Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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The Beatles


Less than three years after Beatlemania, the Fab Four set pop on a new course.

One of the great, possibly true stories about 1966’s Revolver concerns an exchange between Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan at London’s Mayfair Hotel about what they were currently working on. (In Dylan’s case, it was Blonde on Blonde.) On hearing the tape loops and death poetry of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” Dylan allegedly said to McCartney, “Oh, I get it. You don’t want to be cute anymore.”

For a band that put out “I Want to Hold Your Hand” less than three years earlier, the relative complexity of Revolver in both sound and subject matter not only challenged The Beatles’ image as the pop band the whole family could agree on, but it also put pop on a course toward unfamiliar horizons.

Not only were The Beatles able to bridge their interest in of psychedelia, experimental, and Indian classical music with Motown (“Got to Get You Into My Life”) and what we now think of as classically Beatlesque pop (“Good Day Sunshine”), Revolver cemented the idea of the pop album as an intricate, labored-over studio creation.

“When I met Paul McCartney, I said to him, ‘You know what I really loved about The Beatles? You always had the f*****g best melodies.’”

Ozzy Osbourne