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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  • ankursatriani

    This is why the Beatles are the best!

    30 Aug 7:35pm Reply
  • musicmisc

    the most uncharacteristic Beatles track, but probably their best

    26 Jul 3:16am Reply
  • sls

    I still have the LP copy of Revolver I picked up at a garage sale when I was about 8. I remember this being one of my favorite tracks on the record, to the extent that I would drop the needle down on the last track of side B to hear this specific song. Now this wasn't in the 60s, but I was still blown away. I think that wonder, the sense of freshness, served to inspire my later exploits in the world of music, especially of the experimental or at least new-to-me variety.

    25 Jul 8:37am Reply
  • RoomForSymmetry

    Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream...

    16 Jul 3:11am Reply
  • BiIIyShears

    Best Beatles song. [2] For sure, really wish they made more songs like this, it's so damn amazing.

    13 Jul 3:12am Reply
  • theironictea

    I can just imagine people in 1966 hearing this for the first time... "HOLY SHITE"

    10 Jul 9:44pm Reply
  • babyruthless234

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [6] Yeah, just amazing!

    30 Jun 7:51pm Reply
  • The_SchizoidMan

    Best Beatles song.

    30 May 2:51pm Reply
  • crushed_candy

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [5]

    20 May 1:11pm Reply
  • mynameisecho

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [4]

    17 May 8:26pm Reply
  • LucasLinoMota

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [3]

    14 May 9:30pm Reply
  • enxe3

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [2]

    30 Apr 7:13pm Reply
  • Oppressotron

    The birth of all electronica.

    30 Apr 6:57pm Reply
  • DrowsyDragon

    I'll have what they're having. %-)

    26 Apr 10:52pm Reply
  • ChopperB

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous

    19 Apr 12:22pm Reply
  • backstabber88

    the song just flows so well in one Madmen episode :D

    17 Apr 7:46pm Reply
  • Jaina999

    8 Apr 10:37am Reply
  • silversurfer250

    The Revolution will not be televised.

    7 Apr 6:45am Reply
  • mustachedmystic

    I forgot how awesome this song is!

    24 Mar 9:27pm Reply
  • JimiVonMicrodot

    Perfect.

    19 Mar 8:56pm Reply
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