It’s been 50 years to the day since the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and set America on fire back in 1964. It’s hard to believe it, but at the time, both rock and roll music and television were perceived as fads that may or may not have lasted.
When the Beatles took to the airwaves on Sullivan that night, it was a galvanizing moment, both for the music and the medium, as 60% of American viewers tuned in to watch these four shaggy-haired young men from Liverpool whose look and sound come to define the decade; giving birth to the British invasion that gave us the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Who, and Kinks.
The Beatles remained ahead of their time throughout their all-too-short career and two years after appearing on Sullivan, they shot this filmed promo for the song “Rain,” on outtake from the Revolver album that wound up as a B-side for the “Paperback Writer” single; offhandedly inventing the music video in the process.
“Rain” has been called the Beatles’ finest B-side and its washed out psychedelic guitar sound and stellar drum performance from Ringo Starr make it sound as if it could have just as easily been released in the Nineties as the Sixties.
Check out this uncut version of the famous “Rain” promo that’s not quite as polished as the standard version but slightly cooler and more avant garde.