“The band already came with its requirements to find a different sound, especially John, although he never knew very well how to express them, and even less how to carry them out. But for me it was wonderful to be able to do my tricks”, said Geoff Emerick, the album’s sound engineer. Stir the album that I transformed into the Beatles.
The album was the last released before the band decided to abandon the stage and tour, in favor of experimentation in the recording studios. A notorious and risky change that was already glimpsed in the production of the previous album, “Rubber Soul”. On August 5, 1966, Revolver hit record stores and became the band’s best-seller to date.
The sound design had its technical challenge that specialized critics praised, even decades after its premiere, the magazine rolling stone placed it at number 3 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003. “The first thing was to connect Paul’s bass signal to a large speaker that could respond better to low frequencies than a small microphone. My bosses looked at me like I was crazy but they let me. And Paul’s instrument started to sound more powerful on the studio recordings,” confesses Emerick.
The group was undergoing a major change, reflected by the beginning of the band’s psychedelic era, preceded by George Harrison’s and John Lennon’s experimentation with LSD and their growing interest in different philosophical concepts. The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Deadwritten by the referent of the counterculture Timothy Leary was a prominent influence at the time of the album’s creation.
The creative dynamics of the group of Liverpool At that time it was the subject of observations and rumours, Geoff Emerick confesses: “The one who was really in charge was George. He chose me. John was the talent. And he had more of a rock spirit. Small mistakes let them slide. Paul, on the other hand, was ruthless. And Ringo didn’t speak, he played whatever we asked of him until four in the morning, when he would get up, put on his coat, and then we would end the day without anyone saying anything. Exhausted”.
Revolver’s influence continued on later albums such as “Sargent Pepper’s” and “Abbey Road” by the Liverpool Four. Emerick relates: “It was one challenge after another. John always came up with ideas. And Paul was there to make sure they came out perfect or they didn’t get included. I put microphones in weird places on Ringo’s drums, against the conventions of EMI at that time”.
Stir It was recorded at EMI Studios and consists of 14 songs in total, seven on Side A and the same on Side B. Each member of the band stood out in the development of the songs. A brief review of the most recognized contributions of John Lennon , Paul MCCARTNEY , George Harrison Y Ringo Starr.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” was introduced by Lennon to the rest of the band and their producer George Martin. First called “Mark 1”, it was the opening song on the album art. Effect voices of a seagull or an American Indian, added to the use of the mellotron and the inspiration of the German musician’s concrete music stockhausen gave the initial kick of the sound transformation.
Eleanor Rigby it was composed by McCartney, framing the vocals in an intense string arrangement recorded by George Martin. According to the producer, his instrumental arrangement was inspired by the score that Bernard Herrmann had made for the French film Fahrenheit 451 by François Truffaut. The enigma of who Eleanor Rigby was was answered by the composer himself, arguing that the name was taken from an actress in the film Help! (Eleanor Bron) and the surname, from the “Rigby” stores in the city of Bristol.
“tax man” is chosen for the opening of the album. Creation of George Harrison with a clear reference to the tax policy on the income of large taxpayers of the British government and that, at that time, affected the members of the band.
“Yellow Submarine” is sung by drummer Ringo Starr. The composition credited to the Lennon-McCartney duo reached second place on the US Billboard chart that same year.