Ringo is adamant about his favourite.
The Beatles were well and truly in their pomp by 1966 and had become an unstoppable force in the charts but, on a creative level, they began experimenting even further. On Revolver album they kicked it up a notch and the album remains a high watermark even by their lofty standards.
These sessions from the time of the album would spurn the one recording which Ringo would classify as being the band’s magnum opus. However, the track would never even make it onto the record. ‘Paperback Writer‘ was another gem by The Beatles which somehow didn’t make it on to a full-length album and, instead, was released as a stand-alone release in May 1966. The track would act as the B-Side for Ringo’s favourite Beatles song, the best they ever created, ‘Rain’.
The track really does showcase the band on their A-Game with a bass masterclass from Macca and a vocal performance of the highest calibre from Lennon. To keep the experimentation going, it even featured backwards vocals topped off with a rousing drumming performance from Ringo that creates a beautifully mesmerising result.
In Many Years From Now, the biography of McCartney, Ringo made the revelation to author Barry Miles stating it was his favourite recording of anything he’s played during the entirety of his career: “I feel as though that was someone else playing,” he said. “I was possessed!”
He then went on to detail what exactly he loved about it: “I was into the snare and hi-hat. I think it was the first time I used this trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat,” Ringo said. “I think it’s the best out of all the records I’ve ever made.”
John Lennon discussed the track with Playboy’s David Sheff in 1980 and how it was all a happy accident: “I got home from the studio and I was stoned out of my mind on marijuana and I listened to what I’d recorded that day. Somehow I got it on backwards and I sat there, transfixed. That one was the gift of God, of Jah, actually, the god of marijuana, right? So Jah gave me that one.”
‘Rain’ is a perfect encapsulation of The Beatles at their creative best.