Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Deluxe Edition Reveals More Insight of Their Recording Genius

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The Beatles’ 1966 album, Revolver, received an expanded deluxe edition in 2022, with a new stereo mix and an original mono mix, plus 28 early takes and three home demos. The new set, in a variety of configurations, arrived on Oct. 28 of that year; the news of the new collections was first announced Sept. 7 by Apple Corps Ltd., Capitol Records and UMe. The original British pressing of Revolver featured such beloved songs in the Beatles canon as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Here, There and Everywhere,” and “For No One,” among its 14 tracks. Listen to early takes of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Yellow Submarine” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” “Got To Get You Into My Life,” and more, below. The new collections also include various takes of “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” that were recorded during the original sessions. Once again, it’s filled with surprises of songs you thought you knew.

The title finally broke the streak of new box sets that have commemorated the annual 50th anniversaries of The Beatles’ later works, from 2017 with Sgt. Pepper through 2021’s celebration of the Let It Be film and accompanying music release.

The collection had been the subject of many rumors, and teased in the previous by Giles Martin, the son of The Beatles’ legendary producer, George Martin. The younger Martin has been overseeing the production of the reissuing and remastering of the band’s catalog for many years and had finally acknowledged the upcoming title in a series of tweets via his @mashupmartin handle in late August.

The recent editions of The Beatles‘ post-Revolver material have proven to be revelatory in how they’ve displayed the band’s creative process in the studio, with numerous alternate takes that shed new light on the evolution of songs that listeners have heard literally hundreds of times. This release is available as a Super Deluxe edition on 5-CDs or 4 180-gram vinyl LPs (+7-inch EP); both come with a 100-page hardbound book. (See the complete track listing following the links below.) It’s also available as a 2-CD edition with the new stereo mix plus session highlights, as a single CD and single LP.

The album’s 14 tracks have been newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos, and the album’s original mono mix is sourced from its 1966 mono master tape. Its new stereo mix is sourced directly from the original four-track master tapes. The audio arrives with the help of cutting edge “de-mixing” technology developed by the award-winning sound team led by Emile de la Rey at Peter Jackson’s WingNut Films Productions Ltd. The album’s new Dolby Atmos mix was also released digitally.

At a Sept. 13 press briefing in New York, Martin played several tracks and shared insights into his work and the evolution of many of the songs whose finished versions have been listened to countless times. Before playing a songwriting work tape of “Yellow Submarine,” he said, “I had thought it was very much a Paul McCartney song sung by Ringo.” But the tape reveals John Lennon crafted and developed it early with an acoustic, folk-y feel. “You hear the John and Paul collaboration and it becomes what we know today.”

Related: “Yellow Submarine” before it became “Yellow Submarine”

Listen to the 2022 mix

The Revolver recording sessions began on April 6, 1966, following a rare four-month break. “One thing’s for sure,” John Lennon said a few weeks before the band’s return to the studio, “the next LP is going to be very different.”

Watch a brief preview of the deluxe edition

The Beatles gathered in Studio Three at EMI Studios (now called Abbey Road Studios) with their producer George Martin flanked by recording engineer Geoff Emerick and technical engineer Ken Townsend, and in those first days recorded “Tomorrow Never Knows” and began work on “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “Love You Too.”

Listen to “Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1),” released on Sept. 30

Of the finished song, Giles Martin said, “It’s bass and drums and a vocal. A bit of tambourine. It’s really simple. [It reveals] the brilliance of the efficiency of The Beatles; they [can] make you think there’s more going on.”

Referring to the revolutionary work of Peter Jackson’s sound team, Martin admits he’s wondered: If his father and Emerick were around and could work with what’s available now, would they? “And the answer from Paul and Ringo was ‘yes’,” he says. “[Peter] has the best audio team in the world,” he adds.

The Beatles in Abbey Road Studios on May 19, 1966, during filming of the “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” promotional films (Photo via Apple Corps Ltd.; used with permission)

Between April 13 and 16 in Studios Two and Three, The Beatles recorded their chart-topping “Paperback Writer” single (with layered harmonies, riffing guitars, and Paul’s booming bass lines) and its B-side “Rain” (achieved with tape machines slowed down for the recording and mixing processes). Prior to the single’s release on June 10 (May 30 in the U.S.), they spent a couple of days away from recording to shoot several promotional films for both songs with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who would later direct the Let It Be film. In addition to the songs’ new stereo mixes and original mono mixes, Revolver’s Special Edition features “Paperback Writer” Takes 1 and 2 – Backing track and two versions of “Rain” Take 5: one at the actual speed The Beatles played it and the other, a slowed down evolutionary mix used to create the master tape. Listen below.

