The Beatles image and music before Revolver was very Pop/Pop-Rock sounding. Their “British Invasion” sound, and the look that they portrayed, which was the iconic “Boy Band,” had young and old people (specifically girls) loved them for it (Simone & Schuster, 2001). When it came to Revolver, the Beatles were beginning to use hallucinogens and Acid based drugs, i.e. LSD, to help with their song writing creativity and add some of their songs to the rising Psychedelic Rock era. “Revolver can be seen as a transitional period for the band. The Beatles haven’t necessarily left their Pop-rock sound, and they’re just beginning to explore the limits of their musical potential (Campbell, 2012).”
Like I previously stated, the use of non-musical influences, such as drugs, helped them with their song writing and musical creativity. Not only did they use drugs for music creating, they also did it for performance based side effects. Ringo Starr said this in an interview, “This was the point of our lives when we found pills, uppers. That’s the only way we could continue playing for so long. They were called Preludin, and you could buy them over the counter (The Beatles Bible, 2009).” On the Everything Was Right podcast, the song “Tomorrow Never Know,” you can hear a psychedelic sound and lyrics, which was influenced by LSD and an ancient Tibetan book. “The first song recorded for Revolver was the psychedelic “Tomorrow Never Knows,” featured lyrics adapted from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s 1964 book The Psychedelic Experience, itself a modern reworking of the ancient Tibetan Book of the Dead (The Beatles Bible, 2009).”
When it came to recording Revolver, the Beatles used the studio as an instrument for their recording. They used different studio techniques such as reversing, slowing and speeding up the tape, tape flange, and many more techniques which helped with the psychedelic vibe that normal instruments couldn’t accomplish (Lewisohn, 1988).
If you listen to song, “I’m Only Sleeping,” you will hear this example with the instrumentation. “…It exudes a very dreary expression and a unique sound of reversed guitar arrangements that gives it a very hypnotic vibe (Campbell, 2012).” There is no way back then to reverse a guitar sound without the use of the studio. In the song “Tomorrow Never Knows,” if you were to listen to the song you could hear the sped up tape loops that were used for the psychedelic vibe. Another example of innovations used by the Beatles off Revolver was the sampling of a Sousa March in “Yellow Submarine” (Lewisohn, 1988).
When I listen to Revolver I will always get attracted to the catchy melodies, and exciting elements that make the psychedelic and unique sound that the Beatles sculpted into their image. As an industry professional I love the different studio techniques and weird elements that the Beatles included into their music but they still make the songs catchy and very easy listening.