The Beatles Rain

The Beatles Rain

The Beatles Rain

The Beatles released “Rain” as a single in the UK on June 10, 1966. It was the B side to “Paperback Writer.” In the United States, it was released as a single May 30, 1966. It entered the US Top 40 on June 25th and climbed to No. 23, and was Top 4O for five weeks.

Despite being credited to “Lennon/McCartney”, Rain was written entirely by John Lennon.

It was recorded just 2 months prior on April 14, 1966, at Abbey Road, with overdubs added April 16

This recording shows the first evidence of the Beatles’ fascination with backward tape loops. John was tripping at his little studio at the top of Kenwood when he put a rough version of “Rain” on the recorder backwards.

Lennon told the story, “I got home from the studio and I was stoned out of my mind on marijuana and, as I usually do, I listened to what I’d recorded that day. Somehow I got it on backwards and I sat there, transfixed, with the earphones on, with a big hash joint. I ran in the next day and said, I know what to do with it, I know. . . Listen to this!’ So I made them all play it backwards. The fade is me actually singing backwards “Sharethsmnowthsmeaness.” The singing of the line “Rain, when the rain comes they run and hide their heads” is heard backward.

George Martin commented, “Once you started something, for a while it almost became the fashion. For example, once I’d turned John’s voice around on Rain, played his voice backward to him and put it on the track, it was ‘Great! Let’s try everything backward!’ So George started doing backward guitar solos, there was backward cymbal on ‘strawberry Fields,’ until that was exhausted and it was on to the next gimmick. It was a healthy curiosity to find new sounds and new ways of expressing themselves.”

Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick remembers, “One of the things we discovered when playing around with tape loops on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ (recorded a week before) was that the texture and depth of certain instruments sounded really good when slowed down. With ‘Rain’ the Beatles played the rhythm track really fast so that when the tape was played back at normal speed everything would be so much slower, changing the texture.”

The instrumentation on Rain included Lennon on rhythm guitar and lead vocal, McCartney on bass and backing vocal, Harrison on lead guitar and backing vocal, and Ringo on drums and tambourine.

Beatles Rain 45 Sleeve

Beatles Rain 45 Sleeve

This song was the first of many by Lennon (and Harrison) that emphasized that “reality” is just an illusion and a state of mind.

Ringo Starr says, “My favorite piece of me is what I did on ‘Rain.’ I think I just played amazing. I was into the snare and hi-hat. I think it was the first time I used this trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat. I think it’s the best out of all the records I’ve ever made. ‘Rain’ blows me away. It’s out of left field. I know me and I know my playing, and then there’s Rain.”

What do you think?

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The promotional film for this song (below) was made in May of 1966.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

alan gross

very informative. I would agree with Ringo on the playing. I am sure this was an influence for many drummers. A lot of detail was lost on the original mixes. I have to listen to the remastered version, I’m sure there will be a marked improvement

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dennis

i just want to say “thank’s” foor all the stuff that people have taken the tme to place on web/f-b, miss those guy’s so much

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Crezy

Love the Beatles (more than other bands who shall remain namesels but who you have named haha). Paul McCartney, I suppose, is my favourite, but really it’s the band as a whole. I tried to comment on the previous post but there was a problem with it! So here are some favourite words: luscious, aqua, peppermint, marshmellow and cantelope (many of my favourite words appear to be food related )

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Paul McWilliams

There will NEVER,be another band like The Beatles! I want to say,Thank-you,to John,Paul,George,and Ringo,for giving us all those great songs! Long Live the BEATLES!

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Judy

Cool picture! I reeembmr seeing these experimental films of John And Yoko a few years ago on YouTube, maybe this is one of the more striking because of the naked women. There is an anecdote behind this film, when they filmed this movie coincided when they met May Pang in Allen Klein’s office located in New York, she was a secretary who was entrusted with the task of going to chinese restaurants in search of live flies for the filming of this short. After that she became part of the environment of Lennon. Returning to the videos I think Yoko should edit them all on one DVD.

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Juan

Sempre o achei meio estranho, govtsaa do George “Faster” Harrison e do Paul McCartney (o achava e acho o melhor melodista e hitmaker dos fab four)Mas falando de Lennon, o fato de ter ido muito cedo – e bestamente – acabou conferindo ao cara uma aura de se1bio, de profeta… Quando na verdade ele sempre cantou o amor, e segundo ele prf3prio, sf3 o amor.I want you to make love, not war, (I know you’ve heard it before)Diz o faltimo verso da letra… Algue9m ousa duvidar do cara?

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Jay

Era um geanio da mfascia. Mas sem comente1rios o fato de ele estar fanumdo na frente das criane7as que pediam autf3grafo. Totalmente sem noe7e3o! E olha que eu sou fumante.Agora, ce1 entre nf3s, Mind Games e9 lindedssima. Uma das melhores que ele fez pf3s-beatles.

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me nU

Never saw this before fab

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Lisa Marie Henness

I love this song, but never saw a video for it, so thanks for finding it and sharing it. I love how you have managed to gather all the information out there on this fabulous group and place it into one neatly space for us. Thank you!!

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