The last disc of the Revolver Super Deluxe Edition contains only four tracks: new stereo mixes of “Paperback Writer” and “Rain,” along with mono versions of same.

These two songs have been linked since April 1966, when George Martin got a memo from the bigwigs at EMI telling him that a new Beatles single was due posthaste. John and Paul both had recent compositions they wanted to be the A-side, but Paul’s was deemed the more commercial, so he won. Thus was “Rain,” one of the greatest songs The Beatles ever recorded, eternally consigned to the B-side.

Look, I like “Paperback Writer.” (Its harmonies and rhythm track sound glorious in the stereo mix; the mono version is a bit clattery in comparison.) But “Rain” is a work of genius on every level. And give Paul credit: It’s his bassline — remember, recorded at double speed and slowed down for extra punch — that really makes it go. Ringo’s drum part is also magnificent, and he knows it: “I think it’s the best out of all the records I’ve ever made. ‘Rain’ blows me away … I know me and I know my playing … and then there’s ‘Rain.’”

And the words are among John’s finest. If I may quote myself:

This is philosophy you can actually use. Every time you hear “Rain” you are reminded that life is short, and that it’s stupid to let your enjoyment of it be hindered by trivial things like the weather. 

As it happens, today in Humboldt a sunny and clear morning has turned into a gray and rainy afternoon. But in John’s honor, I’m going to have a great day anyway. Here’s wishing you the same; over and out for now.

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