release - 1966
album art - Klaus Voormann
Revolver won a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts. The cover illustration was created by German-born bassist and artist Klaus Voormann, one of the Beatles' oldest friends from their time in Hamburg during the early 1960s. Voormann's illustration, part line drawing and part collage, included photographs by Robert Whitaker, who also took the back cover photographs and many other images of the group between 1964 and 1966.
To create the Revolver cover, Voormann also used personal photos supplied by the band members, which, in his words, 'show their sweet side'. Voormann's own photograph as well as his name (Klaus O.W. Voormann) is worked into Harrison's hair on the right-hand side of the cover.
The album's title, like that of Rubber Soul, is a pun, referring to both a kind of handgun and the 'revolving motion' of the record as it is played on a turntable. Nevertheles, The Beatles had difficulty coming up with this title. The name they originally wanted was 'Abracadabra', until they discovered that another band had already used it. After that their opinion was split. Lennon wanted to call it 'Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle' and Starr jokingly suggested 'After Geography', playing on the title of the Rolling Stones' recently released Aftermath LP. Other suggestions included 'Magic Circles', 'Beatles on Safari' and 'Pendulum'.
The final title was chosen while the band was on tour in Germany; late June 1966.
The album released in the US was almost identical. The sleeve looked the same but the album only included 11 tracks; missing 'I'm only sleeping', 'And Your Bird can Sing' & 'Dr. Robert'. The reason for this was that Capitol, due to market differences between the UK and the US, had already released these 3 songs on a collection titled 'Yesterday...And Today'. This notorious and tasteless 'butcher cover', depicts the quartet in butcher smocks, handling cuts of meat and pieces of dismembered baby dolls. It was all their comment on how strangely albums like this one seemed to chop up pieces of their history and repertory. Capitol was soon faced with a crisis.
Yesterday...and Today was the last Beatles album to be created exclusively for the American market without the group's direct consent.
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era.
Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. Their finest and most innovatieve material include 'Rubber Soul' (1965), 'Revolver' (1966), 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (1967) and Abbey Road (1969).
After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Lennon was shot in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001.