Ray Davies reviews the Beatles LP
'Really, it's a load of RUBBISH'
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 as 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 to Ray - and the Kink certainly spoke his mind.
Here's the album, track by track, with Ray's inter-round summaries:
Side One: "Taxman" (by George)--lead voice, George: "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" (by John and Paul)--lead Paul: "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" (by John and Paul)--lead John: "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" (by George)--lead George: "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" (by John and Paul)--lead Paul: "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 guitar merging. Third best track on the album."
"Yellow Submarine" (by John and Paul)--lead Ringo: "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" (by John and Paul)--lead John: "This song is in to restore confidence in the old Beatles sound. That's all."
"Good Day Sunshine" (by John and Paul)--lead Paul: "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 think the fans like the newer electronic stuff. The Beatles are supposed to be like the boy next door only better."
"And Your Bird Can Sing" (by John and Paul)--lead John: "Don't like this. The song's too predictable. It's not a Beatles song at all."
"For No One" (by John and Paul)--lead Paul: "This will get covered, but it won't be a hit. It's really better than 'Eleanor Rigby' and the French horn is a nice effect."
"Dr. Robert" (by John and Paul)--lead John: "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" (by George)--lead George: "This helps the LP through. It's not up to the Beatles standard."
"Got To Get You Into My Life" (by John and Paul)--lead Paul: "Jazz backing--and it just goes to prove that Britain's jazz musicians can't swing. Paul's singing 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" (by John and Paul)--lead John: "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."
Disc and Music Echo Magazine, August, 1967