From Klaus Voorman’s fabulous artwork (demonstrating that with sufficient talent behind it, black & white can be just as psychedelic as super-saturated paisley) on in, Revolver upped the ante for pop sophistication and experimentation so high that only the more adventurous, dedicated, or able could keep up.
So this time round, there are fewer brass and continental pop covers, while of their immediate contemporaries, only Lulu and old mucker from the Cavern cloakroom, Cilla put in an appearance.
Elsewhere, The Lettermen, Dean Christopher, Ella Fitzgerald and Mike Melvoin keep the Easy flag flying, and Birmingham’s Loose Ends filter Taxman through freakbeat fuzz-boxes. From the fringes, we have contributions from returning avant-opera diva Cathy Berberian, the guru of DIY cassette culture R Stevie Moore, Jurassic-proggers Velvet Opera, former Virgin Records’ in-house engineer, Tom Newman and 80’s post-rock noiseniks, Bongwater.
And, of course, it all comes to a climax with Tomorrow Never Knows. It took ages for this tracks sonic implications to be properly assimilated and few dared touch it for about 10 years after it was recorded. But then the floodgates opened. Among the possible candidates for inclusion were Phil Manzanera’s 801, Danielle Dax, Monsoon and even Junior Parker. In the end, however, we plumped for saxman Steve Marcus who delves into its depths for over 11 minutes with barely a second wasted and sets things up nicely for what comes next…
1 Loose Ends-Taxman
2 Velvet Opera-Eleanor Rigby
3 The Lettermen-I’m Only Sleeping
4 Bongwater-Love You Too
5 Dean Christopher & His Orchestra-Here,There & Everywhere
6 Cathy Berberian-Yellow Submarine
7 Tom Newman-She Said She Said
8 Lulu-Good Day Sunshine
9 R Stevie Moore-And Your Bird Can Sing
10 Cilla Black-For No One
11 Giacomo Bondi-Doctor Robert
12 Mike Melvoin- I Want To Tell You
13 Ella Fitzgerald- Got To Get You Into My Life
14 Steve Marcus- Tomorrow Never Knows