The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ reboot: 6 most shocking revelations

The Beatles were at their most experimental on “Revolver” with “Here, There and Everywhere.”

And the Beatles’ 1966 classic – considered by many to be the best Fab Four album of all time – gets a big, splashy remake with three special editions set to be released on October 28.

“‘Revolver’ is an album where you could listen to any song and say, ‘Oh, that’s the direction they’re going to go next.’ And getting it wrong every time,” producer Giles Martin – son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin – told Rolling Stone. “The Beatles are all in the same growing up zone. But it’s four individual members with four diverse styles, all ready to ride the same wave.”

Here we break down the six most shocking revelations about the Revolver reboot.

The Beatles in 1966
After all that Beatlemania touring, the Fab Four found a studio haven while working on Revolver.
Roger Violet via Getty Images

1. The sunny singalong “Yellow Submarine” started out as a sad ballad.

Recorded on his tape recorder, John Lennon’s home demo of the song – which inspired the title of the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine – shows that the nursery rhyme began as an acoustic ballad. “I had no idea until I started going through the outtakes,” Martin said. “I said to Paul [McCartney], “I always thought that was a song you wrote and gave to Ringo, and John was like, ‘Oh, frigging ‘Yellow Submarine’.” ‘ Not at all. It’s like a Woody Guthrie song. But it’s beautiful in a way where you can tell there’s so much depth behind it.”

2. A sweater proved helpful in the sound experiments.

Of all the sonic tricks involved in the musical experiments on “Revolver,” perhaps the most unusual occurred when then-18-year-old engineer Geoff Emerick stuffed a sweater into Ringo Starr’s bass drum and changed the Beatles’ sound.

the beats
The Beatles really were a band of brothers during the making of their classic “Revolver” album.
red ferns

3. The Beatles used the studio as a “safe place” to escape from touring.

Producing Revolver, the Fab Four found a haven in the studio after all their touring in the midst of Beatlemania. “One wonders how much ‘revolver’ comes with the frustration of touring,” said Martin. “They escape from this crazy peak of Beatlemania to the studios and say, ‘Let’s just find another world to go to, to get as far away as possible.’ That’s why John said he wanted to sing “Tomorrow Never Knows” on a mountaintop. He wanted to be as far away from being on stage as possible.”

4. The iconic album cover collage was compiled from the Beatles’ personal snaps.

“I said, ‘Come on guys, go home and look in your drawers and find all the photos you have. Good quality, bad quality – just get me that,” illustrator Klaus Voormann told Rolling Stone.

5. The Liverpool boys teased George Harrison about how long it took him to think of song titles.

In an outtake, the Beatles playfully rebuked Harrison for his noncommittal way of naming songs. In fact, he defied the obvious “I want to tell you” name. “But it’s weird that this is such a friendly argument compared to a few years later,” Martin said. “The apple hasn’t been bitten yet.”

That "revolver" album cover
The Beatles used their very personal snaps to inspire illustrator Klaus Voormann for the cover of Revolver.
The Beatles

6. This is the pre-“Get Back”, pre-breaking-up Beatles.

If you’ve seen director Peter Jackson’s epic docuseries Get Back, you know that it portrays a group on the brink of the biggest band break-up of all time, in the middle of recording their final album, 1970’s Let It Be. But while we were doing Revolver, this was still a band of brothers.

“They have their different styles. But no matter what they try, they’re still the Beatles,” Martin said. “There’s not even a thought of the world outside of the Beatles. There are no women in their lives as close as they are to each other. They are in bed extensively and look forward to being in bed together.” The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ reboot: 6 most shocking revelations

Emma Bowman

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