Listen To The Beatles’ 1966 Track “Rain,” The First Pop Song With Backwards Lyrics.
In May of 1966, The Beatles released a pair of singles off of their “Revolver” album, and though the song “Rain” would go on to gain notoriety, it was never actually published on the album it came from.
The song was the B track found on the “Paperback Writer” LP sing. As a psychedelic rock song, “Rain” is known for its slowed-down rhythm track which lends the song an otherworldly sound. “Rain” also holds a special distinction amongst rock and pop songs. It is the first song to have a set of backward vocals during its coda.
“I was always playing around with tapes,” explained George Martin, the song’s producer, “and I thought it might be fun to do something extra with John’s voice. So I lifted a bit of his main vocal off the four-track, put it onto another spool, turned it around and then slid it back and forth until it fitted. John was out at the time but when he came back he was amazed. Again, it was backwards forever after that.”
“Rain” was written by John Lennon and he performed the main vocals on the recording. Lennon explained that the inspiration for the song came from their arrival in Sydney, Australia while on tour and the poor weather that greeted them there. It’s a song, he said, about people complaining about the weather all the time.”
Ringo Starr said that “Rain” features the best drumming he’s ever done on a Beatles track. The Beatles created three promotional films for the song, which are widely regarded as a precursor to today’s music videos. One features them walking through a greenhouse in the rain, while the other two feature them singing on stage — one in color for American audiences, and this one in black and white for the UK.