The Beatles were one of the most influential bands in the 20th century. Their songs captivated millions and influenced many bands that succeeded them. Revolver was considered their greatest album, but did you know how the band came up with the name?
Contrary to popular belief, the album “Revolver” wasn’t named after the gun. It was referenced after what an album does when played. It revolves. The album was almost called “After Geography,” one of Starr’s puns.
Why Did The Beatles Name the Album Revolver?
The Beatles’ album, Revolver, was released on August 5, 1966, in the UK, then three days later in the US. It was the band’s seventh album and was considered their most remarkable work by many fans. The band highlighted different inspirations, from their drug usage to their interest in Eastern religion and philosophy.
Many believe that the band named their album about a gun. But in fact, the name was a last effort for the band to name their album. Initially, the band considered naming their seventh album, After Geography. It was a pun Ringo Starr thought of After Geography was supposed to parody the new album The Rolling Stones just released, titled Aftermath. (Source: NME)
Starr was reminded of his days in school and, at the same time, wanted to have a little fun at the expense of The Rolling Stones. At the time, the band had a friendly rivalry with the Stones. Whenever the fab four released an album, they would notice that the Stones’ next album sounded like a response to theirs.
The band dropped the idea and considered other titles such as Beatles on Safari, Magic Circle, Four Sides of the Circle, Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle, Fat Man and Bobby, and Abracadabra. Abracadabra was the strongest candidate for the album title but fell off when the Beatles learned that a different band had already used it.
Finally, they decided on the title Revolver. Starr claims there was no special reference or reason for the title. It’s just a reference to what the LP does when it is played, and it revolves around the turntable. (Source: Cheat Sheet)
Interesting Facts About the Album
The album reflected the band’s inspiration and drug-laced parties. It also highlighted each member’s unique take on music. It was reported that the band tried many new things in creating the album, and here are some of them. (Source: Rolling Stone)
Artificial Double Tracking
With the help of sound producer George Martin, the band pioneered the Artificial Double Tracking (ADT). As explained by Martin, ADT is taking an image of a sound and advancing it or delaying it by a few milliseconds. It’s the unique sound when Lennon sang Tomorrow Never Knows, almost sounding far-away.
Recording Yellow Submarine Almost Killed Lennon
Lennon wanted recording engineer Geoff Emerick to record him singing Yellow Submarine underwater after singing while gargling. As it was virtually impossible, Emerick thought of an alternative. He wrapped the microphone in a condom and dropped it in a milk carton. Several years later, Emerick was in horror, realizing that what they did could have easily killed Lennon since the mic was an actual live electrical equipment. It could have malfunctioned and electrocuted Lennon.
Harrison’s Love You To used Indian Musicians
George Harrison was very fascinated with Indian music when he was introduced to the music of Ravi Shankar. He wanted to incorporate Indian touches to his song Love You To to the point that several Indian musicians played parts in the song and with very little involvement from the other Beatles. (Source: Louder Sound)