In 1966, a certain tune shook the music industry and carved its place in history. The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows was no ordinary song; it was a trippy, dreamy, and kaleidoscopic masterpiece that defied conventions and became a groundbreaking demonstration of the creative potential of psychedelics
Tomorrow Never Knows was a game-changer. It broke new ground and influenced countless artists who came after, from Pink Floyd and David Bowie to Radiohead, Beck, and beyond. The song’s trippy, experimental nature reflected the band’s growing interest in the psychedelic experience, a journey that would have a profound impact on their music and their lives.
At its core, Tomorrow Never Knows is an invitation to explore the depths of the human mind. The lyrics are cryptic and evocative, filled with references to the Tibetan Book of the Dead and other mystical texts. If the song can be said to have a message, it might be that reality is not fixed or static, but rather a fluid and ever-changing stream of consciousness. Groovy stuff.
Musically, Tomorrow Never Knows is equally groundbreaking, with its droning, looping melody created by running John Lennon’s vocals through a Leslie speaker and a series of tape loops. The result is a swirling, otherworldly sound that perfectly captures the song’s psychedelic spirit.
The song’s experimental nature is exemplified by its use of unconventional instrumentation. The Beatles used sitars, tambouras, and other exotic instruments to create a mesmerizing soundscape both disorienting and mesmerizing. The influence of Indian classical music is particularly evident in the song’s use of a drone, a hallmark of the genre.
In addition to its musical and lyrical innovations, Tomorrow Never Knows also reflects the Beatles’ growing interest in Eastern philosophy and spirituality. The song’s title is derived from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s book, “The Science of Being and the Art of Living,” and its lyrics are filled with references to meditation, enlightenment, and the dissolution of the ego. This embrace of Eastern spirituality would become a major theme in the Beatles’ later work, and would help to inspire a generation of spiritual seekers and countercultural rebels.
In this humble Beatles fan’s opinion, Tomorrow Never Knows remains a testament to the transformative power of psychedelics. The possibilities are limitless, it tells us, and the journey is just beginning.