Rubber Soul (1965)


1.Drive My Car
2.Norwegian Wood
3.You Won't See Me
4.Nowhere Man
5.Think For Yourself
6.The Word
7.Michelle
8.What Goes On
9.Girl
10.I'm Looking Through You
11.In My Life
12.Wait
13.If I Needed Someone
14.Run For Your Life

 

By the time 1965 had arrived, the mass hysteria known as "Beatlemania" had come and gone. Like everything else, the novelty just plain wore off and there were some teenagers that even proclaimed that they didn't even like the group anymore. Whether or not it was a coincidence, the band would soon turn out its most creative, innovative piece at the time and, as they would prove with later albums, they still had an awful lot to offer. The Rubber Soul album was mainly influenced by two things: Bob Dylan and marijuanna. A bit ironic since it was Dylan that introduced them to the cannibis plant. Upon completion of the album, the band was so excited that they even played the album for their idol as if they needed to seek his approval.

Although not as eclectic as some of their future albums, they do explore many uncharted waters here - George Harrison's guitar crunches through many of the songs giving them the stamp of indistinguishable Beatle flair - very obvious on the opening track Drive My Car which, like many other tracks features a heavy piano accompaniment. They show off their perfect harmonies on songs sunch as Nowhere Man and Girl. John Lennon features probably the best Beatles song ever with In My Life that has sort of evolved into an epitath of himself and the greatness of this band and still sounds fresh so many years later. Also worth mentioning is the sitar laced Norwegian Wood that has them at their most experimental (at that time) which, strangely, is a masked song of infidelity. Paul shows that he can keep the pace with Michelle, one of his beautiful slower paced songs complete with acoustic guitar and french horn (and a french chorus, to boot). Ringo does his obligatory countryish What Goes On which sounds very similar to every thing else that Ringo does, but it has it's charms.

There are moments of monotony. You Won't See Me, although definitely a worthy piece, seems a bit too draggish and doesn't carry the same variety as many other songs on the package, as does Wait. Ironically the two sound like the same song. Overall though, the whole album serves as a timeless classic and most critics rank it as one of the best Beatles albums ever. Although many songs may not be as recognizable to the general public as some songs on other albums, this was definitely the biggest commercial leap the band ever attempted and they came through with flying colors.

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