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11 Fab Facts About The Beatles’ Revolver

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The Beatles' album, Revolver, was released 50 years ago—on August 5, 1966 (in the UK) and August 8, 1966 in the U.S. It was a groundbreaking recording, in many ways—here are just some of them.

1. IT TOPPED POPE BENEDICT XVI’S ALL-TIME LIST.

L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, published its all-time Top 10 Albums list in February 2010. Revolver topped such classics as Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.

2. IT WAS THE LAST BEATLES ALBUM THAT WAS MANGLED FOR THE U.S. MARKET.

Revolver was the Beatles’ seventh studio album to be released in the U.K.—and the 11th in the U.S. Capitol, the band’s U.S. label, withheld a few tracks from each release by U.K. label Parlophone, in order to create three albums out of every two. In the process, Capitol also changed the order of the tracks, and remixed many songs. “And Your Bird Can Sing,” “I’m Only Sleeping,” and “Dr. Robert,” which were all on British version of Revolver, had already been released in the U.S, on the Yesterday … and Today compilation. Beginning with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles' albums would be identical on both sides of the Atlantic.

3. ONE OF THE ALBUM’S ENGINEERS WAS REPRIMANDED FOR “MICROPHONE ABUSE.”

Revolver was chock-full of studio experiments, and this was probably demonstrated most on the LP’s final track, “Tomorrow Never Knows.” John Lennon, who wrote the song and sang lead, told producer George Martin that he wanted to sound like “like the Dalai Lama chanting from a mountaintop.” The effect was achieved, in part, by routing his vocals through a Leslie organ. As for Ringo’s extraordinary drumming—engineer Geoff Emerick helped out, by “close miking” the drum heads. This resulted in “an EMI reprimand for 'microphone abuse,'" writes Christopher Scapelliti in Guitar World.

4. ACTOR PETER FONDA INSPIRED “SHE SAID SHE SAID.”

As Richard Rodriguez relates in Revolver: How the Beatles Reimagined Rock and Roll, the Beatles were staying at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house in Los Angeles during a break in their 1965 tour, during which time John, George, and Ringo took some LSD along with Peter Fonda (and David Crosby and Roger McGuinn of The Byrds). While tripping, Fonda told the story about how he had been pronounced DOA after being accidentally shot when he was 10 years old, and then was revived. “I know what it’s like to be dead,” Fonda said. “Stop,” said Lennon “We don’t want to know. Who put all that crap in your head?”

5. THE ORIGINAL ALBUM COVER ART INCLUDED A PHOTO OF PAUL MCCARTNEY SITTING ON THE TOILET.

The album cover, designed and drawn by old Beatle friend Klaus Voormann, is a collage that combines line drawings of John, Paul, George, and Ringo with cut up photos. When Voorman showed his work to the Beatles and their producer, George Martin, Paul said, “Hey! That’s me sitting on a toilet!” According to Rodriguez, McCartney wanted the photo to stay in, but was overruled by Martin.

Voorman was paid only £40 or £50 for his work, which won a Grammy for Best Album Cover.

6. IT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM TO FEATURE BACKWARDS GUITAR.

The Beatles had first used backwards vocals on “Rain,” the B-side to “Paperback Writer,” released just before they started recording Revolver. Backward guitar features prominently on “I’m Only Sleeping,” the LP’s third track.

7. IT WAS ALMOST TITLED ABRACADABRA.

All four Beatles liked that name, wrote Barry Miles in his Paul McCartney bio, Many Years From Now. Also considered: Four Sides of the Circle and Fat Man. Ringo, noting that the Rolling Stones had just come out with Aftermath, suggested After Geography. They finally settled on Revolver, because an album spins, man.

8. WITHOUT REVOLVER, THERE’D BE NO “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY."

Up until the spring of 1966, The Beatles had used a fairly conventional studio technique to make vocals sound richer: double tracking, in which the lead singer would simply record his vocals twice onto different tape tracks. But John Lennon hated doing this. So to accommodate him, EMI engineer Ken Townsend invented “automatic double tracking,” which allowed one performance to be recorded on two tape machines—with one delayed by about 100 milliseconds, automatically creating a nice, thick sound.

The impact of this device on future rock recordings can not be overstated; it was used (in much-expanded form), by Freddie Mercury on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “The Beatles were our Bible, in many ways,” said Queen’s Brian May.

9. MCCARTNEY PROVED HE COULD PLAY A MEAN LEAD GUITAR.

Many consider Paul McCartney to be one of rock’s best, and most innovative, bass players. But McCartney can do a whole lot more; just listen to “Taxman,” the hard-edged opening track, and the song’s rollicking lead guitar solos will knock your socks off. You might think that it’s Harrison, who wrote the song and usually played lead, but it’s McCartney. McCartney is also a talented drummer (that’s him on “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” for example), and pretty good on the piano, too.

10. ONE OF THE ALBUM’S GREAT ROCKERS IS A LOVE SONG—TO POT.

That would be “Got To Get You Into My Life,” written by Paul. “It's not to a person,” McCartney is quoted as saying in Many Years From Now. “It's actually about pot. It's saying, I'm going to do this. This is not a bad idea. So it's actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.” The song would eventually hit number seven on the U.S. charts when released as a single, in 1976.

11. THEY NEVER PLAYED ANY PART OF THE ALBUM LIVE.

The Beatles were near the end of their touring days, but not quite. They began a 14-city North America circuit in Chicago on August 12, just four days after Revolver’s U.S. release. But they didn’t feel it was possible to reproduce the album’s technically sophisticated, studio-crafted songs on stage. The most recently recorded track that audiences heard was “Paperback Writer,” the number one hit single they had released on May 30, 1966. The Beatles’ last concert was on August 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. But nobody outside the band knew it at the time.

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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