The album’s opening track, “Taxman”, was recorded across three Studio Two sessions in April and May. It’s one of three songs on the album by George Harrison. In a 12-hour session on April 20, The Beatles recorded and mixed the first version of “And Your Bird Can Sing” (for this song, the Special Edition features two Version One/Take 2 recordings and Version Two’s Take 5), then began recording “Taxman.” They returned to the song the next day, laying down Harrison’s foundational guitar, McCartney’s bass and his dynamic, raga-style guitar solo, and Ringo Starr’s drums and cowbell.

Watch the video of “Taxman,” directed by Danny Sangra, and featuring the new stereo mix

Revolver’s Special Edition also features Take 11 of the song, with falsetto backing vocals by John and Paul with different words from the released version.

See the complete track listing and much more information about the editions below the Amazon links.

The Super Deluxe CD and vinyl collections’ 100-page hardbound book features Paul McCartney’s foreword; an introduction by Giles Martin; an essay by Questlove; and chapters and detailed track notes by Beatles historian, author, and radio producer Kevin Howlett. The book is illustrated with rare and previously unpublished photos, never before published images of handwritten lyrics, tape boxes, and recording sheets, as well as 1966 print ads and extracts from Klaus Voormann’s graphic novel, birth of an icon: REVOLVER.

Much more information about the release below the track listing.

The Beatles’ Revolver Super Deluxe CD Edition Track Listing
CD1: Revolver (New stereo mix)

Revolver 5-CD Super Deluxe Edition

1: Taxman
2: Eleanor Rigby
3: I’m Only Sleeping
4: Love You To
5: Here, There And Everywhere
6: Yellow Submarine
7: She Said She Said
8: Good Day Sunshine
9: And Your Bird Can Sing
10: For No One
11: Doctor Robert
12: I Want To Tell You
13: Got To Get You Into My Life
14: Tomorrow Never Knows

Five weeks after the 2022 edition’s release, The Beatles shared an official video for “Here, There and Everywhere,” via Trunk Animation. “Follow the band on tour, as they face an ever-changing backdrop of cities, hotels, roads, and gigs, with only each other to rely on. A magical dancer appears to each of them, representing inspiration and creative freedom.”

For the “I’m Only Sleeping” video, artist and director Em Cooper explored the space between dreaming and wakefulness, working on an animation rostrum on sheets of celluloid. She painted every frame individually in oil-paint, a laborious process which took many months.

CD2: Sessions One
1: Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1)
2: Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono mix RM 11)
3: Got To Get You Into My Life (First version) – Take 5
4: Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Unnumbered mix – mono
5: Got To Get You Into My Life (Second version) – Take 8
6: Love You To (Take 1) – mono
7: Love You To (Unnumbered rehearsal) – mono
8: Love You To (Take 7)
9: Paperback Writer (Takes 1 and 2) – Backing track – mono
10: Rain (Take 5 – Actual speed)
11: Rain (Take 5 – Slowed down for master tape)
12: Doctor Robert (Take 7)
13: And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2
14: And Your Bird Can Sing (First version) – Take 2 (giggling)

CD3: Sessions Two
1: And Your Bird Can Sing (Second version) – Take 5
2: Taxman (Take 11)
3: I’m Only Sleeping (Rehearsal fragment) – mono
4: I’m Only Sleeping (Take 2) – mono
5: I’m Only Sleeping (Take 5) – mono
6: I’m Only Sleeping (Mono mix RM1)
7: Eleanor Rigby (Speech before Take 2)
8: Eleanor Rigby (Take 2)
9: For No One (Take 10) – Backing track
10: Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 1) – mono
11: Yellow Submarine (Songwriting work tape – Part 2) – mono
12: Yellow Submarine (Take 4 before sound effects)
13: Yellow Submarine (Highlighted sound effects)
14: I Want To Tell You (Speech and Take 4)
15: Here, There And Everywhere (Take 6)
16: She Said She Said (John’s demo) – mono
17: She Said She Said (Take 15) – Backing track rehearsal

CD4: Revolver (Original mono master)
Album tracklist (same as above)

