Tomorrow Never Knows (3:12)

Cover of Revolver

From Revolver and 23 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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  • Leinad-95

    Just listened to the album for the first time, and this is my favorite track. Brilliant!

    25 May 5:00pm Reply
  • tigerwolf1

    very cool.

    2 Apr 3:44pm Reply
  • LiamRandolph

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [10]

    17 Mar 10:10pm Reply
  • El_Salvador7

    One of those game-changing Beatles songs which changed their musical path and which was really influential to the way their songwriting progressed.

    15 Mar 4:24pm Reply
  • wolfy76484

    i am really glad I lived through this eara

    28 Jan 8:45pm Reply
  • wolfy76484

    Ringo at his best, he really sets the rythm for this song

    28 Jan 8:45pm Reply
  • Sarinijha

    29 Dec 2014 Reply
  • jennica_med_c

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [9] And STILL groundbreaking!

    21 Dec 2014 Reply
  • penquinharp

    extra special cool [blew minds when it came out]****###

    16 Dec 2014 Reply
  • LeoReis92

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [8]

    2 Nov 2014 Reply
  • SpankThru23

    Of the beginning, of the beginning, of the beginning...

    10 Oct 2014 Reply
  • tcbp

    Play this song to a 12yr old kid and tell him it's from 2013.... He will believe it

    1 Oct 2014 Reply
  • RedDevil1989

    So ahead of its time its ridiculous [7]

    5 Sep 2014 Reply
  • ankursatriani

    This is why the Beatles are the best!

    30 Aug 2014 Reply
  • musicmisc

    the most uncharacteristic Beatles track, but probably their best

    26 Jul 2014 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 2014 Reply
  • RoomForSymmetry

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

    16 Jul 2014 Reply
  • BiIIyShears

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

    13 Jul 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

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

    10 Jul 2014 Reply
  • babyruthless234

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

    30 Jun 2014 Reply
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