Tomorrow Never Knows (3:12)

Cover of Revolver

From Revolver and 20 other releases

“Tomorrow Never Knows” is the final track of The Beatles’ 1966 studio album Revolver. It is credited as a Lennon/McCartney song, but was written primarily by John Lennon. Although it was the first song that was recorded, it was the last track on the album.

The song is significant because it contains the first example of a vocal being put through a Leslie speaker cabinet to obtain a vibrato effect (which was normally used as a loudspeaker for a Hammond organ) and the use of an ADT system (Automatic double-tracking) to double the vocal image.

“Tomorrow Never Knows” ends the Revolver album in a more experimental fashion than earlier records, which contributed to Revolver’s reputation as one of the group’s most influential and expressive albums

John Lennon wrote the song in January 1966, closely adapted from the book The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and Ralph Metzner, which they based on, and quotes from, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The understanding from the book was that the “ego death” experienced under the influence of LSD and other psychedelic drugs is essentially similar to the dying process and requires similar guidance.

Peter Brown claimed that Lennon’s only source of inspiration for the song came from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which he says Lennon read whilst consuming LSD. George Harrison later stated that the idea for the lyrics came from Leary, Alpert, and Metzner’s book.

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