"Revolver" is the Beatles' seventh official Parlophone UK LP. The LP was released on Friday August 05 1966 in mono (PMC 7009) and stereo (PCS 7009). The title of the LP refers not to a weapon or gun, but to the actual movement of a vinyl LP rotating on a turntable - although having said this I have seen a promotional poster for the LP with the front cover and the word "BANG" written over it that was issued in the 60s. "Revolver" was also released in the North American market as well, being on Capitol in mono (T 2576) and stereo (ST 2576). The North American release omits three of the songs issued on the UK release. The UK LP contains fourteen songs, while the Capitol version contains eleven. All three songs omitted were written mainly by Lennon thereby rendering the North American version of the album sort of lopsided. The Beatles Capitol LP "Yesterday...And Today" which showcases the three Lennon song left off the North American version of "Revolver" features a front cover photograph by Robert Whitaker with the Beatles dressed in butcher smocks with decapitated baby heads and meat surrounding their smocks (butchers). Whether this was intentional or not, I really don't know. I've read different things on the purpose of the butcher photo, most likely that it was part of Mr. Whitaker's concept although I've also heard that it was a deliberate "piss take" at Capitol for hastily re-arranging their track listing off the LPs and distributing singles and changing LP covers without their consultation.
It seems that the three songs were given to Capitol for release and early copies of "Yesterday...and Today" feature the songs in mono and in fake stereo (highs on one end and lows on the other end). The three songs are "Dr. Robert", "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "I'm Only Sleeping".
The front cover of "Revolver" was designed by an old friend of the Beatles - Mr. Klaus Voorman. The front cover is a collage of line drawings/ portraits and photographs ( cut out mainly from the tour books). The back cover is a photograph taken by Robert Whitaker of the Beatles during a break in the shooting of their promotional film for the single "Paperback Writer/Rain".
The track list is written at the top and once again the lead singer of the song is written on the right side of the song title in question.
Other names proposed for the LP included "The Beatles On Safari", "Abracadabra" and "Magic Circles". "Revolver" was chosen while the Beatles were on tour in Japan. During the 1966 tour of the Far East, the US and Canada: Not one song from "Revolver" was performed.
The Beatles were getting away from straight love songs and now entering into the more Psychedelic era with an emphasis on lyrics dealing with various subjects and also getting into more and varied studio experimentation.
Lastly, "Revolver" is considered a pop masterpiece and rightly so. It is one of the freshest sounding albums and one of the most original LPs ever released by the Beatles. A lot of Beatles fans consider this their favourite.
The next few posts will be devoted to information song-by-song from the "Revolver" sessions including the single that was taken from two of the tracks on the LP.