Talk:Tomorrow Never Knows

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Good article Tomorrow Never Knows has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 2, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
WikiProject Rock music (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
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The inspiration section of the article references narcotics use with the phrase "tripping on LSD." This is a slang expression and should describe the mental state of the musicians in more precise language.


When the Revolver LP first went into production, the mix for the song 'Tomorrow Never Knows' used was mix 9. After the Beatles had heard the LP for the first time they all agreed that the 'Tomorrow Never Knows' mix was not sufficient and that it had to change. Therefore production ceased whilst the song was remixed so that everybody was happy before creating a new master plate and continuing production. It is believed that production of the 'mix 9' copies of Revolver only went on for an afternoon before production ceased. The way to tell if your copy has the alternative mix or not is to look at the stamped matrix number in the dead-wax of side 2. If your copy has XEX 606-1 then congratulations! Approximately 99% of copies have either 606-2 or 606-3.

This is so notable, it's ridiculous this info's not in the article! I'm putting it into the article immediately. I think it should probably be included in the Revolver article as well, but I realize (from the discussion page there) that not all agree. Fp cassini (talk) 06:48, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm skeptical of the story described above. It needs a reliable source. The URL above doesn't work, and it looks like a fan site and so not a WP:RS. — John Cardinal (talk) 14:09, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Sure, it's real. Here are the prices realized for the rare mix, 50-500 GBP: [1] (talk) 04:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Authorship of tีhe song[edit]

What sense does it make to claim the song was written 'entirely' by John Lennon, then to also say that is full of tape loops created by Paul McCartney? Sounds like a collaboration on the sound material to me...--feline1 10:08, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

I think it's fairly understood that when people talk about someone "writing" a song they are talking about the lyrics of a song. The work that Paul McCartney did on the song sounds more like production and thus he would perhaps be credited as a producer. It was often the case, especially with the Beatles later work that either Paul or John would write the lyrics alone, and then perform the song together, though the style of the song was usually dictated by the one or the other who wrote the lyrics. GIR 17:41, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

I think you'll find that when people (including copyright lawyers) talk about the writing of a song they mean, at a bare minimum, who wrote the chord progression, melodies, lyrics, and basic rhythm/time signature. Sinthe song in question has music concrete elements (ie the musical composition itself consists of audio from tape manipulated recordings, rather than notes playing on instruments), then this is part of the compositional process. --feline1 18:03, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Taxman solo[edit]

"Revolution in the Head" by Ian MacDonald, a book that is widely accepted as reliable, states that it is in fact the Taxman guitar solo that can be heard backwards in Tomorrow Never Knows, however slowed down and cut to pieces. The last work on both songs was made on April 22, 1966. 16:47, 29 December 2006 (UTC) (svwiki: MellonCollie)

I agree. "Taxman" was started on April 20 and so the solo could have been recorded and then spliced and dropped into "Tomorrow Never Knows" on the April 22 session. I think the statement in the article should be deleted unless someone has something categorical to say it's not as per "Taxman". MegdalePlace 20:19, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Okay, Ian McDonald is WRONG: the guitar parts in "Tomorrow Never Knows" are in fact definitely NOT taken from the "Taxman" solo - at least, not the solo that appeared on the released take, as careful analysis (slowing it down, reversing and re-editing) reveals. Only a single 6-note phrase appears in both tracks, once in "Taxman", and three seperate times in "Tomorrow..."; and only the notes themselves are identical - the phrasing is slightly different in all four segments excerpts. (Rather, the TNK guitar parts almost surely came from an [i]alternate[/i] unused take (or takes) of the "Taxman" solo. And maybe that's what McDonald actually meant...) Nevertheless, this is 100% original research (100% correctness notwithstanding), so I guess I have no real citations, so I reluctantly follow the rules and refuse to add these facts to the article. And hope that people who navigate to this talk page can learn the truth! (But maybe someday if I can add a few sound clips for demonstration...) Vonbontee (talk) 11:07, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
In demonstration of Vonbontee's point, here is a reverse recording of the whole song: [2] and just the guitar solo here: [3]. It's clear from the phrasing that the solos are related to Taxman, but not taken from the solo used in the released recording. This is also original research, so these refs cannot be added to the article.Cimbalom (talk) 03:56, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Uh oh - where'd the article go?[edit]

