Disc 3 of the Revolver Super Deluxe Edition starts with John Lennon telling the band to play it “quite, quite brisk, moderato, foxtrot.”

And what does moderato mean exactly? Classical-music.com tells us:

Different pieces of music are composed with different tempos (or speeds) in mind, and moderato (meaning “moderate” or ”medium”) is right at the centre of all of them. A little faster than andante (described as walking pace) but not as fast as allegro (usually described as fast and merry), moderato has a nice, steady tempo.

Tempos are measured in beats per minute (BPM) and indicate how quickly or slowly a piece of music should be played. Moderato typically falls between 108–120 BPM on a metronome.

The foxtrot, meanwhile, is “a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor” (Wikipedia sez).

In any case, what we’re hearing is John kicking off take 5 of the “Second Version” of “And Your Bird Can Sing.” Like the early version of “Got to Get You into My Life” on disc 2, this one is Not Ready for Prime Time. The tempo is not actually all that brisk — in fact it rather plods — and the harmonies are wince-inducingly miscalculated. One is relieved when it finally collapses altogether about 2:10 in.

The “Taxman” included here, take 11, previously appeared on Anthology 2, as did the mostly vibraphone early take of “I’m Only Sleeping.” But the other three “Sleeping”s — two alternate takes (one instrumental) and a mono mix — are new, to me at least. John tried this song a bunch of different ways, and I’m not 100% convinced he ended up on the right one. I kind of wish he’d shaped the vibraphone thing into a final track. While I quite like “I’m Only Sleeping,” something about it seems vaguely unfinished, like John got tired of fiddling with it and just moved on.

“Eleanor Rigby” is represented here by a couple minutes of studio dialogue — not particularly illuminating, at least on first listen — and the second take of the strings, which are quite lovely in isolation, but also with that unnerving “Psycho” undercurrent.

The “For No One” here is just piano and drums, and it’s neat to hear the interplay between the musicians. If that’s Ringo on the drums — and I think it must be, with Paul on the piano — it’s exhibit Z in the case in his favor. Anyone who, at this late date, still says Ringo couldn’t play can fuck right off.

There’s about 10 minutes of “Yellow Submarine”–related material about which I have little to say. It has a bit of a sausage-being-made quality and while I never mind hearing “YS” on the album, over repeated playings it begins to take on a nightmarish quality. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time to take acid on a submarine, but enough is enough….

OK, we’re in the home stretch now. After a snippet of “I Want to Tell You,” where that atonal piano is prominent, there’s a take of “Here, There and Everywhere.” It’s a gorgeous tune, but a bit raw here, and Paul hits a couple uncharacteristic clams.

The last two tracks are versions of “She Said She Said” — first “John’s Demo,” which is very different from the song we know:


Then “Take 15/Backing Track Rehearsal,” which lets us know what’s like to hear “She Said She Said” without vocals. It’s still a good tune. I recommend listening to it while staring at this picture of Peter Fonda contemplating an orange in The Trip:

And whew, finally done. I’m sorry this post has gone on so long; if I had more time I’d write a shorter one.

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