The Beatles, Revolver

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Note from madpoet: I posted this for Diane
There is a musical moment that was a perfect example of how a song can be the soundtrack of your life. We were in Dublin, Ireland in 2000 when U2’s “Beautiful Day” was released and there was nowhere in that town that I did not hear that song playing in the stores, bars and cafes. Even now, when I hear the song, I can feel the cobbled streets of old Dublin under my feet and I am transported back to the sights and smells of the city.

Despite the fact that I was very small when they began, The Beatles were the soundtrack of my childhood. I can remember hearing them on very bad AM car radios, listening to them beneath the closed doors of my Aunts rooms, seeing them perform on the grainy black and white television screen. I loved The Beatles from the very beginning of my memory, and to this day they are and will forever be my favorite band.

Revolver was released in 1966 and it would not have been then that I truly discovered it. Later, when I did, it became one of my favorite albums of theirs. Prior to Revolver the band was churning out McCartney and Lennon pop hits at record speed. It was during their break prior to Revolver that I believe most of the band had the opportunity to explore some of their own musical muses, and when they finally came together to record an album it was flavored with all of their collective colors and sounds. It is on Revolver that we first hear George Harrison bring the Indian sound to one of his songs. It is here we can hear John Lennon pushing towards a dreamy and melodic flow of rich sounds that were the result of probably too many drugs but gave us some lovely melodies to listen to. I can still see psychedelic images when I listen to “Tomorrow Never Knows”.

Finally, it was on Revolver that Paul began to branch off a little more into his milieu, bringing memorable songs like “Here, There and Everywhere” and “Eleanor Rigby”, which was very different than the upbeat and poppy songs Paul was known for. My all-time favorite Beatle song is on this album, “For No One”, is a haunting and beautiful song that speaks volumes of emotion about a relationship that could never survive and paints a vivid picture of melancholy and pain set to a complicated arrangement. These songs showed that Paul’s song writing was maturing and the days of producing songs with simple chord changes and arrangements were over. Revolver was, in a way, the Beatles coming of age album; as it was my coming of age album. It opened up a world beyond pop music to me.

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