that John and Paul scrapped together. They had Ringo sing it, since his voice is more appropriate for the material. Actually, without this song, this record would not have been the success that it was, giving The Beatles more freedom to work on their next album. Personally, I don’t care too much for this song.

She Said She Said (Lennon)
This is a really great and catchy song written by John, about one of his first acid trips. It’s got a pretty cool backstory. The Beatles owned this Spanish style villa in LA, and one day, they hosted the Byrds and Peter Fonda and, except for Paul McCartney, took LSD. Helicopters were flying overhead, piloted by anxious fans desperate to get a peak at them. They were so close that there were large ripples in the pool when the helicopters were hovering in the air. This really freaked George out, and he was sitting there, thinking he was dying. Peter Fonda wanted to calm him down, so he started telling him a story about how when he was little, he was playing with his father’s handgun, and it accidentally went off, injuring himself. His heart stopped and they revived him. While recalling this, he said something to the lines of “I know what it’s like to be dead.” Lennon was walking by when he overheard this. He confronted him about it, but instead of repeating the whole story about the gun, Fonda just repeated “I know what it’s like to be dead.” Lennon snapped, “Listen mate, shut up about that stuff, You're making me feel like I've never been born.”
YouTube - The Beatles - She said she said (Video montage)

Due to a character limit, and coincidence, this is the end of side one on the album.

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