The Kinks’ Ray Davies Reviews the Beatles’ 1966 Album Revolver; Calls It “A Load of Rubbish”


The Beatles’ Revolver has garnered some of the highest praises rock critics can offer. But not everyone loved the record when it came out. In a 1966 issue of Disc and Music Echo magazine, the Kinks’ Ray Davies wrote a snarky, unsparing review of the album, tackling each song in a few sentences. In high contrast to the current sentiments of Rolling Stone or Allmusic, Davies only seems to have liked a few tracks, and those the most traditionally upbeat: He called “I’m Only Sleeping,” “a most beautiful song” and “the best track on the album.” He also quite liked “Good Day Sunshine,” writing “this is back to the real old Beatles. I just don’t like the electronic stuff. The Beatles were supposed to be like the boy next door only better.” And “Here There and Everywhere” Davies calls the “third best track on the album.”

That’s mostly the end of Davies’ felicity. His review savages some of the most popular songs on the record. Of “Eleanor Rigby” he writes. “it sounds like they’re out to please music teachers in primary schools.” The best he can bring himself to say of the track is that “it’s very commercial.” “Yellow Submarine,” Davies writes, “is a load of rubbish, really.” And his take on the trippy “Tomorrow Never Knows” cuts the song’s ambitions down to size: “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.” Maybe the cranky Davies was motivated by professional jealousy; maybe he’s one of the most honest reviewers of the record—his take uncolored by starstruckness. Who knows? He does admit that it’s “the first Beatles LP I’ve really listened to in its entirety.” Read Davies’ full review here.

via Dangerous Minds

Related Content:

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The 10-Minute, Never-Released, Experimental Demo of The Beatles’ “Revolution” (1968)

The Beatles: Unplugged Collects Acoustic Demos of White Album Songs (1968)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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by | Permalink | Comments (10) |

  • PacificSage

    Ray who?

  • Reckless

    You don’t know who the Kinks are?

  • old911guy

    Dedicated follower of fashion


    I don’t like leaden sound recording of Revolver.

  • cratewasher

    Years later, Eleanor Rigby was a staple in my primary school music class. Good review!

  • cratewasher

    Years later, Eleanor Rigby was a staple in my primary school music class. Good review!

  • Larry Kearney

    And, based upon this one review, The Beatles were washed up, finished, kaput. They were never heard from again. A sad footnote to what might have been.

  • PacificSage


  • Andrew Swift

    Actually if you read the actual review Ray didn’t call the album a “load of rubbish” he said the song Yellow Submarine was:
    “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.”
    He also had a LOT of good things to say about the album and the Beatles.
    He particularly loved “I’m Only Sleeping,” “Here, There, and Everywhere,” “Good Day Sunshine,” “For No One,” “Dr. Robert, “Got to Get You Into My Life,” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
    You can read it here

  • tom hartman

    Ray Davies….here’s a guy who can’t sing and has written about 5 great songs….3 of which sound exactly the same…reviewing “Revolver” LOL