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August 6, 2006

Three, four
Posted by Patrick at 04:15 PM * 52 comments

Revolver; cover art by Klaus Voorman This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of, quite possibly, the most transformational single album in modern popular music. Ray Newman, author of the self-published Abracadabra! The True Story of the Beatles’ Revolver, observes:

Revolver is one of the greatest albums of all time, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Revolver has appeared in the top 10 of lists of “the greatest albums of all time” in Rolling Stone magazine (2003), NME (1975, 2003), the Guardian (1997), the Times (1993), Channel 4 television (2005) and on many other occasions. The company it keeps varies—Tom Waits’ Swordfishtrombones was voted the 5th best album of all time by NME readers in 1985, but hasn’t featured since—and its position on the list changes: sometimes it’s below Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but in recent years it has more often been above, creeping towards (and occasionally achieving) the top spot.

Why this should be is well covered in an excellent post from By Neddie Jingo!, of which this is just a taste:

If Rubber Soul, from late 1965, marked the moment that the Beatles began to see the world through the eyes of adults, then Revolver gives us the world as seen by adults who know they are going to die. […] But if Revolver acknowledges the inevitability of death, the album as a whole resoundingly rejects nihilism. It offers solace in adult romantic love, in psychedelic insight, in the innocence of childhood, and a healthy dose of Doctor Robert’s cynicism. […]

If you listen carefully to a collection from Revolver’s period like Rhino’s Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire & Beyond, it becomes immediately apparent how astonishingly divisive the psychedelic experience was in the mid-Sixties. I haven’t done a careful count, but an amazing number of the delicious obscurities in that collection set up an “us-and-them” division—“us” being those who’ve had their eyes opened by LSD and “them” being the Squares who haven’t. […] But it’s Revolver’s crowning achievement that it rejects this then-fashionable division in favor of universality. The abject Eleanor Rigby and the hopeless Father Mackenzie feeling his faith dying, these are not people who going to be “saved” by an impregnated sugar-cube—these are desperate people in need of human compassion. The miserably depressed lover of “For No One,” the fragmenting mind, desperate for the innocence of childhood, of “She Said, She Said”—no glib oh-wow-man insight will work miracles for these people. The “state of mind” of these damaged individuals is far, far more complicated than “rain or shine,” and the Beatles were immeasurably compassionate—adult—to present them to us in the painfully divided year of 1966.

Tappan King once observed that it’s the destiny of most powerful pop-cultural creations to trace an arc from gnosis to wallpaper. A lot of stuff from the Sixties is now on the downside of that curve. Revolver isn’t. It still stings.

Comments on Three, four:
#1 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 04:31 PM:

You can see the very peak of The Beatles career as the "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" single, if you like, and most days I do, but there's just no doubt in my mind this is their best album ever. It's the one I turned to the morning I heard John Lennon died--I think that's still the only time I've ever hit the bottle before noon.

#2 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 04:36 PM:

Mind you, if I had to choose just one song, it would probably be "Rain."

Which is really an honorary Revolver song; the single "Paperback Writer" b/w "Rain" was recorded in the same series of sessions.

#3 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 04:40 PM:


1. Taxman
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. I'm Only Sleeping
4. Love You To
5. Here, There and Everywhere
6. Yellow Submarine
7. She Said, She Said
8. Good Day Sunshine
9. And Your Bird Can Sing
10. For No One
11. Doctor Robert
12. I Want to Tell You
13. Got to Get You into My Life
14. Tomorrow Never Knows

#4 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 05:28 PM:

Just in case I'm not the last person on earth to hear about this, Cirque du Soleil's new show LOVE features the Beatles' music, newly remixed under the supervision of Sir George Martin and his son.

#5 ::: Martyn Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 05:40 PM:

It's only cheap, popular music, you know. Yeah. Right.

Here's a question, though. How could the man who wrote 'For No-one' go on to write 'Mull of Kintyre'?

Me, I'm a Sgt Pepper man, but it isn't really a choice, is it. It isn't Either/Or. It's ALL.

