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  • John Lennon compared TV music to The Beatles’ Revolver.
  • He felt advertisements were “selling” President Richard Nixon.
  • Revolver became a smash in two different decades in the United Kingdom.

In the early 1970s, John Lennon said jingles sounded like The Beatles’ Revolver. In addition, he revealed what he thought about advertising. Notably, Revolver produced three hits in the United States and two in the United Kingdom.

John Lennon said jingles were as good as the music from The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’

The book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon features an interview from 1972. In it, John discussed the Fab Four’s influence. “People are talking about Beatles music,” he said. “The commercial music on TV they use for the back of ads is as good as Revolver, it sounds like to me. 

“When you make a decision about the kind of music you’re gonna make and you listen to what they’re making on adverts, which is pretty competent, technical, produced pop mulch bubblegum, you have to decide you’re gonna sing about something real when you hear that,” he added. “Because they’re doing it as well as anybody, you know. Selling soft soap and Tricky Dicky and the rest of it.” For context, “Tricky Dick” was a pejorative nickname for President Richard Nixon.

Why The Beatles wouldn’t be in commercials no matter how many times they were asked

Subsequently, John was asked if anyone tried to get The Beatles to appear in commercials. “There were offers many times for different things, like maybe Coke and things like that, but Beatles … we never wanted to associate ourselves with one product,” he recalled. “We all thought it was a bit demeaning, you know.”

Subsequently, John was asked if he was aware Johnny Cash was doing lots of commercials. “I’m never surprised at any of it,” John revealed. “There’s so many people … suddenly somebody’s in because they did this and that. Now they’re out because they did that.” John tried to stay out of the cycle of popularity.


1 Song From The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Didn’t Become a Hit Until Years After the Band Broke Up

How ‘Revolver’ and its songs performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

Revolver was a massive hit in the United States. It topped the Billboard 200 for six weeks, staying on the chart for 94 weeks in total. Three of its songs became hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100: “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yellow Submarine,” and “Got to Get You into My Life.” Each of those tunes stuck around, and “Got to Get You into My Life” inspired a hit cover by Earth, Wind & Fire. That version of the tune appeared in the Bee Gees’ film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Official Charts Company reports Revolver was big in the United Kingdom as well. There, the album reached No. 1 and stayed on the chart for 34 weeks. In 1987, Revolver peaked at No. 2 and lasted on the chart for another 33 weeks. In the U.K., “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine” both became hits, but “Got to Get You into My Life” did not.

Revolver is great and commercials wouldn’t be the same without it.