Following up on Rubber Soul, The Beatles made another leap forward in 1966 with their seventh album, Revolver. This has now received the remixed treatment courtesy of Giles Martin. Revolver contains many of the elements that would later show up on Sgt Pepper – a signature Ringo Starr track (“Yellow Submarine”), George Harrison Eastern influences (“Love You To”), and a genre bending closing track (“Tomorrow Never Knows”). Only one single appears on the album, Paul McCartney’s haunting ballad “Eleanor Rigby”.
Harrison gets the premier slot with his bass driven “Taxman” who’s sound would later be appropriated by The Jam. John Lennon shines on the heavy eyelid pop of “I’m Only Sleeping” and the Peter Fonda quoting “She Said She Said”. McCartney turns in the lovely ballad “Here There and Everywhere” as well as the Motown horns of “Got to Get You Into My Life”. While Sgt Pepper’s remains more popular in the mainstream, in the last several years, Revolver has grown in stature over the years to become an aficionado favourite.
Fans of The Beatles will already own Revolver in many forms over the years, so it is the disc of outtakes that will drive the interest in this release. The second disc starts with the revved up single “Paperback Writer” and it’s classic B-side “Rain”, both in 2022 stereo mixes. Highlights of disc two include Take 1 of “Tomorrow Never Knows” that dials down the psychedelia for a more straightforward track with Lennon’s voice sounding like it is coming through a radio. “Doctor Robert” has a drier sound that pushes Lennon’s vocals to the forefront.
McCartney’s “For No One” appears as an instrumental backing track and later, “Here, There and Everywhere (Take 6)” has a much rawer vocal than the released version. The cartoonish effects of “Yellow Submarine” do not appear on Take 4 which makes it sound like a more mature folk sea shanty. Overall, the outtakes disc does a winning job of turning songs heard hundreds of time before into a must listen that brings out different shades and sounds to well worn tracks.
Revolver – 10/10
Outtakes – 10/10