By Nick The Record Lover
On May 30 1966 The Beatles released their most electrifying single to date. “Paperback Writer”/”Rain” came out of the sessions the group were recording for the upcoming album “Revolver” which would hit the record stores in August of that year. I first heard “Paperback Writer” on the 1973 compilation “The Beatles 1962-1966” and then on the 1970 Apple Records release “The Beatles Again” (Also known as the “Hey Jude” album). It was 1983-1984 when I heard “Rain” for the first time. Ringo Starr had a Radio special on 66 WNBC called “Ringo’s Yellow Submarine”. He called it his “favorite Beatle track of all time”, and he “loved his drums on ‘Rain'”. I concur. It’s my favorite B Side released by The Fab Four, and my all-time favorite record. The Beatles were yet to record any songs as powerful as “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. It was a double A-sided single, with “Paperback Writer” reaching number one and “Rain” making the charts at number 23. When I first heard these songs on “The Beatles Again” (AKA “Hey Jude”) LP they were remixed for stereo (George Martin made the stereo mixes in December of 1969). It was in 1986 when I bought the Capitol “Star Line Super Oldies” 45 version of this single when I heard the songs in their original mono formats.
Let me tell you, it was euphoria to the nth degree. First off, “Paperback Writer” just jumped out of the speakers as never before. The guitars were more punchy sounding, there can be high-hat drum sounds (or possibly the metronome ticking) before the “Paperback Writer” refrains, and echo on the final refrain. In other words, “Paperback Wri-Wri-Wri!!” The word “Psychedelic” is used loosely when it comes to mid-late 1960s music, but this is the first single The Beatles would release with that description. In “Rain”, John Lennon takes a jab at society. No matter if it rains or shines, people will never be satisfied. We can run from the rain, or let it cool us down on a hot Summer Day, and let the Sun bring us natural light rather than shield ourselves from it. On the original mono mix of “Rain”, you can actually “see” the rain and shine, and the weather is always fine when I hear it. Let us Beatles fans rejoice when we hear the AWESOME backward vocals during the coda and fade of “Rain”.
In the immortal words of John Lennon: “Can You Hear Me, That when it rains and shines, it’s just a state of mind..Can you hear me? Can you HEAR me….?”
Nick Arietano Jr (The Record Lover)