I think the “Album of the month” feature will take a break – after one appearance! There was me thinking I might need something to write about every day so introduced it. There’s so much I want to talk about, finding the time to commit it all to ‘paper’ is the hard part.
Anyway… here are the final four tracks on what remains one of the greatest albums of all time: “Doctor Robert”, “I Want to Tell You”, “Got to Get You into My Life” and “Tomorrow Never Knows”. Not a bad way to finish an album is it?
“Doctor Robert” (no, not the lead singer from 80s band The Blow Monkeys).
“If you’re down he’ll pick you up, Doctor Robert… Take a drink from his special cup, Doctor Robert.” Do you think it might be about drugs?
According to Lennon, he himself was Doctor Robert: “”I was the one who carried all the pills on tour … in the early days”. What’s not to like? A good, driving mid-tempo rock song, with some great harmonies from Macca. Fab.
“I want to tell you” like most of Harrison’s pop songs works on a number of levels. At face value it’s a simple little number until you strip away the outer shell. You start to hear the discordant piano, realise that the track fades in and out (unusual in the 60s) and has Macca doing an impersonation of a man in a minuet calling the locals to prayer towards the end. All very odd. And very George.
Horns baby! “Got to get you into my life” is McCartney’s version of Motown. Yes the guitars, bass and drums are there – but this is a song led by sax. And it’s brilliant. A perfect pop moment.
And, finally, what a way to end an album.
“Tomorrow never knows” is probably one of the single best things Lennon ever put his name to.
Based loosely on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, it’s got tape loops courtesy of McCartney, Lennon’s vocal is put through a Leslie speaker and Ringo plays an irregular drum pattern (insert your own jokes here). Oh and George’s guitar solo is backwards.
Such was the way the track was put together – this was the 60s remember – producer George Martin admitted that the random way in which the tape loops were dropped in meant the final mix could never be repeated.