Rubber Soul showed the potential of the LP as an album long statement, but Revolver took the ideas much further. Psychedelia, Indian influences, and studio trickery are among the milestones ticked off by Revolver. But what’s truly amazing about Revolver is that The Beatles haven’t been carried away with window dressing alone, and have written a batch of songs so amazing that their quality would transcend any mediocre production or performance thrown at them.
Harrison gets Revolver off to a great start with the sardonic ‘Taxman’, and the quality of the album barely abates over its amazingly diverse set of fourteen songs. McCartney contributes the infectious ‘Got To Get You Into my Life’ and three astounding ballads: ‘For No One’, the string driven dirge of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and the beautiful melody of ‘Here, There And Everywhere’. Lennon’s contributions are far more groundbreaking, but still accessible; ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is an avante-garde composition which just works perfectly, while my favourite song on the album is Lennon’s druggy ‘She Said, She Said’, recorded without McCartney.
For me, it’s a tossup whether Revolver or Sgt. Peppers is The Beatles’ absolute peak, but Revolver captures the band at a beautiful crossroad between the pop instincts of their early career and the experimentation of their later years.