Classic Rock Corner

What If The Beatles Broke Up After Revolver?

Thursday is the 44th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' pivotal Revolver, an album that continued their growth away from their boy-band roots and into something stranger, better and far more complex. 1965's Rubber Soul had started the transformation with its multiple psychedelic influences, but Revolver was much more of an electric guitar-centered rock album than the folk-rock inspired Rubber Soul. The differences even between those two albums are substantial, and showed that the Beatles were growing rapidly and drastically.

The rifts between the Beatles that would lead to their eventual breakup hadn't yet begun to form when Revolver was released, but what if they had? What if the Fab Four's descent had been much faster, and they'd broken up after its release?

Well, first the obvious: The Beatles albums that followed wouldn't have existed. For those keeping score, that means no Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, no Yellow Submarine, no Abbey Road, no Let It Be, no self-titled LP known as the "White Album." Even the somewhat hastily slapped together Magical Mystery Tour, released only in the U.S., would be a casualty.

Most likely, most of the material on those albums would have come out in fractured, half-baked form on various solo albums. On McCartney's, we would have gotten versions of the songs "Fixing a Hole," "Lovely Rita" and "When I'm Sixty-Four," while on Lennon's, we would have versions of "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" and "Good Morning Good Morning."

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John Seaborn Gray