Paul McCartney on the Beatles’ breakthrough with Revolver: ‘Me and John were starting to really cook’

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Revolver, released in American on August 8, 1966, is seen by many today as the Beatles’ big-bang moment. Over the course of 14 tracks, they consolidated everything they’d mastered even while hinting at most of the experiments still to come from principal songwriters John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Not that they necessarily sensed this breakthrough moment, as the Beatles gathered at Abbey Road Studios with George Martin earlier that spring.

“That’s kind of difficult to say,” McCartney tells KGVO. “I mean, we knew we were having great success with the Beatles. Me and John were starting to really cook on our writing. So, we knew we were getting better and better from the first single, like ‘Love Me Do.’ You know, we knew we were now writing better songs. We knew we were playing better.”

Powered along by a double-sided No. 1 in “Eleanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine,” Revolver would top both the UK and American album charts, staying at Billboard’s No. 1 for six weeks.

If the project had little in common with the Beatles’ most recent release, 1965’s more folk-leaning Rubber Soul, that was also in keeping with their growing sense of confidence in their own muses.

“You could sense that development in the records, and in the live playing,” Paul McCartney adds. “So, we kind of knew we were on to something. We knew were getting better. And if you think about it, that’s the great thing about the Beatles. We never stayed in one place. First album was like that, second album was completely different. So, by the time you got to Rubber Soul, we were starting to cook, baby.”

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  • Carrie Lynn Blackwell-Moricle

    Greatest band of ALL time and will always be!

    • Well George called The Band the best in the universe so I’ll take his word for it =). Revolver is my favorite Beatles album.

    • TomNJ

      Most popular, not the greatest!

      • Carrie Lynn Blackwell-Moricle

        No, the GREATEST!!

  • SuperTroll

    Is that all there is to the article? The author leaves us almost in mid-sentence. This is no way to review one of the greatest albums of all time.

  • Ray1950

    Paul appears to have forgotten that George Harrison (‘Taxman’, ‘Love You To’ and ‘I Want To Tell You’) was also “cooking” … and the results were delicious.

    • EdSullivan

      That is inferred in his second statement. He was not excluding anyone.

      • Ray1950

        “Me and John were starting to really cook on our writing,” in no way infers that George was also progressing as a songwriter. “We knew were getting better,” implies the BAND was improving as musicians.

  • EdSullivan

    George had said that he saw little difference between RS and Revolver, just more expansion and experimentation in the long line of musical progression they were forging ahead with… most definitely fueled by pot and then LSD.

    It might not be my favorite Beatles album, but still packed full of great songs and new sounds!

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