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Song Facts: The Beatles — "Taxman"

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

George Harrison’s withering indictment of Britain’s progressive tax system was chosen to open the Beatles’ most progressive musical effort to date.

Opening with a rasping cough and a droll count-in, “Taxman” kicks off Revolver in startling fashion, demonstrating both Harrison’s growing sophistication as a songwriter and Emerick’s budding talent for sculpting guitar tones.

Under Harrison’s slashes of distorted rhythm guitar, Paul McCartney’s propulsive bassline bubbles up in an ascending motif that has been copied by everyone from the Jam to Beck.

Recording of “Taxman” commenced on April 20 with four takes of the rhythm track, but the work was scrapped, and 10 new takes were made on the 21st; the song’s count-in was added on May 16.

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Source: Guitar World

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