“It’s springtime 1966, the first sessions for the album that will come be known as Revolver, and it’s entirely arguable that those loveable moptops from Liverpool, the outfit known as the Beatles, have already perfected so-called psychedelic rock. Seriously. Short of that snare shot at the beginning of Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, I’m arguing that it all really starts here – the opening of the floodgates on the vast and psychedelic ocean that all humanity had to navigate in order to not blow ourselves to smithereens, because don’t kid yourself, that’s where the so-called status quo had us headed come the mid-1960s. And we’re still in that ocean, still navigating its mysteries and monsters. And maybe we always will be.
Not that everybody has to do heroic doses of LSD, get lost in the chasms and altitudes of their beyond within, but we do all need to share in the discussion of the impossible stuff that’s been found there (and we keep on finding more). And this discussion has always sounded best, made the most sense, when delivered via music. Bass, drums, guitars, maybe a few keyboards, tape loops, backwards masking, whatever — full-on raging and rhyming from the very highest and deepest part of anything and everything. It is shining, It is being, It is Knowing, It is Believing, Existence to the End, of the beginning. Even if it makes no sense at all, it really does matter.” (Philip Random)
If you’re Peter Fonda and you want to impress John Lennon while tripping on LSD in a hot tub, tell him how you died once when you were a little kid. Guaranteed, you’re going to going to send the coolest Beatle someplace dark and scary, the only way out of which will be to write a stunner of a song in which A. he tells you, you’re making him feel like he’s never been born, and B. he and his band will go a long way toward perfecting the psyche-infused power pop record almost before it’s even been invented. Oh, those lovable mop-tops.
1966 found the Beatles at their power pop peak, cranking out perfection at a faster rate than the culture could even begin to handle. And Your Bird Can Sing wasn’t even included on the North American version of Revolver. Got stuck on the compilation album Yesterday and Today instead, the one with baby dolls and butchered meat on the cover. Which quickly got pulled, of course, the forces of decency in full combat mode. Oh those loveable moptops.
“To my ears, the split that eventually sank the Beatles was evident as early as 1965-66. Because while Paul was getting all moist about Yesterday, John was penning a psychedelic love letter to lethargy, just wanting to roll over and sleep for a few more hours, or perhaps days. Which is why John will always be cooler, better than Paul. Or as my friend Tim used to say, the key question isn’t, who do you like better, the Beatles or the Stones — it’s John or Paul? And anyone who says Paul, well, they’re probably nice enough, but can ever really trust them?” (Philip Random)
“I find I generally don’t have much to say about the Beatles (and they do have quite a few selections on this list) — mainly because so much has already been said. And yet, there’s always someone new coming along who needs to be reminded. They Changed Everything Forever. With a bunch of help from their friends. Western man couldn’t even see in colour until they came along – not with his third eye anyway. I believe Love You To was the first time a sitar graced a Beatles tune. 1966, final seeds being sown for the summer of love about to erupt.” (Philip Random)