The Rewind Button: The Beatles’ Revolver

Revolver (1966)

It’s week three of the Rewind Button and this week it’s Revolver by the Beatles. Released in 1966, this album has quite a few of the classics – extra classic classics, if you will – from the foursome. There’s Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine.

I remember hearing Eleanor Rigby on television when I was very young and it was so depressing. There’s this poor woman who is all alone and she dies alone. Father McKenzie didn’t bother me too much. He was a priest and priests’ work tends to be solitary in nature when not tending to their congregation.

But back to Eleanor Rigby. The name was made up by the band but it turns out that there is a woman named Eleanor Rigby who is buried in Liverpool in the Woolton cemetary.

I listened to the album on my way to work today. The songs themselves are compact – short but packed with a lot of imagery in the lyrics, enough to justify an English course analysing the lyrics of the Beatles. I’m not going to comment on the music itself as I’m not a music expert but I noticed the use of a sitar in Love You To, heralding the band’s move into psychedelia.

How did I feel about listening to this album? Kind of meh, I have to admit. I’ve heard some of the tunes so many times before I didn’t feel like I was exploring or listening to anything new.

 

 

 

The Rewind Button: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys

It’s the second week of our listening to some of the best albums ever as decided by Rolling Stone magazine. Last week was the Beatles and this week it’s the Beach Boys with Pet Sounds.

Quick aside, I’ve had to retype “Beach Boys” way too often. The problem with having “Beach Boys,” “Pet Sounds” and being an eighties child is that I keep typing “Pet Shop Boys.”

Right.

So this week I didn’t cook to the album. That’s because it was too nice outside and I was outside on a patio. Which is appropriate when you think about the Beach Boys. After all, when you think of them, you think of this:

Which is true for songs like “God Only Knows” and “Would it Be Nice?” They just call for a beer:

Perky, bubbly stuff, right?

Not always. If you know the history of the Beach Boys, specifically Brian Wilson who wrote this album, then you know it wasn’t just beer, hot sun, surf and girls. There was a darker side to the Boys and I think it shows up in the instrumentals such as Sloop John B and Pet Sounds which is deeply, deeply random when you first hear it but then you read up on the band and then you go, “That makes sense.”  ”I Guess I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” is backed with cheerful music but listening to the lyrics you hear hopelessness. Pet Sounds was released in the sixties but it wasn’t all fun, it was the decade that slowly lead to the Vietnam War and delusion.

So maybe not beer. Perhaps this:

A moody red wine.

Pet Sounds has been called one of the most influential albums of all time.  I think it’s very nasal. I also think ending with some BareNaked Ladies works:

 

Who else is Rewinding:

Betty Livin: http://bettylivin.com/2012/03/22/the-rewind-button-beach-boys/

1throne: http://1throne.com/

Zachary Stevenson: http://zacharystevenson.com/2012/03/the-rewind-button-pet-sounds/

Musicqwest: http://musicqwest.com/?p=738

Sara Bynoe: http://sarabynoe.com/2012/03/22/rewind-button-beach-boys/

Love As a Verb: http://love-as-a-verb.blogspot.ca/2012/03/you-cant-get-more-innocent-then-beach.html

Life Doesn’t Have to Suck: http://rebstevenson.com/2012/03/the-rewind-button-pet-sounds/

Pimplomat: http://rebstevenson.com/2012/03/the-rewind-button-pet-sounds/

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