Revolver is the seventh studio album by the Beatles. Released on 5 August 1966, it was the Beatles' final recording project before their retirement as live performers and marked the group's most overt use of studio technology up to that time, building on the advances of their 1965 release Rubber Soul. The album's diverse sounds include tape loops and backwards recordings on the psychedelic "Tomorrow Never Knows", a classical string octet on "Eleanor Rigby", and Indian-music backing on "Love You To". The album was reduced to eleven songs by Capitol Records in North America, where three of its tracks instead appeared on the June 1966 release Yesterday and Today.
The Beatles recorded the album following a three-month break from professional commitments at the start of 1966, and during a period when London was feted as the era's cultural capital. The songs reflect the influence of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and the increasing sophistication of the Beatles' lyrics to address themes including death and transcendence from material concerns. With no thoughts of reproducing their new material in concert, the band made liberal use of studio techniques such as varispeeding, reversed tapes, close audio miking and automatic double tracking (ADT), in addition to employing musical instrumentation outside of their standard live set-up. Some of the changes in studio practice introduced by Revolver, particularly ADT, were soon adopted throughout the recording industry.
Revolver expanded the scope of pop music in terms of the range of musical styles used on the album and the lyrical content of its songs. The album was influential in advancing principles espoused by the 1960s counterculture and in inspiring the development of subgenres such as psychedelic rock, electronica, progressive rock and world music. Many music critics recognise it as the Beatles' best album, surpassing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album was ranked first in Colin Larkin's book All-Time Top 1000 Albums and third in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry had changed its sales award rules, Revolver was certified platinum in the UK. The album has been certified 5× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The sessions for Revolver furthered the spirit of studio experimentation evident on Rubber Soul. With the Beatles increasingly involved in the production of their music, Martin's role as producer had changed to one of a facilitator and collaborator, whereby the band now relied on him to make their ideas a reality. Revolver marked the first time that the Beatles integrated studio technology into the "conception of the recordings they made".
For the first time at EMI Studios, the company's four-track tape machines were placed in the studio's control room, alongside the producer and balance engineer, rather than in a dedicated machine room.
The group's willingness to experiment was also evident in their dedication to finding or inventing sounds that captured the heightened perception they experienced through hallucinogenic drugs. The album made liberal use of compression and tonal equalisation.
In their search for new sounds, the band incorporated musical instruments such as the Indian tambura and tabla, and clavichord, vibraphone and tack piano into their work for the first time. The guitar sound on the album was more robust than before, through the use of new Fender amplifiers; the choice of guitars, which included Harrison using a Gibson SG as his preferred instrument; and the introduction of Fairchild 660 limiters for recording.
With no expectations of being able to re-create their new music within the confines of their live shows, the Beatles increasingly used outside contributors while making the album.
Already happened with Rubber soul, but in this one they went into experimentation that would make them eternal