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 05:49 PM:

I'm certainly looking forward to the forthcoming CD release of that, but I'm pretty sure that what's been done is remastering, not remixing.

Mixing (I'm going to do my best to get this right, as I am only an egg) is the process of adjusting levels (and adding filters, etc) between the various different individually-miked and/or separately-recorded parts of a piece of recorded music.

Mastering is the more subtle art of, once the mix is finished, optimizing frequencies to create a recording that will sound as good as possible through as many different playback devices as possible...or, alternately, customizing the frequency response for a particular kind of device.

The Beatles' catalog is grossly overdue to be remastered for CD playback. If you want to hear how much difference this would make, listen to the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" on the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" CD, a compilation that was issued to accompany the movie's release on DVD. The remastered "Pepper" punches through walls.

The Cirque du Soleil stuff is also, of course, a gigantic mash-up, done with the approval of the artists, but that's neither a matter of mixing nor of mastering.

#7 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 05:55 PM:

PBS uses "Got to Get You into My Life" as a promo for its own programming. I stop dead and listen everytime I hear it.

This one is one of the few Beatles albums I have that wasn't stolen/lost during multiple (third-party) moves, which says something about the lack of discernment the thieves possessed.

#8 ::: Nick Fagerlund ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 06:18 PM:

To admit it, or not to admit it...?

I only discovered the album in 2003. It still sounded ahead of its time.

#9 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 06:20 PM:

Hey, no shame in that! I only discovered Duke Ellington in the last three or four years.

#10 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 06:45 PM:

Recommended: the Susanna Hoff/Matthew Sweet cover of "And Your Bird Can Sing." It's the second track on "Under the Covers, v.1," the entirety of which is streaming here --but, apparently, only for Windows Media Player.

#11 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 07:12 PM:

Second the rec. The Sweet/Hoffs collaboration has been in heavy rotation at Casa NH since its first week of release. (As if we weren't already Bangles and Matthew Sweet fans around here anyway.)

#12 ::: Andy Vance ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 07:25 PM:

YouTube can spoil anything.

#13 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 07:26 PM:

I like the way Sweet and Hoffs sound on that song -- and on the rest of the album -- but it bugs me that they simplified the wonderful bouncy bassline of the original.

One odd thing about Revolver's ascendancy in recent years is that it runs counter to the general tendency of rockish albums to maintain their reputations better over the years than poppish albums. Revolver's always been my favorite, and the typical favorite of a power pop fan, but I would have guessed that Abbey Road and The Beatles would have vied for the position of dethroning Sgt Pepper.

#14 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 07:53 PM:

It's a nearly cast-iron rule of Beatles covers that they simplify the bass line. See also: back catalog, remastering, grossly overdue.

#15 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 07:56 PM:

Patrick: There was an interesting article on the remixing done for "Yellow Submarine" in The New York Times just before the print was rereleased to art houses and then released to DVD.

When the surviving Beatles were approached by the distributor they said it should be released with the original mono track that had played in theaters. That was a sticking point until the distributor hit on the argument that the mono mix wouldn't match the quality of the work that had been done in creating the music. The surviving Beatles agreed to let the distributor do a test stereo mix which they would evaluate.

The best tape machines available when the album was recorded could do four tracks of sound. To get the layering that was wanted each four track recording was then boiled down into one track of the final mix, and then the sound engineers went onto the next one. Fortunately, the original four track recordings still existed--but the engineer involved burned a lot of midnight oil in the process of doing the new mix. (He also got to contribute a finger snap/hand clap that had been left off when the original effects track was created for the film.)

The distributor arranged a showing of the finished version for two of the three. (I think Paul was unavailable.) They were stunned since the mix they were used to was muddy enought that some of the original elements had dropped out and they were hearing them again for the first time in 20+ years. The distributor had no objections from them after that.

#16 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 08:39 PM:

They should release a remastered Sgt. Pepper next June, for the 20th anniversary of the 20th anniversary of the release of the album. (After all, "it was 20 years ago today", which is why the original CD was released in June 1987.)