CD5: Revolver EP
1: Paperback Writer (New stereo mix)
2: Rain (New stereo mix)
3: Paperback Writer (Original mono mix remastered)
4: Rain (Original mono mix remastered)

The Beatles on the set of Top of the Pops, to perform “Paperback Writer,” on June 16, 1966 (Photo: Apple Corps Ltd.; used with permission)

The Beatles’ final Revolver recording session took place in Studio Two on the evening of June 21, 1966, into the wee hours of June 22, just one day before the band traveled to Munich to start their international summer tour. The lyrics for “She Said She Said” drew upon the memory of a disorienting day of misadventure The Beatles had experienced in Los Angeles. Having received Harrison’s help to create a whole new song from some unfinished fragments, Lennon led the group through the rehearsals and recording while the clock ticked away the last remaining session time. Revolver’s Special Edition also features John’s home demo for the song and Take 15 – Backing track rehearsal, with its introductory speech revealing convivial banter between The Beatles as they worked out the arrangement (later praised by composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein as “remarkable” with “real inventions”).

By 4 a.m. on June 22, The Beatles finished “She Said She Said”, wrapping up their Revolver recording sessions. The album’s final mono and stereo mixes were completed that evening.

Of the achingly beautiful “For No One,” Giles Martin said, “I never noticed Ringo’s drum beforehand. If the song benefits from having Ringo on it, then he’s on it. There he is!”

The Beatles in Abbey Road Studios during recording of the Revolver album in 1966 (Photo: Apple Corps Ltd.; used with permission)

Released on August 5, 1966, Revolver spent seven weeks at number one on the U.K. albums chart, and a double A-side single with “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine” topped the U.K. singles chart for four weeks in August and September. In the U.S., Capitol released an 11-track version of Revolver, which spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard album chart. “I’m Only Sleeping”, “And Your Bird Can Sing”, and “Doctor Robert” had been previously plucked from the sessions for Capitol’s North American release of the Yesterday And Today compilation album in June.

Related: Our look back at Capitol’s decision to issue different Beatles releases in the U.S.

Best Classic Bands Staff

7 Comments so far

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  1. chescowxman
    #1 chescowxman 7 September, 2022, 19:58

    What a huge disappointment! The lack of a blu-ray with physical surround sound mixes is an incredible astonishing oversight by Giles Martin and the Beatles marketing team. I am sure sales will suffer!

    Reply this comment
    • Mark L
      Mark L 8 September, 2022, 05:26

      Giles Martin has already said not having a Blu Ray was not his call, it was made by corporate. Some things never change.

      Reply this comment
    • Win Corr
      Win Corr 30 September, 2022, 11:40

      I think it forces the use of streaming services which have been touting these mixes lately. Compression in digital is still inferior to vinyl and stereo output. It just is. these new kind of mixes try to mimic the panoramic concert experience in your headphones. Atmos bounces off your roof while 5.1 goes around you….Whatever….People want to hear things underneath the original mixes or the drums and bass louder in older recordings.

      Reply this comment
    • Tiberius
      Tiberius 22 October, 2022, 14:16

      No Blu-Ray, no sale for me. It’s that simple. First major Beatles release I’ve said “no” to…and that’s over 55 years.

      Actually, this is so overpriced right now I’m not sure even an inclusion of a BluRay for Atmos would do it for me.

      Seriously, just how many versions of the White Album do I need? However, if the BluRay is available for under $30 at some point I’d probably get it.

      Reply this comment
    #2 SKYDOG 8 September, 2022, 01:56

    It’s astonishing that the APPLE CORPS Mgmt team did not include a blu ray 5.1 surround mix disc as they did with the other deluxe releases, Sgt Peppers, White Album, Abbey Rd & Let It Be.Revolver was arguably the Beatles’ greatest work and a surround mix would have enhanced an already GREAT ALBUM. TERRIBLE DECISION GUYS/GALS @ APPLE CORP.!

    Reply this comment
  3. Carbo3D
    #3 Carbo3D 10 September, 2022, 01:14

    Wait, WHAT?! EMI/Apple/etc. is LEAVING MONEY ON THE TABLE? Folks, we all want the 5.1s, right? What’s the point of living in 2022 if we can’t hear this in surround!

    Reply this comment
  4. Da Mick
    #4 Da Mick 10 December, 2022, 19:32

    Can’t comment on what so many others are upset about here, but I have to say these new final mixes do sound lovely.

    Reply this comment

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