- Published in 1966
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 4 on “Past Masters Volume 2“
Beatles quotes about “Rain”
JOHN 1966: “After we’d done the session on that particular song– it ended at about four or five in the morning– I went home with a tape to see what else you could do with it. And I was sort of very tired, you know, not knowing what I was doing, and I just happened to put it on my own tape recorder and it came out backwards. And I liked it better. So that’s how it happened.”
JOHN 1980: “That’s me again– with the first backwards tape on record anywhere… 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 it got 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 with the guitars going backwards. (sings) ‘Sharethsmnowthsmeanss!’ That one was the gift of God… of Ja actually– the god of marijuana, right? So Ja gave me that one.”
RINGO 1984: “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 the 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 in left field. I know me and I know my playing… and then there’s ‘Rain.'”
PAUL circa-1994: “It was nice. I really enjoyed that one.”
“Rain” was released on 30 May 1966 as the B-side of their “Paperback Writer” single. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for Revolver, although neither appear on that album. “Rain” was written by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. He described its meaning as “about people moaning about the weather all the time”.
The song’s recording contains a slowed-down rhythm track, a droning bass line and backwards vocals. Its release marked the first time that reversed sounds appeared in a pop song, although the Beatles used the same technique on the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows“, recorded days earlier. Ringo Starr considers “Rain” his best recorded drum performance. Three promotional films were created for the song, and they are considered among the early precursors of music videos.
- John Lennon: vocals, guitar
- Paul McCartney: backing vocals, bass
- George Harrison: backing vocals, guitar
- Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
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