#17 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 09:29 PM:

George Harrison was complaining about a 95% tax on the rich. Another world then ...

#18 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 09:50 PM:

I'm grumpy and I want to spread it around some. Therefore: Who can tell me what Lennon/McCartney were thinking when they committed "Run for Your Life"? Is it a joke? Because I don't get it.

#19 ::: Things That Ain't So ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 10:06 PM:

"This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of, quite possibly, the most transformational single album in modern popular music."

And here I thought you were talking about the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Never mind.

#20 ::: DavidH ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 10:07 PM:

With regard to remixes and mashups, some of you might enjoy the following live track from Mike Keneally:
in which the band plays (more or less) "Tomorrow Never Knows" while Mike plays "And Your Bird Can Sing".

#21 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 11:02 PM:

Being the youngster that I am, I've heard the Beatles my whole life 9and couldn't describe to yu a world without their influence) but it's only been in the last four or five years that I've really listened to them and heard just how much of Revolver forms the cornerstone of most contemporary music.

#22 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2006, 11:57 PM:

TexAnne, I don't have a cite, but Lennon, who wrote "Run For Your Life", dismissed it as one of his worst songs.

#23 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:00 AM:

Scraps, in his final Playboy interview, Lennon said he was ashamed of that song.

Which makes me wonder what he would have thought of Every Breath You Take.

#24 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:13 AM:

Which makes me wonder what he would have thought of Every Breath You Take.

In the right mood, I imagine he'd apologize for that, too. And Happy Birthday. And the entire lyrics of Phantom of the Opera.

#25 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 01:14 AM:

It's hard for me to separate my critical appreciation for Revolver from my personal history with it. Y'see, my brother belonged to a record club. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the hot new LP at the time, but I'd never heard of Revolver, and didn't understand the pun. (I was ten years old.) But the older LP cost 50 cents less, so that was what I bought.

I've never really regretted it. I played the album frequently, sometimes daily, for years and years thereafter. It fit with what I thought "psychedelic" meant, it was The Beatles (which counted for a lot by itself), and my understanding of why the music, lyrics, arrangement, vocals, etc. are all superlative has continued to grow over the years.

I had a roommate in college who referred to the narrator's state of mind in For No One as "blunted affect." I think she's right.

#26 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 05:11 AM:

And here's me reading this just as "T.N.K. (Tomorrow Never Knows" (by 801 -- Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music, et al, on 801 Live, which also has Brian Eno playing) comes up to listen.

I grew up in a household that was so square, we were cubical. (I got better :-) The one bit of pop music hipper than Neil Diamond that my mom loved was the Beatles; if she knew about the double entendres and references, she never mentioned them to me. When my musical horizons broadened in college, I heard the Beatles' influence EVERYWHERE to the point where I had to give them up altogether for some months to hear everything else on its own merits.

#27 ::: Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 07:04 AM:

The idea that We the Few, the Beautiful, the Hip have feelings and experiences the masses can never hope to understand predates LSD, and whether one had actually taken the drug was probably not a very good predictor of whether the syndrome would develop.

#28 ::: Martyn Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 07:19 AM:

Being English, I don't know which version of 'Got to get you into my life' is being used. If it isn't Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers you might like to search it out as a fair summation of a good British gigging band sounded like before Chas Chandler brought Jimi to England.

I wonder again how the man who wrote that could mutate into the inflictor of 'Mull of Kintyre'. Maybe the barefootin' code of Abbey Road was right . . .

In which case, Ringo, watch out. The Illuminati are coming for you!

#29 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 08:48 AM:

On the "Mull of Kintyre" problem... one possibility is that McCartney is simply a poor judge of his own work. He wouldn't be the only Certified Twentieth Century Pop Genius to have that problem. Now that "Blind Willie McTell", etc., have dribbled out, we can say with authority that the "Infidels" Dylan released isn't a patch on the one he recorded. I've heard similar said about McCartney's solo work (e.g., a supposedly complete album of collaborations with Elvis Costello that wound up getting released piecemeal...)

