The Beatles – Rain

Having been reared on 1962-1966 (aka The Red Album), and 1967-1970 (aka The Red Album), I took the path of least resistance and started my own Beatles album collection with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It took a while before I heard that Revolver was really the jewel in the crown, but when I got there, its brilliance needed no explanation, and in the context of my CD collection at the time – which was a mix of early ’90s shoegazing, baggy and general indie underachievers, and essential ’60s and ’70s albums by the likes of Nick Drake and Neil Young – its style made perfect sense.

One song in particular resonated: “She Said She Said” sounded like the long lost grandfather of the combined sound of all that I loved. Lyrically it was a perfect match for all those simple-lyric songs that aren’t about anything much in particular (“There’s No Other Way” springs to mind), while the guitar, unsurprisingly, brought to mind bands who had unselfconsciously modelled themselves on The Beatles in any case.

And then there’s Ringo’s drum patterns. Of all his work with The Beatles, it is said that this period contains his proudest moments. So often the butt of the joke, usually the one about him not being the best drummer in the band, on “She Said She Said” Starr hammers out rhythms that just scream out to be copied and tweaked and enhanced.

On “Rain”, recorded earlier in 1966, and released as a b-side to “Paperback Writer”, he does the same, propelling the track with his skittering, beautifully imperfect shapes:

I think I just played amazing. I was into the snare and the 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 Starr – Many Years From Now, Barry Miles (quote taken from http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/rain/)