Because the Beatles mastered so many innovations in pop music and songwriting, any attempt to pick a work and claim it as their crowning achievement is almost futile. Critics have spent much space defending their rendering of the best Beatles' albums, and, significantly, most of them have a good case. 'Revolver' is arguably the best Beatles' album because they reached the height of their songwriting powers and mastered a variety of musical forms. The album finds them at the cusp of their career, just before they ended touring. 'Revolver' harnesses their best aspects with the energy of their early years and the creative mastery of their later years. The variety is also greatest on 'Revolver' (except for 'The White Album,' which is also a masterpiece, but integrated less expertly).
John and Paul split ways musically. Paul's contributions are magnificent, but more traditional. For starters, "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby" made a formidable double A-sided single. It is taken for granted that both songs were innovative. The former has rich sounds and great background effects. The latter hasn't aged as well, but is one of the most frequent of The Beatles' songs to be put in poetry anthologies. It is bleak, but beautiful. His love songs are as haunting as ever. "Here, There, and Everywhere" is articulate, if not ephemeral, but "For No One" is spendid, including a fine French horn solo. His best contribution, however, is "Got to Get You into My Life," featuring one of his best vocal performances and a lively brass band accompaniment. He also rounds out the C.D.'s mood with another playful and eloquent number, "Good Day Sunshine".
Conversely, John's songs are more avant-guarde. "She Said, She Said," "Dr. Robert," and "And Your Bird Can Sing," are all remarkable. The guitars edge is razor sharp on each of these songs, and the lyrics are abstract and fascinating. Then, "I'm Only Sleeping" stretches The Beatles' repertoire even further, complete with a Harrison guitar solo that simulates yawning. However, the finale', "Tomorrow Never Knows," redefines the group as never before. With wild and mesmerizing background music, John sings into a storm of sounds with his abstract images and philosophical statements. (Subjectively, "And Your Bird Can Sing" is the best song. It has nonsense lyrics and progressive guitar patters that showcase the Beatles as only a lucky few know them. It is a song about unrequited love in reverse [if that makes sense], a rejection of someone of pompous self-importance, sung with great trajectory by John.)
George also is fantastic, for keeping up with his guitar on the smorgasboard of music, but his three songs are superb as well. "Taxman" is great hard-rock with some of the sharpest commentary of any Beatles' song. "Love You To," is a mesmerizing display of George's affinity to Eastern religion and culture. And, the spirited "I Want to Tell You" is perhaps the most underrated of Harrison's Beatles' songs.
Song for song, 'Revolver' is the most varied and magnificent of their albums. It is a worthy purchase. For only having three songs as singles (one posthumous to the group) and so many songs that were even better, 'Revolver' is a must for fans, especially those who may be tired of their familiar accomplishments.
This record is a nice bridge between the Beatels early and late periods. This album alon giwth Rubber Soul added many creative touches including George Harrison's sitar effects and some creative lyrics that go beyond the basic love songs that these guys were writing at the beginning fo their career. How many songs were written about taxes before George Harrison came along with his winner of a song. Tomorow Never Knows is a very trippy song with its many sound effects. In general each song on here … more
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Revolverwouldn't remain the Beatles' most ambitious LP for long, but many fans--including this one--remember it as their best. An object lesson in fitting great songwriting into experimental production and genre play, this is also a record whose influence extends far beyond mere they-was-the-greatest cheerleading. Putting McCartney's more traditionally melodic "Here, There and Everywhere" and "For No One" alongside Lennon's direct-hit sneering ("Dr. Robert") and dreamscapes ("I'm Only Sleeping," "Tomorrow Never Knows") and Harrison's peaking wit ("Taxman") was as conceptually brilliant as anythingSgt. Pepperattempted, and more subtly fulfilling. A must.--Rickey Wright