#30 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 09:17 AM:

Scraps, in his final Playboy interview, Lennon said he was ashamed of that song.

Which makes me wonder what he would have thought of Every Breath You Take.

Oh good, now I'm less grumpy. (Or maybe it was 7 hrs of sleeping like a log. But anyway.)

I imagine he'd have found "Every Breath You Take" musically satisfying and lyrically creepy, and he would have laughed very hard at the idea that people use it in their weddings.

#31 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 09:39 AM:

I like Mull of Kintyre...

Yes, it is bombastic and schmaltzy, but sometimes you want bombast and schmaltz.

#32 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:22 AM:

Some non-Beatles but fairly authentic version of "Got to Get You Into My Life" is also being used in the background of a current commercial for a phone company (or something like that -- one of those "bundling" ads?), but just the sound of those horns still gives me a lift.

I was on the verge of 17 when "Revolver" first came out, and all these years later I still think it's one of the best albums ever recorded. ("Rubber Soul" is right up there too, but I'm not much of a "Sergeant Pepper" fan.) Those incredible riffs and motifs! The opener of "She Said, She Said" remains amazing to this day.

To my mind, the only other pop group who could do that with a similar power was The Who. Some of their old songs or intros are also being used as backgrounds for TV ads now, occasionally leading me to start singing very inappropriate lyrics like "teenage wasteland..."

#33 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:36 AM:

(Morning brain-cramp, there -- I was almost 16 when it appeared. And what an education it was!)

#34 ::: Tuxedo Slack ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:49 AM:

My dad tells a story about his mother being unable to understand how four such nice young boys could create such horrid music. I think of it when he's (for instance) objecting to bands I like such as Garbage or Tool, or to KRS-ONE's "Get Yourself Up" blasting out of my CD-alarm this morning to wake me up.

#35 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:56 AM:

I thought you were talking about the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

How do you do, I
see you've met my
faithful handyman.

The Beatles makes me think of that recent quote about Shakespeare. They're good in spite of all the people who say they're good.

I'm no afficionado, but last year I saw a really good Beatles cover band and I was fairly blown away that the evening turned into three hours or so of non stop great music. It was at that point I got how much I had underestimated The Beatles.

#36 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 11:52 AM:

The Velvet Underground and Nico was also recorded in April 1966. That's quite a month.

#37 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:11 PM:

I just recently listened to The Velvet Underground and Nico for the first time in years. Definitely, another artifact of the time that stands up remarkably well.

I forget who said it, but the standard observation about the Velvet Underground is that they never sold more than a few thousand copies of their records, but one out of every three people who bought one went on to start a band.

#38 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:21 PM:

My dad tells a story about his mother being unable to understand how four such nice young boys could create such horrid music.

I love multi-generational blogging... I made my poor long-suffering father listen to (wait for it) "Inna-Gadd-Da-Vida." Why ever would I do that? you ask. Damned if I know. I also insisted that he come to the movies with me to see Yellow Submarine. We were both, technically, adults at the time. After that, when it was clear he was Not Having Any Fun, I left him alone.

I'm a Sgt Pepper fan, but Eleanor Rigby is still utterly totally an amazing song, and I loooove Taxman.

#39 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 12:27 PM:

If I'm in a mood, I might put on Johnny Cash doing a cover of "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails.

#40 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 01:10 PM:

Greg: If I'm in a mood, I might put on Rolf Harris doing "Stairway to Heaven". It's very hard for me to stay grumpy while listening to that.

#41 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 01:58 PM:

I'm in an even bigger mood than I was yesterday. All hail pipe band CDs played too loudly.

#42 ::: Tiff ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 02:19 PM:

While bored at home one summer (I'd read all my own books and most of the ones in the library as well) I went and sat down by the record player in the lounge and gradually worked my way through my parents' entire vinyl collection.

Even in amongst everything else by the Beatles, I still remember how much Revolver stuck out. It made me want to be a musician like no other album I've ever heard. Pity I can't write anything other than occasional folk songs.

