August 5, 1966: The Beatles Get Psychedelic With 'Revolver'
“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”
The sixties were about to get an injection of psychedelia with The Beatles’ Revolver. These lyrics from “Tomorrow Never Knows” are the perfect primer for an album that changed the course of Beatles history, and rock and roll, forever.
The acid-influenced masterpiece spawned hits such as “Yellow Submarine,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Got to Get You Into My Life,” all of which cracked the top-20 of the Billboard Charts.
Coming off the heels of Rubber Soul, a turning point for The Beatles had been reached. Soul started to introduce some folk rock themes while keeping a pop rock tune. Then Revolver took those changes and ran with them.
“Their ideas now were beginning to become much more potent in the studio,” said producer George Martin in a documentary, “and they would start telling me what they wanted, and they would start pressing me for more ideas and more ways for translating those ideas into reality.”
Experimentation fueled the Fab Four’s creativity. Many Beatleologists call this album their “acid album” while Rubber Soul was their “weed” album. They even started experimenting with backwards guitar solos and Indian-flavored tunes and instruments.
“That’s the first record with backwards music on it,” said Lennon in the same documentary. “Before Hendrix, before The Who, before any f*ckers.”
Revolver was certified 5x platinum by RIAA and spent six weeks atop the Billboard charts.Rolling Stone ranked it as the No. 3 album of all-time in their “500 Greatest Albums” list, and it was their second-best selling album at the time behind its predecessor Rubber Soul.
Through the years, Revolver has stood the test of time as one of the most innovative albums in history. It seemed impossible for The Beatles to be able to replicate the success and creativity of that album...until they replicated the success and creativity of that album less than a year later with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.