I just tried to change the first paragraph because it seemed too POV, but now the whole article excluding the lead and infobox has vanished - it still appears in the edit box though. I have no idea how to fix this - somebody please help! I'm really sorry. Shrub of power 23:09, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I fixed it yesterday, but didn't see this message then. The cause was an invalid closing REF tag. It was <REF/> when it should have been </REF>. <REF/> is valid XML syntax, it's an empty REF tag. But it's not a closing tag, and so the previous <REF> tag was unclosed. That put all the rest of the article content in the REF tag, which is why the article text disappeared. John Cardinal 13:27, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Shrub of power 15:17, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


I have rated this as a B-class article, as it deserves it. I have added some books as references, and have moved a few paragraphs about to make it clearer. egde 17:09, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

MacDonald cite removal[edit]

Someone removed the Ian MacDonald citation in the "tape loops" section. In the current (6/1/2007) version, most of those bullets are lifted word-for-word from the MacDonald book. Without the citation, they qualify as plagiarism. The cite should be restored by whoever removed it. John Cardinal 03:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Tape loops[edit]

According to Mark Lewisohn(1988). The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. Hamlyn Publishing Group. ISBN 0-600-55784-7 the "seagull-like noise" is a tape loop of a distorted guitar - it says nothing about McCartney shouting. Richerman 23:31, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

How would Lewisohn know? McCartney recorded them at home and took them to the studio, and says so in Barry Miles' book, and on The Anthology DVD. --andreasegde 07:33, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
BTW, why is this article not a GA? A couple of references more and it'd be a cinch, as they say across the water... --andreasegde 07:37, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Referencing some quality sources when making technical assertions about The Beatles is crucial. Besides the classic Lewisohn book, the Ryan & Kehew book "Recording the Beatles" is a must.

It's important to understand why Norman Smith was no longer the Beatles engineer and also to understand the regimented EMI hierarchy (which explains why it's hardly likely that Geoff Emerick was dissecting on a Leslie cabinet on his first Beatles' song). Mc3067 (talk) 03:56, 12 August 2008 (UTC)


I have nominated it for a GA review. I will watch the reviewing list, and take out unreferenced edits shortly before it gets reviewed. --andreasegde 21:34, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.: [[File:|16px|alt=|link=]]
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Nice work, all... Zeng8r 13:01, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

We thank you kindly. --andreasegde 12:39, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

My pleasure; it's a good read. The only reason for the neutral stability rating, btw, was that there has been a recent wave of improvements, and the changes just might catch the eye of someone who wants to go in a different direction. Obviously, tho, there is no current editing dispute, and the article clearly meets all the other GA criteria. Zeng8r 13:43, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
After I had added a few things I found in books, I also found really interesting. It is now my favourite Beatles' track. BTW, the bit about the rope made me laugh a lot. Imagine Lennon swinging on a rope around a microphone... :) --andreasegde 19:56, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

album cover removal[edit]

I don't pretend to be an expert on wikipedia's convoluted image use policies, but isn't the displaying of an album cover in an article about a song that's on that album considered a textbook example of "fair use"? If not, there are a whole lot more music articles that need "fixing"... Zeng8r (talk) 02:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Yup, and they're coming to get 'em all. I wonder if they're targeting certain groups, because Pete Best, Cynthia Lennon and Michael McCartney have all lost (or about to lose) photos. --andreasegde (talk) 14:10, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't pretend to be an expert on wikipedia's image use policy, but after reading it, it seems that album cover thumbnails in an educational encyclopedia easily meet the fair use criteria as laid out by Wkpdia. Fp cassini (talk) 16:14, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Citation issues[edit]

