>If the recording innovations on the rest Revolver
were/are too subtle to be picked up by anyone but the most acute — or informed — of listeners, "Tomorrow Never Knows" stands out as pure, undiluted experimentation. Acoustically, as well as ideologically, it's an uncompromising challenge to the listener toTurn off your mind,
Relax and float downstream...
From the droning introduction to John's distant, tinny vocal (recorded through a spinning Hammond organ speaker) to Ringo's tranced-out, tribal drum pattern, virtually none of the sounds was not electronically manipulated in some way. Not only that, there's only one chord in the whole song — and that probably carried by the backward guitar!It is not dying,
It is not dying!
Despite the band's doubts as to how George Martin would react, he found the whole thing 'jolly interesting', and threw himself into the frequency modulations with relish. It was actually Brian Epstein who was said to have been rather more anxious about the idea. It was also the first track on which Geoff Emerick worked as chief engineer (having been a humble technician since their very first session). What a debut:It is shining,
It is shining!
A cursory listen to the crude Anthology 2
run-through verifies just how much studio craft went into this track. Each of the Beatles submitted homemade tape-loops, which were then incorporated into the recording by holding them into the studio machines with pencils. It truly did open the bridge to "the colour of your dreams" of "Strawberry Fields"
and the whole of the subsequent Sgt Pepper
album.It is believing,
It is believing!
Nigh on a year had transpired since L
entist had turned on John and George, and they — rapidly joined by Ringo — hadn't let up since. Inevitably, and especially combined with all the dope that all four of 'em were smoking at the time, The Beatles' music was transforming. As George commented, there was no way something like "TNK" could be performed live at the time — even if their Hard Day's-suited cartoon selves did manage to pull it off! The band's touring days were clearly very numbered. The cartoon series, however, survived into the following year (still in the '64 suits).It is being,
It is being!
Originally known as "The Void", the final aptly obscure title was taken from a Ringoism in an interview a couple of years before. The lyrics were lifted from The Tibetan Book of the Dead
, via American acid-guru Timothy Leary; talking about peace and love, universal consciousness and harmony. George H recognised its Meaning of Within as 'the essence of Transcendentalism', though never denying its inevitable druggy influence:It is knowing,
It is knowing!
Far further downstream, George M and Son attuned
its monumental rhythms impeccably to Without You
's message for LOVE
Yet another soundtrack of its generation which stands for forever:Oh play the game,
Existence to the End
Of the Beginning...