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August 5th marks the 50th anniversary of the 1966 UK release of the Beatles seventh EMI/Parlophone studio album, Revolver.

And as usual, a truncated 11-track version of the LP was released in North America three days later by Capitol Records.

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Issued exactly one week prior to their final 18-day, 19-concert tour of the U.S. and Canada, the long-player renders strong support to the primary reason why the Fab Four called it quits with live shows following their very last performance at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29th of ’66.

The 14-track work contained intricate writing and the most complicated, experimental production techniques yet heard on songs like Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Good Day Sunshine and Got To Get You Into My Life.

Given their somewhat primitive stage equipment and the absence of more advanced technologies during the mid-1960’s, reproducing those complex studio-recorded songs in concert would have been extremely difficult.

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The Beatles
(From the album Revolver)

Undoubtedly, the LP’s final track, although the first one recorded for Revolver, was a stunning departure from all previously released Beatles material – John Lennon‘s psychedelic-flavored, LSD-fueled Tomorrow Never Knows.

Beginning with the sitar playing of George Harrison on the song’s spacey intro, followed by Ringo Starr‘s unorthodox, hypnotic drumming pattern, über-filtered vocals by Lennon (achieved by running his voice through a Leslie amplifier cabinet – one normally reserved for Hammond organs) and heavy use of a recording technique called “tape-looping,” TNK was an unknown (at the time) precursor to what lay ahead for the group.

Ten months later, on June 1, 1967, the Beatles would release their landmark classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

[Note] SPLHCB was the first Beatles album issued “intact” worldwide, i.e. the track listing was universal. Thereafter, all future original LP releases were uniform in content.

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The Making of ‘Revolver’ © Apple Corps.

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📝 The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Turns 50: Classic Track-By-Track Rundown

📝 Why ‘Revolver’ Is The Greatest Beatles Album

📝 🎬 Beatles’ ‘Revolver’: 15 Things You Didn’t Know

📝 🎬 1966 Could Be Rock ‘n Roll’s Most Revolutionary Year, Thanks to the Beatles, Dylan and the Beach Boys

📝 50 Years Ago: The Beatles Revolutionize Popular Music, Again, With ‘Revolver’

📝 Beatles’ Acid Test: How LSD Opened the Door to ‘Revolver’

📝 Record Collector’s 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records (UK)
Source: Record Collector Magazine

By Rick Murray Hunter /