Reviews Brief - The Beatles: 1966 - 1967

ExplorerExplorer England
edited December 2020 in Reviews 1960-1969

Here are a trio of Beatles albums from the 1966-67 era reviewed together, 'Revolver', 'Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Magical Mystery Tour'.

The Beatles - 1966 Revolver

The Beatles - 1966 Revolver

Parlophone Records
Incredibly, this album saw yet another step up in quality. By this time the band had fully embraced the potential of the recording studio. The experimentation that has tentatively started on 'Rubber Soul' was now in full swing, but apart from that it's in the song writing department that's the most startling.

Everywhere you look here there's a classic. There's the mournful yet beautiful 'Eleanor Rigby', the childlike yet charming 'Yellow Submarine', and the power-pop glory that is 'And Your Bird Can Sing', there's just not a single sign of filler here, but it's on the closing track 'Tomorrow Never Knows' that a giant leap for the band is taken. With its pioneering use of sampling, tape manipulation and other production techniques, the record-buying public at that time had heard nothing quite like it.

By now the band had also begun experimenting with various substances and this would lead them onto heightening the scope within their writing. The band had also firmly left the lovable Mop Top tag well behind, the touring was about to stop completely and they would exist from then on in as pretty much a studio band.

'Revolver', over the years, has become a fan and critical favourite, but will forever in my opinion live in the shadow of their next album, and with it the world of popular music was about to change forever.

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The Beatles - 1967 Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles - 1967 Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Parlophone Records
For a full In Depth review please click here.

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The Beatles - 1967 Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles - 1967 Magical Mystery Tour

Parlophone Records
Released as an EP in the UK in late 1967, but made into a full album sometime in the 70's to fall into line with the rest of the world. This was seen by many as the bands first misstep, but I disagree, as the songs on here are as good as anything the band ever produced.

A lot of the flak comes from the film of the same name, it was called amongst other things self-indulgent and nonsensical, but even now it's cited by the likes of Steven Speilberg as an important milestone in movie making, but it's the music we're really interested in here.

The band had earlier in the year released 'Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever' as a single and its vision and production values were quite incredible and 'Magical Mystery Tour' carries on very much in that vein.

The title track is a glorious burst of power-pop, 'The Fool On The Hill' is a fine slice of McCartney at his winsome best, and the George Harrison penned 'Blue Jay Way' is an early sighting of psychedelia, but it's left up to John Lennon with his 'I Am The Walrus' opus that catches the ear. It's wonderful, crazy lyrics and as always with the band an incredible arrangement and performance.

The initial 6 tracks on the EP were further bolstered by the singles released by the band around that time and yet again demonstrate a band at the very heights of their powers in every single way.

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