Director – Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Producer – Subafilms Ltd.
2015 Edit – Matthew Longfellow. Filmed – 19 May 1966.
Location – Studio One, Abbey Road, London.
The experimentation that characterised the making of Revolver carried over to the recording of this, the B-side for ‘Paperback Writer’. And although for many it is one of the finest B-sides of the band’s career, it was not included on an album until Hey Jude in 1970. Released by Capitol Records in the US, it was also issued in many other countries around the world, including the UK, but only for export. Its UK release was delayed until 1979. The Beatles recorded the rhythm track for ‘Rain’ at a faster speed and then slowed it down to create sonic texturing that adds immeasurably to the sound of the track.
Take 5 of ‘Rain’ is the first to feature John’s lead vocals and even these were deliberately slowed, enhancing the almost ‘other-worldly’ feeling of the whole track. And if all this was not enough, the end of the song features John’s vocals played backwards. The drumming is also superb and Ringo, particularly proud of what he achieved, remarked, “I think I just played amazing. I was into the snare and the hi-hat. I think it was the first time I used this trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat.”
Two days after recording the basic track, overdubs – including tambourine, bass and additional vocals – were added and the track was mixed into mono; the stereo mix wouldn’t happen for more than three years.
The promos for ‘Rain’ were shot on consecutive days along with the films made for ‘Paperback Writer’. The first version on disc 2 is from the second day’s filming at Chiswick House, west London. Although shot in colour, this version was transmitted in black and white the day before its UK release on BBC’s Top of the Pops. The episode went out on 9 June 1966, between 7.30 and 8 pm.
The second clip is a newly edited version that was videotaped at Abbey Road the day before the Chiswick Park filming that predominately uses a rarely seen version. One of the original black and white versions was shown for the first time on Ready Steady Go! on Friday 3 June. A highlight is John attempting to mime the backward vocal at the end of the song.
The band knew of Michael LindsayHogg, who directed both shoots, through his work on Ready Steady Go! A full-time employee of AssociatedRediffusion, Hogg asked for time off to shoot the promo films for The Beatles. His bosses reluctantly agreed, then deducted two days’ pay from his salary