John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son, Sean, has long been an advocate of his late father’s music. The Beatles undertook a dramatic transformation over their eight years of existence, but the greatest changes began to occur in 1966 around the time they had decided to visit India to seek spiritual enlightenment outside of hallucinogenic chemicals. Beginning with their first visit to the country in 1966, their odyssey in India under the mentorship of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi taught them the powers of Hindu teachings and the benefits of transcendental meditation. Over this period, the Beatles brought eastern beliefs and values to the Western culture, incorporating Indian influences into their music through the use of the sitar and lyrics inspired by Hindu incantations.
It was around this time that The Beatles’ music began to deviate more toward the avant-garde with increasingly experimental compositions and subject matter blended into their songs. Revolver, released in 1966, indeed seemed to mark a turning point for the Beatles, and it was this new era of beautiful oddity that Sean Lennon appears to be most interested in.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2015, Sean explained that he couldn’t possibly name a favourite Beatles song. He saw it as too subjective, like choosing a favourite colour. However, he did reveal a particular penchant for Revolver because it showed the band pushing “the limits of progressive songwriting”. In a 2016 interview with Loudersound, he affirmed this idea, explaining: “Revolver‘s one of my favourite Beatles records, up there with Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and the White Album,” he revealed.
Adding: “Those records have influenced me more than any other music on the planet. Besides the fact it’s my dad and I grew up listening to them, they’re just ingrained in my psyche.”
Sean later explained why he prefers Revolver to Abbey Road and some of his father’s later work: “Revolver appeals to me more than Abbey Road or my dad’s solo stuff – which I love in a different way – because psychedelic music seems more magical,” he said. “It’s like a kid likes reading Lord of the Rings instead of Bonfire of the Vanities — it’s exciting, it’s the promise of a supernatural world.”
Sean continued to explain that his favourite songs by The Beatles’ were mostly from the period of psychedelia between 1966-67, a time in which they released songs like ‘I Am The Walrus’ and ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’. He also named the final track on Revolver, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ as one of his favourites, he explained: “A song like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ puts you almost in a trance. Not in the way techno music or monks chanting would; it’s hipper than that.”
“It alters your consciousness,” he said. “The veil of mundane reality is being peeled back to reveal something glorious and beautiful that you’re a part of. That’s what those Beatles records do for me.”
Listen to the entrancing ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ below.