Friday, August 05, 2016
PAUL McCARTNEY'S FINAL ALBUM WAS RELEASED ON THIS DATE IN 1966
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the day Paul McCartney's final album with The Beatles was released. Who would have guessed that in just a few months he would be killed in a car accident, which resulted in a massive cover-up by MI5? NOBODY WOULD HAVE! Probably the last person to think this would happen was William Campbell, a Canadian Paul McCartney lookalike, who was enlisted to replace Paul in The Beatles so the world could avoid global hysteria. He's the greatest martyr in rock and roll history.
Fifty years on, how does Revolver hold up? Very well, thank you! Paul McCartney went out on a high note with this album, and the end result is arguably their greatest album, and at the very least their first "on-purpose masterpiece", as Rolling Stone claims. I mean, McCartney's bass playing alone warrants the masterpiece claim! Listen to this isolated bass track from Paperback Writer, one of the first songs recorded during the session:
Macca is playing at the top of his game, and the way they mic'd the bass resulted in a fantastically fat recording. Geoff Emerick, the engineer on Revolver, converted a loud speaker so it could act as a microphone, and it made the sound exceptionally full. Emerick details this in his amazing book Here There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music Of the Beatles. It's essential reading for any Beatles fanatic. Anyway, the end result was amazing, and it ended up being Shyboy Tim's favorite song of all time. Here's the final track:
Paperback Writer - The Beatles HD from Natalie McGonigal on Vimeo.
The entire album is pretty timeless, really. How many things made 50 years ago can you say that about? The only one that feels hardcore of the period is Love You Too, and that's mainly because of the sitar. Even that track holds up, though. Tomorrow Never Knows should feel dated, but it's so well done and so intense and so HUGE that it rises above run of the mill categorizing. I mean, the influence of these songs over the past five decades has been so strong that it's no wonder it seems timeless. You can still hear elements of what they ushered in embedded in recordings that are made today.
Damn. These guys were pretty good.
Honestly, if a musician had to have a final work stand as a testament to greatness, they couldn't do much better than Revolver. William Campbell did a fine job of keeping up the musicianship and appearances for the remaining years of The Beatles, and later with Wings and as a solo artist, but even then there are people that think all of his songs were actually written by the remaining Beatles to cover up his vacancy. This is something people have theorized and studied for years, and countless web pages have been devoted to it. It's very complicated.
The 50th anniversary of Paul McCartney's death is on November 9th of this year. Shuffle Function will be doing a day sponsorship devoted to revealing the amazing truth behind this colossal cover up. This goes deep, people. You're gonna have to steady yourself on that day.