What if the Beatles had released an eighth studio album in late 1966?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Robert, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curitiba, Brazil
    Back in the early/mid sixties, it was the norm for them to put out two albums each year, normally the first in June and the second in November, and so forth. However, when Revolver came to '66, they were so burnt out by touring and recording that much, they quit touring, took extended holidays, and their next release was Sgt. Pepper in July 1967.

    So I ask you: had they not done that, what would the "bridge" album between Revolver and Pepper sound like?
  2. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I'm not sure if you're asking for specific songs, or stylistically. The only tracks potentially available for a "bridge" release would be SFF, Penny Lane, 64 and Northern Song. That's certainly not an album but one hell of an E.P.
  3. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    Perhaps it would sound like this....
    audiomixer likes this.
  4. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    There would be 14% more Beatles threads. :)
    scousette, bob60, Chemguy and 10 others like this.
  5. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curitiba, Brazil
    Stilistically, of course. Although Northern Song wasn't actually available, three George songs were already (partially, at least) written: Isn't it a Pity, Art of Dying and Piggies. And an embryonic version of A Day in the Life was around, too.
  6. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curitiba, Brazil
    And 28% more appearences of this joke, too!
  7. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    They did on Capitol records. (Yesterday and Today)
    The Beave, audiomixer and RonBaker like this.
  8. Dr. Robert

    Dr. Robert Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Curitiba, Brazil
    Counting it that way, that'd make it the nineteenth album, not eighth ;)
    Bingo Bongo likes this.
  9. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    Must admit I'm drawing a blank. I can't find a place between Revolver & Pepper.
    lightbulb likes this.
  10. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    They were too busy with time off and writing the next album.

    A live album from '65 or '66 would have been very welcome.
    DrBeatle, sekaer, musicfan37 and 2 others like this.
  11. Ram4

    Ram4 Forum Resident

    If things were still "normal" they would have recorded in October and November for a December release. They KNEW they had to record Rubber Soul after the summer tours of 1965 so they had material prepared. In 1966 they had no such pressure. Once that tour was over, they were going to take a couple of months off and do whatever they wanted. That probably would mean they would have been short on original material as they were for Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul (had to cram to get the last few songs on, and finish the Help outtake Wait). So I'd go as far as saying a late 1966 album could have been a little rough but it's simply impossible to speculate because it wasn't on their minds to prepare to be ready with new songs by October to record.
    Dr. Robert likes this.
  12. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident

    Technically, they couldn't have started in September-October being that John had to film How I Won the War, so the sessions would have started pretty much around the same time as Pepper did in late 1966. But we're not here to be technical (well, some of us are :p).

    I think it would've sounded a lot like Harrison's and Lennon's early-mid 1967 songs. Very acid rock, a lot of mellotron, tambura, and organ. I think by this point they would start ditching the 2-minute song structure and do more lengthly songs. Their last song to be laid down before "Strawberry Fields" was "She Said, She Said", a style of acid rock they partially abandoned during Pepper, so a sound like that.

    Stylistically it would be the Beatles' own Satanic Majesties Resquest, a druggy acid rock album that heavily features the mellotron.
    lightbulb and Dr. Robert like this.
  13. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident

    Jersey City, NJ
    Thematically it would have been less than Pepper so something like the Magical Mystery Tour Album with a few Revolver sounding things thrown in.
  14. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    ontario, canada
    But if they were going to (or were required to) record an album for Nov/Dec 1966 release, Lennon certainly wouldn't have taken on that acting role, nor Paul the film scoring job. It was only after the decision to not record a late 1966 allbum was made that they were free to embark on those extracurricular activities. So technically....
  15. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

  16. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    SIDE !:
    1. Strawberry Fields Forever
    2. Penny Lane
    3. Only A Northern Song
    4. When I'm 64
    5. Rain
    6. Paperback Writer
    Side 2:
    1. 12 Bar Original
    2. If You've Got Trouble
    3. That Means A Lot
    4. Carnival Of Light
    Keith V likes this.
  17. Morton LaBongo

    Morton LaBongo Forum Resident

    Manchester NH
    As much as I like what-if speculative album compilation discussions, in this case I just don't think there's the volume of available songs to pad out a full album at that point. I mean, maybe the could have dusted off Thinking of Linking (just giving an example) or something from way back when, but that probably would have been out of step with the sound they were aiming for by 1966. I do like the idea of a live album though that notesfrom mentioned and I could see that filling in the relatively long Revolver-Pepper gap. In a way it is kind of surprising that Capitol didn't do a live Beatles album between 1964-66, it certainly would have sold big numbers (particularly in 64 or 65 with Beatlemania at it's peak). A live album would pretty much be a no-brainer and a guaranteed big seller with The Beatles time commitment being limited to picking out the best songs from tapes of whatever shows they'd already played and recorded, even if audio quality would be lacking in the final product (by today's standards anyways). They were willing to put out that awful now-forgotten double album with the canned "interviews," but a live concert album would have been a much better idea in my opinion.
    notesfrom likes this.
  18. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Custom Title" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA
    Really bad, undeveloped psychedelia.

