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:

Hear the Isolated Vocal Tracks for The Beatles’ Climactic 16-Minute Medley on Abbey Road

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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Comments (22)
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  • old911guy says:

    Dedicated follower of fashion

  • I don’t like leaden sound recording of Revolver.

  • cratewasher says:

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

  • cratewasher says:

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

  • Larry Kearney says:

    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.

  • Andrew Swift says:

    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 says:

    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

  • Jim says:

    Written about 5 great songs. LOL LOL LOL

    You really have no idea.

  • John says:

    He’s right about I’m Only Sleeping. Easily the best song on the album.

  • Zoinks says:

    This coming from someone who’s voice has always been questionable at best? His comments are rubbish

  • Bart says:

    I would say he’s dead on about Yellow Submarine. It’s awful. The rest of the review is pretty good too. Revolver is highly overrated in my opinion and is mostly noteworthy for Tomorrow Never Knows as being a clear demarcation of the group’s creative progression. But it’s not a great song on the whole. The best song on the album in my opinion is For No One, and Davies has positive things to say about that track. Good work, Ray.

  • Richard Hydell and Wrecked says:

    RAY. ..WHO?

  • Richard Hydell and Wrecked says:

    Oh the angered sixties oldies guy ..Richard hydell and Wrecked, real rock Baby,Google my band ..poor little Ray..

  • Hernani France says:

    One of his saying was true, “Now I am doing what the Beatles were doing two years ago”

    Funny that he was too closed-minded to appreciate the revolution but he was the one who was going to create “The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation” in 1968; two years after Revolver. Like he said, they are doing what the Fab did two years ago.

  • Spencer says:

    Ray is a genius and he’s spot on about this album! Good at best!

  • Spencer says:

    Ray is a genius and he’s spot on about this album! Good at best! And John Lennon didn’t have the greatest chops either for the people who said Ray can’t sing!

  • John Lloyd Thomas scranton, P.A. The states. says:

    I agree, about 90% of the album is crap!

  • John Lloyd Thomas says:

    A vastly over rated album!

  • Trey Bigtime says:

    Davies !! – he was in The Kinks fifth best group of all time, or so my 196-s scrapbook says (just behind The Easybeats.

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