Before this node starts, yes, this is cut-and-paste
, but I thought it was worth adding to the database (only the second node I've ever cut-and-pasted)... As far as I know, other than a couple of fan sites, this article has never been reprinted since it first appeared.
In the August, 1966 issue of the long-defunct British music magazine Disc And Music Echo, the magazine turned over the task of reviewing Revolver,the then-new album by the Beatles, to Ray Davies of the Kinks. I think the result is quite interesting in the way it shows the reception of the album among the Beatles' peers at the time, and the light it sheds on Davies' own music:
Strangely, Davies didn't mention For No One, probably the best song on the album. This is even odder, as it's perhaps closer to Davies' own work than much of the album.
BEATLES and Brian Epstein were so delighted with "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yellow Submarine", two of the tracks on the new "Revolver" LP out next Friday (August 5), that they're also being issued a single for the same date.
But if that celebrated songwriter Ray Davies is a reliable judge, the Beatles have made a big mistake. Ray thinks Miss Rigby was definitely dedicated to John and Paul's music teacher back in primary school; while "Submarine" should sink into a dustbin. "It's a load of rubbish, really", remarks Ray.
Disc and Music Echo decided to turn over the task of reviewing the "Revolver" album - and the Kink certainly spoke his mind.
Here's the album, track by track, with Ray's inter-round summaries:
Side One: "Taxman" - "It sounds like a cross between the Who and Batman. It's a bit limited, but the Beatles get over this by the sexy double-tracking. It's surprising how sexy double-tracking makes a voice sound."
"Eleanor Rigby" - "I bought a Haydn LP the other day and this sounds just like it. It's all sort of quartet stuff and it sounds like they're out to please music teachers in primary schools. I can imagine John saying: 'I'm going to write this for my old schoolmistress'. Still it's very commercial."
"I'm Only Sleeping" - "It's a most beautiful song, much prettier than 'Eleanor Rigby'. A jolly old thing, really, and definitely the best track on the album.
"Love You Too" - "George wrote this - he must have quite a big influence on the group now. This sort of song I was doing two years ago - now I'm doing what the Beatles were doing two years ago. It's not a bad song - it's well performed which is always true of a Beatles track."
"Here There and Everywhere" - "This proves that the Beatles have got good memories, because there are a lot of busy chords in it. It's nice - like one instrument with the voice and the guitar merging. Third best track on the album."
"Yellow Submarine" - ""This is a load of rubbish, really. I take the mickey out of myself on the piano and play stuff like this. I think they know it's not that good."
"She Said She Said" - "This song is in to restore confidence in old Beatles sound. That's all."
"Good Day Sunshine" - "This'll be a giant. It doesn't force itself on you, but it stands out like 'I'm Only Sleeping'. This is back to the real old Beatles. I just don't like the electronic stuff. The Beatles were supposed to be like the boy next door only better."
"And Your Bird Can Sing" - "Don't like this. The song's too predictable. It's not a Beatles song at all."
"Dr. Robert" - "It's good - there's a 12-bar beat and bits in it that are clever. Not my sort of thing, though."
"I Want To Tell You" - "This helps the LP through though it's not up to the Beatles standard."
"Got To Get You Into My Life" - "Jazz backing - and it just goes to prove that Britain's jazz musicians can't swing. Paul sings better jazz than the musicians are playing which makes nonsense of people saying jazz and pop are very different. Paul sounds like Little Richard. Really, it's the most vintage Beatles track on the LP."
"Tomorrow Never Knows" - "Listen to all those crazy sounds! It'll be popular in discotheques. I can imagine they had George Martin tied to a totem pole when they did this."
So, after listening to each track three or four times, the Ray Davies verdict:
"This is the first Beatles LP I've really listened to in it's entirety but I must say there are better songs on 'Rubber Soul'. Still, 'I'm Only Sleeping' is a standout. 'Good Day Sunshine' is second best and I also like 'Here, There and Everywhere.' But I don't want to be harsh about the others. The balance and recording technique are as good as ever."