Perfection made pop

By Sergio Ariza

Revolver is the most emblematic record of the most important band of the 20th century, and that practically says it all. We think it is the most important because it comes from the most creative phase of the Liverpool four, its previous Rubber Soul, the beginning of the search for new sounds in the studio and its following Sgt. Pepper’s, which was a before and after in the history of rock. Song after song it is the most unforgettable record in the lofty Beatles discography.  

On Revolver there are 11 songs composed by the Lennon-McCartney tandem, 5 each, plus Yellow Submarine that Paul McCartney wrote for the adorable Ringo Starr, a childish song that betrays the wonderful sense of humour of the Fab Four. Things were going swimmingly at the time and signs of fracture were unthinkable. Yet, the competitive instinct between these two unique talents led them to competing for who would write, so McCartney writes this baroque gem Eleanor Rigby, and John Lennon answers with Tomorrow Never Knows, a song 30 years before its time, with its ‘loopy, spacey’ sounds, with the voice behind a Leslie with the solos played on rewind effect. It is also ample proof of the amazing evolution of the band, with this marvelous number by McCartney called For No One which has a trumpet bit that would make Bach himself proud.  And this is where McCartney tips the scales with jewels like Here There and Everywhere, a song that seems acoustic but is played on an Epiphone Casino ES-230TD from 1962, with the final touches by Harrison on his Fender Stratocaster Sonic Blue from ‘61. And let’s not forget the Motown tribute Got To Get You Into My Life with its incredible wind section. 

As for Lennon, he isn’t far behind, the daring  Tomorrow Never Knows adds to those pop gems that come ahead of power pop, which are She Said She Said and And Your Bird Can Sing, you can hear his Epiphone E230TD Casino from ‘65 on the first while Harrison fills in with his ‘64 Gibson SG Standard. In the second, his brutal riff is played at the same time by Harrison and McCartney with his Epiphone 230TD Casino. The influence of LSD also makes an appearance in the lazy, hypnotic I’m Only Sleeping

Besides having the most important composing duo in history at the top of their game, Revolver provided the  creative explosion of the hidden member of the band, George Harrison, who brought three other songs , Love You Too, where he once again shows his love for Indian music and the sitar, I Want You, where he offers a lovely riff on his Strato and especially, Taxman, one of his best numbers, where McCartney shows that if Harrison was the hidden composer, he was the hidden guitarist. And the iconic solo is his on his Epiphone ES-230TD, a model that Lennon and Harrison both bought later on, and one McCartney kept playing after the Beatles. 

You could go on forever about all the fine details found on this record, so to sum up, we can say that this record is the perfect vitamin against depression, the record of blue skies, a lolly pop, all of that and much more, Revolver is one of the most perfect pop records that exist, one which can only be compared to the Beach Boys Pet Sounds