Revolver

by David Dedrick on March 5, 2014

Compleatly-Beatles

Here is the episode Dave was waiting for: Revolver – his favourite album by The Beatles! The Beatles take a giant step into the musical pantheon with one of the most imaginative, innovative and important albums ever made – not to mention one of the all-time greatest singles in Paperback Writer with Rain – arguably one of – if not the – greatest B-side of all time. Ian and Dave break it all down in  minute detail for all you Beatlemaniacs. We apologize right off the top for the excessive length of this week’s episode, but there really was just so darned much to talk about!

Also, some Compleatly Beatles thanks to a couple of our listeners: first, thanks to Marcus Harwell for metronome duties – Marcus figured out that Rubber Soul’s “You Won’t See Me” slows down by a whole three beats per minute during the song (Dave knew he wasn’t crazy!); and second, thanks to Layne for his great questions – one of which we answered on this episode (we promise to get to the rest, Layne!).

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

mike kossey March 5, 2014 at 9:22 am

Great episode as always, I learn so damn much!

Regarding your interesting little tidbit about the mellotron, I’ve always liked the weird little instrument and a surprisingly large number of people still use the things. They were preceded by another instrument, too, that was basically the same, called the chamberlin. I think they’re from the late 40s / early 50s? Either way, they’re ridiculously cool in a primitive sort of “Look what ancient peoples could do other than make the Pyramids!” way.

My fave recent use is a little promo single done by a prog death metal band called Opeth, where they reworked one of their songs as a creepy, gentle little mellotron number called “Mellotron Heart”

Anyway, keep it up 😀

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David Dedrick March 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

Thanks, Mike! We’ll go more into the Mellotron during the Sgt. Pepper episode as well, including its origins as the Chamberlin and some more details of its mysterious workings. Mellotron Legacy! (<- see what I did there?)

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Thomas Callaway March 7, 2014 at 6:02 am

Would be willing to do a Sneaky Submarine shirt? I’m asking for a friend.

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David Dedrick March 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

Only because it’s you asking, Thomas.

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Thomas March 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Okay, put me down for one, mens XL.

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Thomas Callaway March 7, 2014 at 6:04 am

Would *Dave* be willing to do a Sneaky Submarine shirt? I’m asking for a friend.

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David Dedrick March 7, 2014 at 8:50 am

Twice! 🙂

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David Dedrick March 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

In case anyone is wondering what Thomas is asking about, I did a recent Sneaky Dragon title card with an Action Comics #1/Yellow Submarine mash-up. You know, the sort of thing you see all the time.

http://www.sneakydragon.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Sneaky-Dragon-Episode-1091.png

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n matsumoto March 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

“Yellow Submarine” is one of the first Beatles songs I came to know, because I had to sing it with my music class in grade school (grade 5?). I don’t think I heard the actual song until much, much later, but it was ingrained in my head thanks to school.

About that music class: there was one assignment where we had to bring in a song on tape, hand out the lyrics, and play it for the class. Everyone would then have to write down in a journal an analysis of the song. Back then, I was seriously unimpressed by The Beatles. Mind you, I hadn’t heard very much by them, and I’m sure there were many songs where I heard it and didn’t realize it was a Beatles song.

Anyway, a few months ago, I came across this journal. Four of my classmates brought Beatles songs: “Help,” “Octopus’s Garden,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Those songs have pretty straightforward lyrics. Grade-five-me wrote stuff like, “Yep, this song is about someone wanting help. That’s pretty much it. Honestly, I don’t think the Beatles are that great.” “Just like the title says, it’s about a guy who wants to hold a girl’s hand because he loves her. Again, I don’t understand why the Beatles are so popular.” My music teacher wrote back in my journal, “The Beatles have done a variety of songs. You just haven’t heard enough of them. Try listening to more, and you might find some that you like.” She was right, of course — I’ve come to appreciate their music. Maybe my feelings about them would’ve been swayed at an earlier age if my classmates had brought in a song like “Eleanor Rigby”…

Thanks for this podcast, by the way, because Sgt. Pepper was the only Beatles album I’ve listened to in full until you guys started this. Now I’m listening to them so I can understand what you’re talking about. With that said, I look forward to the next episode, since it’s about the album I’m most familiar with!