#43 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 02:45 PM:

I forget who said it, but the standard observation about the Velvet Underground is that they never sold more than a few thousand copies of their records, but one out of every three people who bought one went on to start a band.

I first heard The Velvet Underground & Nico as a college freshman in the early '90s, and was struck by how much it was like what was on college radio at the time; I don't know if that speaks to its timelessness, or influence, or both.

#44 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 08:04 PM:

"...mother being unable to understand how four such nice young boys could create such horrid music."

My mother, on the other hand, insisted we go see "A Hard Days Night" together. I was 16 at the time it was released.

#45 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 09:56 PM:
I forget who said it, but the standard observation about the Velvet Underground is that they never sold more than a few thousand copies of their records, but one out of every three people who bought one went on to start a band.

People used to say the same about Mission of Burma, who released one poorly selling, but highly influential album about twenty years ago and then broke up due to the damage that their incredibly loud live shows had done to guitarist Roger Miller's ears. These nostalgia trips are sounding a little more awkward now, though --- the album they released a few months ago blows the older one away.

#46 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:31 PM:

I forget who said it, but the standard observation about the Velvet Underground...

Brian Eno (almost at the bottom).

I've always felt like I should like Mission of Burma more than I actually do--they're great in theory, but in practice I find that Pere Ubu and Wire scratch the same itch more effectively. On the other hand, I like Miller's post-tinnitus work a lot (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, No-Man, Maximum Electric Piano, Exquisite Corpse).

#47 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 10:49 PM:

TexAnne: "Run for Your Life" is one of a number of John Lennon's songs about jealousy, a fairly consistent theme in his music from the early "You Can't Do That" to "RfYL" to the more thoughtful "Jealous Guy." I think they came out of genuine emotion on his part, and that he didn't try to censor himself, for better or worse.

#48 ::: Danny Caccavo ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2006, 11:38 PM:

Highly opinionated post alert.

I can't resist a chance to rag on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack remixes. But here goes.

(Patrick actually pointed out one of the few *good* examples of remixing on that album. I'll "accentuate the negative")

Most of the remixes opted for better fidelity over proper mixing. (There was another post here that details how they reassembled the elements for mixing).

How does one separate fidelity from good mixing? Good mixing is a combination of "up is louder, right?" and appropriate effects/processing to accentuate the parts.

Try comparing the originals and remixes from another room, or even on a boombox from another room. I'm curious to hear if anyone hears what I hear (that's metaphysically absurd, man...).

"It's All Too Much."
Original is a messy recording, but is glued together by the screaming guitar - which seems to have been buried on the remix. Falls flat in comparison.

"All You Need Is Love."
Original has the typical wacky panning, but it works - the blend is right.
Remix has the vocals REALLY loud - which dwarfs the track. Also missing are some of George Harrison's meandering out of tune violin bits.

"Love You To"
THIS is possibly the best remix. Brings a new dimension to the original and doesn't miss anything.

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"
Possibly the worst. Those tom-tom hits that were so huge in the original sound puny now. No (or lame) efforts to recreate the vocal or drum effects (there are certain things you need analog tape to reproduce). You wanna hear something that blows away even the original stereo mix? Find the original mono mix. Incredible.

"Hey Bulldog"
Not an awful mix, but not as exciting as the original. The bass doesn't jump anymore. The vocal is (once again) too loud, dwarfing the track. The funny fade down and up at the end is missing. They "fixed" the panning, but lost the mix.

"Eleanor Rigby"
On the surface, sounds like a nice, "real" stereo mix. Good balances. But upon further inspection - doesn't Paul's vocal sound a little "behind the beat?" Well, guess what? They got sloppy when they hand-synced up those different 4 track tapes. Paul's vocal is behind almost all the time (and they also didn't use the "automatic double tracking" tape effect that was used on the orignal....yeah, I know...

"Baby You're a Rich man"
A somewhat lame version of the stereo mix (which was done after they broke up). No attempt at recreating the "real" mono single mix. At least if it was as good as the original stereo, I wouldn't gripe (much).

