This Album Changed My Life: The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
Steve Wall of The Stunning on a classic album from the Fab Four
Steve Wall: Revolver is the sound of a band reinventing themselves and not being afraid to lose some of their audience along the way. Photograph: Kathrin Baumbach
After the girls in the family moved out, my grandparents’ front sittingroom didn’t get used too often. The old venetian blinds cast strips of sun across the carpeted floor where I could be found surrounded by my aunt’s Beatles records. I was eight or nine. I already knew a lot of their albums, but this was the first time I had played Revolver. The arm lowered itself on to the record and then, after the crackle on the outer grooves, came a strange, slow, garbled voice – “One, two, three, four . . .” – followed by electric-guitar stabs that sounded like nothing I’d heard before.
Revolver was when The Beatles stopped being a pop group and became a studio band. The influences of drugs and the avant-garde were finding their way into songs such as I’m Only Sleeping, Doctor Robert and She Said She Said. John Lennon’s Tomorrow Never Knows must have horrified the “typists down at the Cavern”, as the poet Philip Larkin remarked, but I loved it. The jagged guitars and the obtuse lyrics struck a chord with me. And to balance that out there were two of McCartney’s finest ballads, Here, There and Everywhere and For No One.
The Beatles: Revolver
The Beatles: Eleanor Rigby
The Beatles: Yellow Submarine
The lyrics – not putting everything on the plate for the listener while keeping it musical – were a huge influence on me as a songwriter. Revolver (which also includes Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine) is the sound of a band reinventing themselves and not being afraid to lose some of their audience along the way. There’s a lot to be learnt in that, too. – In conversation with Niall Byrne
The Stunning’s new album, Twice Around the World, is out now. The band are on a nationwide tour; thestunning.net