Greetings and Salutations,
This third entry post will feature a discussion regarding The Beatles album Revolver and its impact in the ever-changing music industry. I will discuss various aspects of the Beatles musical career and how their image developed and progressed up to their Revolver release.
The Music and image The Beatles portrayed before the album Revolver was really like night and day. True, Beatles fans would enjoy the growth and change in the entire collection of songs and albums, but there is a big distinction between the early Beatles verses the later Beatles. It is an apparent transition seeing the teen heartthrob, bubble gum pop band from the early 60’s singing songs like “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “ She Loves You”, “Cant Buy Me Love” and so many hit releases prior to Revolver. If you listen to their albums in a chronological order you will notice the gradual change in their style and growth as a band.
Revolver in essence was an entirely new project that they undertook after taking a few months to break after the whirlwind of Rubber Soul and their consistent domination of worldwide charts. Revolver gave them the studio experience they needed to share their extensions musically. They stepped outside their regular musical formula and implemented prevalent brass sections, tape loops, various sound effects, horns, strings and Indian instruments. The Beatles spent over 11 weeks creating their masterpiece Revolver with the young Geoff Emerick brought on board to engineer that defined an entirely different sound for them.
Non-musical interest such as LSD, paying taxes, and political topics influenced the majority of the lyrical content for Revolver. For instance, John Lennon read Timothy Leary’s book “The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead” which inspired the track “Tomorrow Never Knows” on the album.
The Beatles used the studio as an instrument during the recording of Revolver by pushing the limits of what they could do with many inventive recording techniques. With the change in engineers came a new variation in the vibe and experimentation process that reflected in the album. The Beatles really utilized the studio in such innovative ways with techniques that could not be reproduced in a live setting.
In discussing certain innovations found on Revolver would be the magnificent use of tape loops, backward guitar parts, experimental vocal treatments and doubling instruments that are a few examples of using the studio as an integral innovation in their creation process. The artificial vocal doubling using the Leslie rotating speaker gave Lennon a distinct sound. The Beatles demonstrated this in the album by recording the lead vocals more than once that added depth and thickness to the mix. Drum compression was another innovation found on Revolver. It created a more prevalent and dynamic effect. The Indian sitar was also implemented for added instrumentation along with other various instruments filling the album with added new sounds.
The impressions Revolver has bestowed on me, as a musician, music enthusiast, listener and industry professional is not only inventiveness and a brilliant vision, but also the innovative use of the studio and the impeccable devotion to every element in creating such a profound and intense album. The musical arrangements and compositions were so elegantly constructed launching an entire revolution of recording and creating to a completely new level. Revolver really inspired and catapulted other artists and musical ideas into new horizons that were never used before. Even to this day many artists try to recreate the elements used by the Beatles in their studio projects and sounds.
Thank you for reading my post.
By Adrianna Parnagian