The Beatles Taxman


"Taxman" is a song written by George Harrison and released as the opening track on The Beatles' 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British government. Harrison said, "'Taxman' was when I first realised that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical." The Beatles' large earnings placed them in the top tax bracket in the United Kingdom, liable to a 95% supertax introduced by Harold Wilson's Labour government. In a 1984 interview with Playboy magazine, Paul McCartney agreed: "George wrote that and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what he'll do with your money."
In 1980, Lennon recalled in an interview with Playboy magazine, "I remember the day he [Harrison] called to ask for help on 'Taxman', one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along, because that's what he asked for. He came to me because he couldn't go to Paul, because Paul wouldn't have helped him at that period. I didn't want to do it... I just sort of bit my tongue and said OK. It had been John and Paul for so long, he'd been left out because he hadn't been a songwriter up until then."

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