Beatles almost recorded Revolver at Stax.

My oh my could you imagine?  Imagine if The Beatles had embraced their love for soul fully.  We get brief glimpses of the Fab Four’s love for rhythm and blues, and soul records, but imagine if they fully embraced the soul music that they loved?

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Imagine the art pop of Revolver backed by the soulful sounds of Stax records.  It would be quite the contemporary mashup.   It is one of those moments that simply could have been.  The album, in my opinion, would have been much worse for wear, and not the classic trip that it really was. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the prospect of a Stax/Beatles marriage during Revolver era.  Let us know in the comments below. 

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Beatles came close to recording their landmark Revolver album at soul Mecca Stax but security concerns forced the Fab Four to scrap plans to head for Memphis, Tennessee.

The group’s manager Brian Epstein visited Stax’s base on McLemore Avenue, where the likes of Otis Redding and Booker T + The MGs cut albums, in 1966.

But, when news of the plans spread and was picked up by the local media, the idea was scrapped and The Beatles recorded Revolver at Abbey Road in London.

Former Stax publicist Deanie Parker, who now runs the Stax Museum on the site of the studios, admits the Beatles even had a two-week session booked for 09 April, 1966.

She tells Mojo magazine, “I was seeing dollar signs. I talked to (Stax founder) Jim Stewart and said, ‘If The Beatles do come, will you give me permission to take the carpet up, cut it into squares and sell it?'”

Stax songwriter Johnny Keyes reveals even Elvis Presley got involved, offering to put The Beatles up at his nearby Graceland mansion for the duration of their stay in Memphis.

He adds, “It went back and forth, and Epstein left town because he didn’t want to get in the middle of it. The session never happened.”

Booker T + The MGs star Steve Cropper, who actually met The Beatles briefly, muses, “Who knows what might’ve happened? Taxman could’ve been Staxman.”

Source: Yahoo Music


5 Responses

  1. As much as I love Revolver, I can only imagine how incredible it would have been with Booker T & MG’s on it. Not for the playing necessarily but for the “Stax Sound”. I love the horns on the album the way it stands but what if they were just a little more dirty and a little more soulful like on “Hold On, I’m Comin’. And what if Paul’s bass were recorded with a little more punch on the bottom end to make it all rumble a little more? Oh, the what if’s are intriguing! Someday, perhaps after Paul and Ringo are gone, we’ll see EMI release all the individual tracks from albums (like the recently leaked Sgt. Pepper Tracks) and we fans can make our own mixes. I’d love to get my hands on the catalog and mix them to my liking. Someday….

  2. I think that the Beatles probably considered recording some of their songs at Stax, but probably not the whole album. “Got to Get You Into My Life” would have been one song that comes to mind. Paul McCartney wanted that “Motown Sound” when he did this song so I think a Stax horn treatment would have been awesome. Perhaps “Good Day Sunshine” might have been another song to benefit from the Stax sound and who knows what else, but the Beatles were experimenting with various sounds so I don’t think they wanted just one type of sound for their album at this point. It would have been interesting though.

  3. An interesting exercise, but I think it would have been a failure. That said, it might have struck a chord for integration in 1966 and the boys were never shy about that.

    The fabs were best in their accustomed surroundings. As far as Revolver goes, there is little room for improvement – the band was at the top of their game and the sounds Geoff Emerick was coaxing for George Martin’s magic was simply fantastic.

  4. I ❤ the beatles!
    but if they had put horns in it
    it would have been wierd

  5. Good day sushine
    that would have been good w/ horns mabye

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