3 AM Eternal: The Beatles “Rain” (1966)

This B-side to 1966 single “Paperback Writer” is perhaps The Beatles‘ first true psychedelic moment. Sure, there was “Day Tripper” that was, well, possibly about psychedelic drugs, but it didn’t sound particularly trippy. “Rain” corrected that. A John Lennon composition, it featured a melody that felt oddly out of sync with reality; slightly woozy, slightly cough-syrup dizzy, and with a peculiar drum beat, it felt odd, but it got really freaky at the end, with the first use of backwards vocals on a rock record. It was something weird that only the Beatles could get away with at the time, and this little number set the tone for their innovative seventh album, Revolver, which would come three months later…

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