John Lennon wrote the song in January 1966, closely adapted from the book The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and Ralph Metzner, which they based on, and quoted from, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, with the understanding that the "ego death" experienced under the influence of LSD and other psychedelic drugs is essentially similar to the dying process and requires similar guidance.[2][3]

While arguably true, refs 2 and 3 do not seem to support this paragraph. Viriditas (talk)
MacDonald (2005) supports the statement that some of the lyrics come from Leary's book, so I've added that reference.Cimbalom (talk) 03:56, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

The citations supporting the Beatles having raised legal questions regarding the Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun" don't to support it as far as I can see, and I've never heard this anywhere else. Whilst the Beatles do strictly prohibit the sampling of their music, it should be pretty clear to anyone that "Setting Sun" doesn't sample "Tomorrow Never Knows": it is clearly inspired by the Beatles track, yes, but the Beatles have let far more obvious "homages" slide without legal objections ("Start!" by the Jam, "Pass it On" by the Coral). Can anyone find another source to support this? Eddie Robson (talk) 17:01, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The availability of engineer Norman Smith[edit]

I removed the sentence "(Smith was not available as he was working on tracks for Pink Floyd).[6] " from the Recording section. While the Spitz citation is correct, Spitz did not check his facts. There is overwhelming evidence that Norman Smith's involvement with Pink Floyd did not begin until 1967, long after 'Tomorrow Never Knows' and the 'Revolver' album were released. For more information, see Mason, Nick. (2004) Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Phoenix publishers, Great Britain. Povey, Glenn. (2007) echoes - the complete history of Pink Floyd, Mind Head publishing, Great Britain. John Cavanagh (2003) The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Continuum International publishing. Or just about any book ever published on the subject of Pink Floyd. Single Pigeon (talk)

Good edit, but next time leave the ref in, as it refers to the studio and the time they recorded.--andreasegde (talk) 17:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


"This song is one of if not the earliest examples of electronica." Um, no. For many reasons. For one thing, electronic music stretches back to the 30s (or even the 1890s, technically, when synthesis was invented). For another, despite the tape loops and the Chemical Brothers quasi-cover it's basically a rock song played by a rock band using rock instruments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Charlycrash (talkcontribs) 23:07, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Good idea to take it out, as it was not supported by a reference in the article. Welcome to the wonderful world of POV.--andreasegde (talk) 17:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Well on Modern Dance Magazine 50 Most Influential Dance Records of All Times Muzik Magazine

50 Most Influential Dance Records of All Times 1) The Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows" (EMI 1966) (Revolver L.P.) Every idea ever used in dance music exists in this song. The first track recorded for the epochal Revolver L.P., Tomorrow Never Knows (the title lifted from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was an acid-soaked masterpiece of prime psychedelia. Distorted guitars, Lennon's treated vocals, endless overdubs and the backwards drum loops all prefigure in some way the idea of sampling technology, while the group's interest in transcendental meditation - letting yourself be transported, disorientated, tripped out lies at the heart of everyone's club experiences. Recorded amazingly, only three years after the saccharine pop of She Loves You, this is untouchable genius [sydwaters12] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sydfloyds12 (talkcontribs) 01:43, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Original research?[edit]

The statement: "It must be noted that Lennon's vocal was clearly double-tracked on the first three verses of the song—due to the varying differences in the singing—but the full effect of the Leslie cabinet can be heard after the (backwards) guitar solo" cites as a reference the song itself ("Tomorrow Never Knows" (Verses 4/7 - 1:27 until 2:47)") Does the use of the editor's own ears to make this determination constitute original research? Karlap (talk) 23:56, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

