Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Classic Album of the Week Review: Revolver, The Beatles (1966)

Each fortnight we'll bring you a review of a "Classic" album, in an ongoing effort to erase the PussyCat Dolls of this world.....

From guest reviewer: freelance music writer, Marcus C

Revolver fires 12 bullets straight at your ears, and, in Yellow Submarine, one empty shell. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that this review will end with five stars, as Revolver is flawless from the opening count in of Taxman to the closing psychedelic drones of Tomorrow Never Knows.

Revolver is notable in that it truly marks the point at which The Beatles put a bold full stop after their pop wonders about boyish promiscuity and put a capital letter at inwardness (aided of course by the inversive aural stimulation of acid.) And never is this better demonstrated than in Lennon’s three colossal pillars of I’m Only Sleeping, She Said She Said and Tomorrow Never Knows. The first sets down Lennon’s lethargy in a haunting concoction of blissful melody and backward guitars, all set in the unorthodox waverings of E flat minor. He then recites the conversation of She Said She Said like the naughty boy at the headmaster’s desk – ‘She said “You don’t understand what I said!” I said “No, no, no!”’ But when the Freudian childishness is best made cathartic by acid wonders is Tomorrow Never Knows. Life, according to the ‘Book of the Dead’ lyrics, is ‘sh-yee-ining’; Lennon’s voice inspired with the wonder of a toddler on Christmas morning.

The Lennon obsession is not to shadow the contribution of the others, however. In Eleanor Rigby and For No One, McCartney produces a craftmanship yet unplagued by frog choruses and cringeworthy ‘be bup a lula’s’. In ‘Got to Get You Into My Life’, he makes a clumsy attempt at netting the hallucinogenic zeitgeist, too. But it works. As for George, Taxman, ‘I Want To Tell You’ and ‘Love You To’ would be standouts on any prior Beatles record. They’re still seminal, but John and Paul, as always, dwarf him. And then there’s Ringo. The drumming on She Said She Said serves as a swift punch in the bollocks to the many Ringo nay-sayers of the world, but the Yellow Submarine vocals are really a punch in the face of good taste.

All in all, though, Yellow Submarine cannot steal anything from the five stars Revolver deserves. It was great in 1966, and it’s even better now. If you don’t own it, buy it. After Heather, Macca needs the money.

Buy Revolver from , Sanity online, or JBHiFi .

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