    What you're essentially describing is Tomorrow Never Knows on the boys creative brains and a too-tight schedule needed to pump out some hits and album filler, so instead of a fully baked psychedelic masterpiece like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, you'd have wound up with a rushed mess with half-baked songs sounding like Take 1 of Strawberry Fields Forever with the bizarre Hawaiian guitar, just brutal.

    The Beatles needed that time off to write good songs and work with Emerick and Martin on how to invent technology to execute them properly and commit them to tape.
    Andersoncouncil likes this.
  19. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    ontario, canada
    IIRC Epstein had foot dragged contract renegotiations with EMI so long that by late 1966 The Beatles were recording for EMI without a contract, so they were no longer bound by the terms of their previous lapsed contract (2 albums a year) - or any contract for that matter. They were essentially free agents. So I would assume this was the only reason they were able to demand and receive an unprecedented months-long vacation during the latter part of 1966. Its not like their schedule was any tighter than the year before, making a second 1966 album an impossibility. Their first album of both 1965 and 1966 ('Help!' and 'Revolver') came out in August of the year, and they were certainly able to record a very strong album prior to the end of 1965 with 'Rubber Soul'.

    They certainly could have squeezed another album out in the latter part of 1966 had they been contractually required to, as they had done the previous year. However, how strong (or not) the resulting album would have been is anybody's guess.

    For example, on the one hand, with less time to experiment SFF would almost certainly have been far more straightforward and less experimental than it ended up being - but on the other hand, the song very likely wouldn't have even existed in such a parallel timeline as it was written during the long boring hours/weeks of filming 'War' so not only might it have not existed otherwise, if it had it may not have been as laboured over as it had been due to all the extra downtime he had to revise and refine it during filming into the version we all know in our timeline.
    NothingBrightAboutIt likes this.
  20. Lemon Curry

    Lemon Curry (A) Face In The Crowd

    Mahwah, NJ
    They all needed a holiday after the '66 tour. With the break, they came back ready for SFF and PL. Hard to imagine anything else being in that gap.
  21. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident

    Mind you, Rubber Soul was cobbled together in two months so they were capable of doing it (even though at least two songs were brought back from the dead).

    But obviously Rubber Soul and late 1966 Beatles were two different animals. The Beatles were extremely tense after that tour -- tense enough that George had to be persuaded to stay. For John and Paul (and George) to come up with fourteen tracks (or 44 minutes' worth) and for the band to record it, there would have definitely been a ton of stress that would've descended into Get Back-esque arguments. There was also the pressure to keep up with the times -- Pet Sounds was still new, and John and Paul would want to top it.

    So while a late 1966 album may have been a more experimental Revolver, it could have spelled the end for the band.
  22. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    ontario, canada
    Actually, my guess is it would have been like a Revolver Part 2, offering very little in the way of new ideas and just being at best a holding pattern/good but not great/lesser album, rather than an advancement (kind of like the MMT EP tracks were a year later, as compared to - and under the shadow of - the artistic advancements of Sgt Pepper).
  23. 905

    905 Forum Resident

    Southern IL
    That's when they could've done their Childhood Album :thumbsup:
  24. NothingBrightAboutIt

    NothingBrightAboutIt Forum Resident

    Honestly, that could be said about the band's output since early 1965. If they had more time to experiment with Rubber Soul, instead of being condensed with the two months they had, who knows what a early/mid 1966 Rubber Soul would have looked like.

    Don't forget they had a few months off between Rubber Soul and Revolver, enough time that the four of them had some sort of direction they wanted to take the next album (starting with "Tomorrow Never Knows").
  25. wildstar

    wildstar Forum Resident

    ontario, canada
    But with 'Rubber Soul' they had mostly top-notch songs (Lennon was at his songwriting peak, and Paul was near his, and George was finally starting to pull his own weight with 'If I Needed Someone' - easily his best song to date) unlike 'Help!' which was a 'holding pattern'/'good enough'/'nothing special' album - hardly something they needed to worry about measuring up to with 'Rubber Soul'. So kind of the exact opposite situation of the weaker MMT EP following Pepper, or the weaker BFS following AHDN, and probably (if it had happened) the mythical late 1966 follow-up album to Revolver.

    BTW (in theory) mid 1966 should have seen another half soundtrack album to their next film (rather than the release of Revolver) - so they weren't really meant to have a break in early 1966, as really they should have been making their third contracted film during that time for summer 1966 release.
    Archtop likes this.

Share This Page