I don’t see too many differences between ‘Revolver’ and ‘Rubber Soul’,” George Harrison once said. “To me they could be Vols 1 and 2 of the same record.”
Still, “Revolver” pushed the more experimental approaches of the previous album – the first approaches to psychedelia, the fascination with studio technology – and formed a dramatic promise out of it: The album, released in August 1966, made it unmistakably clear that the what we now call “the Sixties” was unstoppable.
The most innovative song is definitely Lennon’s “Tomorrow Never Knows”: In his attempt to compress an LSD trip into a three-minute song, Lennon used lyrics from Timothy Leary’s version of the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and had his singing alienated in such a way that he sounded like the Dalai Lama “sit singing on the highest mountain peak”.
Tape loops, a guitar played backwards, McCartney’s explosive solo on “Taxman,” and the sound of a rumbling tambura completed the experiment that would spark a flood of imitators.
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McCartney also broke new ground by creating two beautifully mature art songs, “Eleanor Rigby” and “For No One.” And Harrison — featured three times on “Taxman,” “I Want To Tell You,” and “Love You To” — challenged the dominance of the Lennon-McCartney writing team for the first time.