    • "Rain is made of out of water." Is that original research? Seriously, it's obvious to any casual listener that the vocals in that section have more effects added than the earlier verses. The statement is accurate and appropriate, imo. Zeng8r (talk) 03:29, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
If I throw a bucket of water off my roof, is that rain?
Many things that seem obvious turn out to be false, and it's a slippery slope to say that some original research is OK and other original research is not. There are many sites devoted to fans providing opinions. An encyclopedia is different. — John Cardinal (talk) 11:47, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
The factoid isn't about the models of guitars used or something equally uncertain; it's something that's obviously true to any casual listener. When to-the-letter adherence to wiki-regulations triumphs over common sense, it's the article that loses. Ignore all rules, etc.Zeng8r (talk) 17:45, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
We'll never agree so we might as well stop discussing it. — John Cardinal (talk) 00:11, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Note that I did not edit the article to remove the info, as it is interesting and relevant. My ears tell me the same thing, although I am sure that many casual listeners would not be able to discern this.Karlap (talk) 23:26, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
MacDonald (2005) says automatic double-tracking was used in the first half and Leslie was used in the second half of the song, so I've added that as a solid reference. Cimbalom (talk) 03:56, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


the Automatic double tracking article says: It has been incorrectly claimed that the first use of ADT was on the first half of Lennon’s vocal track on "Tomorrow Never Knows", but in fact this vocal track features manual doubletracking.

Yet this article keeps saying that this song is the first example of ADT... does someone want to clarify and include what part of this song actually FEATURES ADT? All that is noted in this article is what DOESN'T feature ADT... that Lennon's vocal features manual doubletracking... TheHYPO (talk) 01:58, 14 September 2009 (UTC)


A malapropism is "the substitution of an incorrect word for a word with a similar sound", according to the cited Wiki. How is "Tommorrow Never Knows" a malapropism? What did Ringo mean to say if not that? Perhaps, "one of Ringo's weird sayings" would be more correct. Jubilee♫clipman 02:21, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Good point. After I read the article, I started trying to figure out what expression "Tommorrow Never Knows" was a mis-take on. I changed it to "one of Ringo's spontaneous non sequiturs"? "Weird" is subjective, and has more than 1 meaning, depending on cultural context. Fp cassini (talk) 06:58, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
McCartney refered to them as "Malapropisms" Deserted Cities (talk) 16:13, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it's not precisely the right word, but I've seen and read in several places that the other Beatles referred to Ringo's language mangling as "malapropisms", including when they were talking about the title of this song and of A Hard Day's Night and Eight Days a Week, among others. That's what they called it, so that's the word that should be used in this article, imo. Zeng8r (talk) 16:40, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

I changed it back to Malapropism, and attributed it to McCartney. Referring to it as "spontaneous non-sequitor" is purely original research Deserted Cities (talk) 18:35, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Fp cassini, it was not cool to revert this again w/o mentioning it in the edit summary. The sources agree on the proper word here; I don't see any reason to invent a new phrase. Zeng8r (talk) 02:38, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
My apologies if i transgressed Wkpdia etiquette. However...Fp cassini (talk) 02:40, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Jubilee♫'s original point that "TNK" is not actually a malapropism still remains. Quote McCartney if you like, or put quotation marks around the word "malapropism" to indicate the word is being used in a nonliteral way. I see this article has been rated "GA"; i'm not sure if there's a higher rating. The best thing for this article would be for one of us to research what the correct term for what Ringo did w/ language actually is, and so use the English language accurately here at Wkpdia, noting, if deemed worth noting, that Paul and the other Beatles (incorrectly) referred to Ringo's language mangling as "malapropisms".Fp cassini (talk) 03:08, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


Is this song really rock? The chords, instruments, drumming etc suggest otherwise. Helpsloose 21:13, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Tape loops[edit]

Concerning the tape loops, we find on this page : "The guitar solo from The Beatles' "Taxman" was also superimposed onto the second half of the instrumental break. The solo was cut up, reversed and transposed down a tone". As far as i know, Taxman was recorded at Abbey Road, april 20th to 22nd 1966. Two weeks after TNK! Big mistake out there! Jmex (talk) 10:15, 30 June 2010 (UTC)


Should a reception or legacy section be added? All it tells us about this is its ranking on the Pitchfork list.--TangoTizerWolfstone (talk) 17:12, 8 March 2015 (UTC)