The cover illustration for the Revolver album was created by artist and bassist Klaus Voormann. German-born Voormann was a friend of the Beatles, dating back to their early days when they played at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. In 1966, Voormann was asked by John Lennon to design the album sleeve for Revolver. Klaus came up with a “scrapbook collage” for the cover. The band and their manager, Brian Epstein, loved the result. Voormann was paid £40 for the design. He would later receive a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts for this work.
Over 20 years later, Voormann would design the cover art for George Harrison’s 1988 single, “When We Was Fab”. This design included the image of Harrison from the Revolver cover along with an updated drawing in the same style.
In 1995, Voormann designed the covers for The Beatles Anthology albums for Apple Records. He, and fellow artist Alfons Kiefer, painted the covers.
Klaus was the bassist for the British band Manfred Mann, and later a session player and record producer. He occasionally played bass with some of the ex-Beatles’, either for studio recordings or live performances, and was a member of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band.
The Beatles’ song “Yesterday” started out with the working title of “Scrambled Eggs.” Although credited to Lennon/McCartney, the song was written by Paul McCartney alone. Paul is also the only Beatle performing on the record. It’s the first official recording by The Beatles that only one member of the band appeared on. A string quartet accompanies McCartney’s acoustic guitar playing and vocals.
The melody of “Yesterday” came to McCartney before any words were written, so he used substitute working lyrics until he could come up with something more suitable. A few years ago Paul said, “For me, the thing was, it’s a magic song, because I woke up one morning and I dreamed it. Then over the next couple of months, I put proper words to it, because the original words were, ‘scrambled eggs, oh my baby, how I love your legs,’ which I thought, ‘maybe not.’”
McCartney composed the melody in a dream while living with then girlfriend Jane Asher and her family. When he woke up, he hurried to a piano and played the tune to help him remember it.
“Yesterday” was originally recorded for the Beatles’ 1965 album Help!
Billy Preston played the organ on the song “Let It Be” and the Fender Rhodes electric piano on “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down” during the recording of the Let It Be album and film (earlier called Get Back). George Harrison brought Preston in to temporarily ease some of the tension in the studio during the tumultuous sessions. Also, the Beatles intended to record the tracks “live”, with no overdubbing, so it helped to have a fifth musician playing keyboards. At one point during the sessions, John Lennon suggested that Billy could join the band as the “Fifth Beatle”, but Paul McCartney nixed the idea saying that it was bad enough with four.
The “Get Back”/”Don’t Let Me Down” single was credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”. This was the only time an outsider was given this type of credit on an official Beatles-sanctioned release. Tony Sheridan had shared credit on some Hamburg-era recordings, but these were unsanctioned reissues on which the Beatles were primarily the backing group.
Preston also played Hammond organ on the tracks “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Something” that appeared on the Abbey Road album.
The Beatles first met Billy Preston in 1962 when he was part of Little Richard’s touring band. Manager Brian Epstein had organized a Liverpool show in which the Beatles opened for.
The Beatles were last photographed together on Friday, August 22, 1969, at John and Yoko’s home, Tittenhurst Park. The Lennon’s lived there from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971. On September 18, 1973, Ringo Starr purchased the property and it became the home of Starr and his family until the late 1980s.
This historic photo session occurred two days after the Beatles’ last recording session together. On hand to shoot film were American photographer Ethan Russell, Monte Fresco from Daily Mail, and the Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans. Amateur film footage of the event was also shot on this day.
Three of the Ethan Russell photos formed the front and back covers of the Capitol compilation album Hey Jude (original title: The Beatles Again), issued in February 26, 1970. (Note: One of the three photos is a small picture superimposed over the door, in the top center of the Hey Jude album cover photo.)