"All Together Now."
Hmmm. Something's missing. Could it be the drums? And maybe that bulb-horn?

"Think For Yourself"
I couldn't really find anything wrong with this one.

"Nowhere Man"
Pretty darned nice to hear those vocals in stereo, and without all that distortion. I wish there were a way to bring out that bass guitar more, though, but there isn't, really. One of Paul's best bass lines (and many folks don't realize it). Overall, a good remix.

"Yellow Submarine."
Acceptable, if for no other reason than they fixed the blunder on the original stereo mix (where they left out Lennon's "A Live of ease.." rejoinder).

"Sgt Pepper"
Yep. This one jumps out. A good one.

"A Little Help From My Friends"
Well - Sgt Pepper sounds great, until that nice guitar picking part that bridges the songs. Suddenly it's small and thin. What happened? (they neglected to treat the guitar with that same tape-based effect that made it sound so rich in the first mix). The rest of the song has a decent balance, but that guitar "jangle" is gone.

There are probably more, but it's late, and I'm doing this from memory (and I never liked "Northern Song" that much anyway )

OK, I'm a geek. I'm a recording geek AND a Beatles geek. Deadly combination. Why am I so pissed off at these remixes?

Because IMNVHO, I feel that these should have been "restorations" - the most important thing in a mix is the balance, and they blew that most basic requirement in SO many places...and on top of it, either didn't bother to or lamely tried to reproduce the original effects.

It's cool to hear the tracks with several layers of distortion removed - but if only they had been more careful, more true to the original.

Of course, one might say, "if they were true, it would have sounded exactly like the originals, so why remix?

Well, I mean, "true in feel, true in spirit" to the originals.

And yes, Revolver is just amazing! Ever notice the "Lovin' Spoonful" influence on "Good Day Sunshine?"

OK, as I said before, "geek!"

#49 ::: Scott Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2006, 02:01 AM:

This is one of my favorite blogs, and the Beatles are one of my favorite bands. Unfortunately, and I admit to being afraid to admit this, I think "Revolver" is actually as overrated today as "Sgt. Pepper" was in its time. Don't get me wrong, I love "Revolver," but it isn't better to these ears than "Pet Sounds," "Forever Changes," the first Velvets LP, or "Blonde On Blonde," just to name a few. Of course, my favorite Beatles elpee is the White Album, so go figure.

Patrick, the "Love" show is actually a remix, or, to be more accurate, it's all mash-ups, done by Giles Martin (Sir George's son) under his Dad's supervision. Some are more radical than others, but it's not a straight remastering.

TexAnne & Co.: About "Run For Your Life;" evidence that Lennon (and it was a Lennon song, with little if any McCartney input) regarded it as a throwaway and a joke comes from the fact that the infamous "I'd rather see you dead..." lines come directly from Elvis Presley's version of "Baby, Let's Play House," which Elvis had gotten from one of the three or four blues records that actually form the basis of THAT song. (Phew. Yes, I too am a music geek, but proud of it.)

The line is even more blatantly out of place and hard to take seriously in Elvis's song, since he surrounded it with pre-Buddy Holly hiccuping and the immortal lines, "You may buy a pink Cadillac/But don't you be nobody's fool," which was his own adlib during recording (it doesn't come from any of the versions of the song that were thrown together to make this one). If anything, Elvis is aiming most of the criticism at himself here. Doesn't make the dinosaurian sexism any nicer, but I don't think Elvis meant it seriously any more than John did. It's in poor taste, but I think "Under My Thumb" is a lot worse.

OK, I'm done geeking here. Intelligent discussion can resume now!

#50 ::: clew ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2006, 12:36 AM:

I'm very fond of a harpsichord version of Eleanor Rigby (Don Angle); although in general ragtime translates better than pop.

#51 ::: Spam deleted ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 04:40 PM:

Spam from :

#52 ::: P J Evans sees hoolio spamming ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2009, 04:44 PM:

Persistent, isn't it?

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