George Harrison’s withering indictment of Britain’s progressive tax system was chosen to open the Beatles’ most progressive musical effort to date. Opening with a rasping cough and a droll count-in, “Taxman” kicks off Revolver in startling fashion, demonstrating both Harrison’s growing sophistication as a songwriter and Emerick’s budding talent for sculpting guitar tones.
Revolver is the album that made the Beatles recording artists in the absolute sense of the term. Their previous six albums had demonstrated John Lennon and Paul McCartney's increasingly ambitious songwriting skills and the group's competence with a range of musical styles. But the productions, while strong, were undistinguished.
While The Beatles spent the first months of 1969 getting back to their roots with the Let It Be sessions, EMI's Abbey Road Studios was moving headlong into the future. On November 23, 1968, Studio Two's control room had been outfitted with EMI's new TG12345 mixer, the first transistorized recording console in Abbey Road.
For 40 years, the team of Tipton and band co-founder KK Downing led the heavy metal brigade, introducing a twin-guitar attack to the genre, defining a sound rooted in power chords, palm muting and back-and-forth lead breaks that inspired generations of groups, from Iron Maiden to Slayer.