On April 6, 1966, The Beatles gathered in Studio Three at EMI Studios (now called Abbey Road Studios) for their first Revolver recording session. With their producer George Martin flanked by recording engineer Geoff Emerick and technical engineer Ken Townsend, they went in blazing, starting with “Tomorrow Never Knows”.
John’s ethereal vocals (fed from his mic through a rotating Leslie speaker) and innovative tape loops – including Paul saying ‘ah, ah, ah, ah’, which when sped up produced a sound similar to a seagull’s screech – converge with Ringo’s thunderous drum pattern, George’s tamboura drone, and a backwards guitar solo.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” propelled The Beatles and popular music into exciting new terrain. In an interview before Revolver’s August 5, 1966 release, Paul explained to NME, “We did it because I, for one, am sick of doing sounds that people can claim to have heard before.”
Listen to ‘Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 1)’ – BELOW: