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The Beatles’ Revolver Turns 50
Friday, 12 August 2016 14:10:57 Europe/London
In the midst of the swinging 60s and three years before the summer of love, The Beatles released one of their most iconic albums. Revolver celebrates its 50th anniversary this month and is considered one of the bands best albums, if not one of the best albums ever made.
Six months after the release of Rubber Soul, Revolver shows a different side to The Beatles. It’s a far cry from their beat pop style and delves more into psychedelia and experimenting with recording techniques. It redefined them as a band and helped to redefine music in general.
Without this album, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen wouldn’t have been what it is. Until the spring of ’66, The Beatles had used a basic technique to make the vocals sound fuller, using double tracking. This involved the singer recording their vocals twice onto different tape tracks but John Lennon hated doing it. EMI engineer Ken Townsend invented “automatic double tracking” to save John from it. The recording process allowed one performer to be recorded on two tape machines to create a much fuller, richer sound, with less effort on the performers part. This device has been used on many rock recordings and was used(an updated version) to record Bohemian Rhapsody. Brian May from Queen said “The Beatles were our Bible in many ways.”
5 more fun facts:
- Despite the album being released just before their final US tour in August ’66, the band never performed any of the songs live due to them being too intricate and hard to play.
- It took the band longer to make the song Yellow Submarine than it took them to make the whole of their 1963 debut album Please Please Me.
- All four members of the band contributed in writing the lyrics for Eleanor Rigby which is rare.
- It was the first album to feature backwards guitar, including a reversed guitar solo.
- It was Pope Benedict XVI’s favourite album being number one on the Top 10 Albums list in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in February 2010.
The album artwork is very striking, using a drawing done by Klaus Voorman, who was a friend of the band. He is said to have drawn the picture of the members of the band from memory and only got paid £40 for the piece, which then went on the win a Grammy for Best Album Cover. £40 well spent on The Beatles part.
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Blog written by Jodie Allan