In the beginning The Beatles were a very straightforward, clean-cut pop rock and roll band that used simple but catchy melodies and had chord progressions that were consistent and expectable. Every song was around two minutes and thirty seconds. Some examples of these early songs are “Love Me Do”, “Ask Me Why”, “P.S. I Love You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”. The Beatles quickly took off in popularity and producing many albums back to back did not hurt their ratings among teenagers. They seemed to represent the teenage culture that was now in love with their sound and their look.
In 1965 with their release of the album Rubber Soul they unknowingly created a competition with Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, to make better and better music. Brian Wilson made Pet Sounds, which the boys from The Beatles thought was just amazing. This competition went back and forth with each trying to out create the other.
The Beatles began experimenting with drugs after filming a movie and their music changed forever. When Revolver came to life in 1966 we can see that their lyrics were heavily influenced by this new hobby of the band, drugs.
Because of this new competition with Brian Wilson, The Beatles wanted to bring the studio sessions to reality on this new album, thus the album starts with a lot of studio noise and a verbal count off for the first song. They also used the studio equipment in new ways that had never been done before. They used different microphone placements for the drums than ran its signal through compressors and valve-limiters or recorded and reversed the sound of a cymbal. They experimented with John Lennon’s lyrics on “Tomorrow Never Knows” by running them through a Leslie speaker. They also used wine glasses and different timings of distorted guitar loops to create their new sounds. You could say that the studio itself was its own musical instrument.
When I was young I did not fully appreciate everything that Revolver was and di for the music industry, I simply just sang along not knowing what the songs were even about. Now that I am older and wiser I fully respect what The Beatles have created, this is one of my favorite and one of the greatest albums of all time. I hope to one-day find a way to push down the musical walls and boundaries around me. I want to think outside the box and create something that has never been done or heard, but that is still appealing to the ear. The Beatles, Revolver, has done that very thing – helped artists move from simple melodies and expectable chord progressions to trying new things and breaking the rules.
Howard, David N.. Sonic alchemy: visionary music producers and their maverick recordings. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Corp., 2004. Print.
Newman, Ray. ABRACADABRA!. Stanford, CA: Creative Commons Attribution, 2006. Print.
” PRX » Piece » Everything Was Right: The Beatles’ Revolver .” Public Radio Exchange . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2013. <http://www.prx.org/pieces/15368-everything-was-right-the-beatles-revolver#description>.