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Ian Boothby March 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

My first exposure to Eleanor Rigby was in the film Yellow Submarine which was both fascinating and terrifying. Later a mean dad gave away all his hippie son’s 45s and I inherited a bunch of Beatles singles.

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Susan Riaz March 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Sorry, I put my previous comment in the wrong place. Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the pocasts (review posted on iTunes as requestd!). Also, I have read that “And your bird can sing” was a dig at Mick Jagger and his then girlfriend Marianne Faithful, who had a record out at that time.

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David Dedrick March 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Hi Susan! Thanks for the review. We appreciate it!

It’s possible that “And Your Bird Can Sing” was a sly dig at Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful, but both were pretty close friends of the band at this time. Faithful appeared on Revolver as part of the chorus on “Yellow Submarine” and also added sound effects.

I personally think it’s more likely that the song was part of the counter-culture “us vs. them” dichotomy that John explored on “She Said She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows”, as well as “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

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Susan Riaz March 12, 2014 at 5:25 am

You may be right – it is all speculation, although I am sure the Beatles were not beyond a ‘sneaky dig’ at the Stones. I enjoyed the recent book, “Beatles vs. Stones” about their rivalry and it seems the Stones were far more aware of / concerned by it than the Beatles ever were. Also good to see that Paul won at the Grammys, in the category of Best Rock Song, which they were also nominated for (the Stones versus even one Beatle is no contest!). He won 5 Grammys, not 2:
* ‘Best Rock Song’ for ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ which he co-wrote with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear.
* ‘Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package’ for last year’s ‘Wings Over America’ re-issue.
* ‘Best Surround Sound Album’ for ‘Live Kisses’.
* ‘Best Music Film’ for ‘Live Kisses’.
Plus, obviously, the special recognition of the Beatles.

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David Dedrick March 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Yes, Susan, I enjoyed that book too. The Beatles came out of that discussion pretty well considering that the two authors were obviously big time Stones fans

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Gareth March 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Great podcasts!

I have also heard that ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ was a dig at Mick Jagger and it certainly makes sense when you listen to the lyrics.
John Lennon was very critical of Jagger later in life (see the 1970 Rolling Stone magazine interview) – it annoyed Lennon that the Stones were seen as the rebellious ones. Lennon said that musically and culturally the Beatles were the revolutionaries, the Stones just copied American R&B and then copied the Beatles.

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Jake September 15, 2014 at 3:48 am

Hi. Really liked the podcast. Can’t believe I only found it now! A massive amount of content. I noticed the comment about McCartney assisting Harrison with guitar solo on taxman. In Geoff Emericks autobiography he mentions how brutal McCartney was towards Harrison and that he lost patience with him Harrison trying to get the solo right and did the solo when Harrison had left the studio without asking. No sure I would agree with him being supportive.

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David Dedrick September 15, 2014 at 10:34 am

Welcome to the band wagon, Jake.

It’s hard to remember now what I was saying about McCartney, but if may clarify: Lennon had criticized Paul later for not paying as much attention to the other members songs as he did to his own (as if that was his job anyway!) and my point was that everyone’s songs benefited from Paul’s attention to detail. Was it often overbearing? Yes, it was, but that solo is perfect for the song and I’m going to trust that Paul knew what he was doing. Harrison himself praised Paul’s solo later – noting that Paul had included some Indian music touches as a nod to him.

Anyway, I hope you’ll listen to more shows.
David

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david June 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

you mentioned something bout beatles in video games, do you say more about those in later episodes? As well you may be able to recommend novels about or with beatles stuff in it? (like focusing on the time etc.) for now i only know octupus garden from mermelstein

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Justin Gregory October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

Love the podcast! Regarding the one chord songs. I’m fairly certain Tomorrow Never Knows is not a 1 chord song. 2 chords I believe. C and Bb.

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