The Beatles' seventh album, Revolver, was released on August 5, 1966.
It featured 14 original songs, including three songs by George
Harrison. Years later, critics and fans would hail this as the best
Beatles album ever made.
The album cover featured an elaborate illustration
combined with small photographs designed by The Beatles' old friend
from Hamburg, Germany, Klaus Voormann.
1) Taxman (Harrison)
2) Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney)
3) I'm Only Sleeping (Lennon/McCartney)
4) Love You To (Harrison)
5) Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon/McCartney)
6) Yellow Submarine (Lennon/McCartney)
7) She Said She Said (Lennon/McCartney)
8) Good Day Sunshine (Lennon/McCartney)
9) And Your Bird Can Sing (Lennon/McCartney)
10) For No One (Lennon/McCartney)
11) Doctor Robert (Lennon/McCartney)
12) I Want to Tell You (Harrison)
13) Got to Get You Into My Life (Lennon/McCartney)
14) Tomorrow Never Knows (Lennon/McCartney)
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Revolver was a further
departure from the traditional Beatles album. The Beatles music and
lyrics kept expanding and progressing to new heights. The range of
musical styles on the album was also impressive.
Drugs continued to be an influential part of the
creative process for the Beatles. Although they agreed never to be
under the influence while in the recording studio, their songwriting
was heavily influenced by drug intake, especially John Lennon's songs.
The Beatles had first experimented with LSD in 1965.
New recording techniques were also used on Revolver
including backwards recording. The Beatles first used this technique on
their earlier single "Rain," which was released with "Paperback Writer"
in June 1966.
Watch the Beatles music video for Paperback Writer
"We're Bigger Than Jesus" Remark
In March of 1966, the Evening Standard in the U.K. prints an interview
with John Lennon where he makes his famous remark:
"We are more popular now than Jesus Christ. I don't know
which will disappear first, rock and roll or Christianity."
John was basically explaining that overall it seemed
like people were more loyal and dedicated to rock groups than they were
In England, the interview was treated as just another
interview with the Beatles.
However, in August of 1966, an American teen magazine,
Datebook, extracted a few quotes from the full interview and printed
them. These remarks taken out of context created an uproar in the
United States, especially in the Bible Belt.
People were urged to destroy and burn their Beatles
records and memorabilia. The Beatles received death threats from hate
groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
The Beatles had just returned from a disastrous
experience in the Philippines where they were practically attacked by
an angry mob when leaving the airport.
With the backlash in the U.S., the Beatles were tempted
cancel their upcoming U.S. tour in August 1966, but The Beatles'
manager, Brian Epstein, convinced John Lennon to make a public apology
The tour proceeded as planned, but the potential danger
was enough to convince the Beatles to make their decision to stop
The Beatles had reached a turning point in their career. They no longer
needed to tour for exposure or money. They did not want to tour because
they could never hear themselves play over all the screaming, and their
complex studio recordings were becoming more difficult to recreate
Plus the threat of danger on their last tour further
justified their decision to stop touring once and for all in 1966. The
Beatles' last concert was held at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on
Aug. 29, 1966.
The only one not happy with this decision was Brian
Epstein. Since his main purpose at this point was to organize their
tours, there was not much left for him to supervise in the Beatles
career, at least from his point of view. He became quite depressed with
his diminishing role in their lives.
This decision to stop touring reflected the negative
aspects of fame. While on the outside, Beatlemania looked like a lot of
fun, in later years, The Beatles would express the hazards of fame and
celebrity including lack of privacy and fear for personal safety.
was the most vocal about his dislike of fame. In The Beatles Anthology
documentary, George said being a Beatle and the pressures of fame
resulted in sacrificing your nervous system.
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In 1966, he acted in a movie, "How I Won the War," directed by Richard Lester
(Director from Help! and A Hard Day's Night).
Meanwhile, Paul McCartney had moved out of the Asher
house and bought his own house in St. Johns Wood in London. His
girlfriend, Jane Asher, also encouraged him to buy a secluded house
away from London, so he purchased a farm in Scotland.
As the only bachelor during this time, Paul McCartney
explored the culture of London and the avante garde. He composed the
soundtrack to a movie entitled "The Family Way." This was the first solo work by a
Beatle. He also went on an educational safari to Africa.
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, who got married in
January 1966, went to India for two months so that George could study
the sitar with Ravi Shankar. He also learned a lot about Hindu religion
Ringo enjoyed himself at home with his family. He and
Maureen had one baby, and another on the way. He also went out
frequently in London's social scene during this time.
The Beatles agreed to reconvene in December 1966 to
begin work on their next album which would become Sgt. Pepper.
Coincidentally, they all grew moustaches during this time.
The stage was set for the "studio years" and their
biggest triumph to date.