ST-2442 Rubber Soul
Produced by George Martin
Released on December 1965
UK CHART POSITION #1 (RE-CHART #60 in 1987) . . . US CHART POSITION #1 . . . GOLD RECORD (12/24/65), 6x PLATINUM (1/10/97)
Find it at GEMM
ST-2442 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T he alternately light and dark elements of love explored on Help! had become assimilated by Rubber Soul. (The album likely takes its name from “plastic soul,” a disparaging term Paul used to describe the tune “I’m Down.”) The album is arguably the first of the mid-career-to-late masterpieces (Revolver etc.), simultaneously digesting new ideas at a rapid pace (Eastern sounds, distortion, surreal imagery) while honing their pop vision to perfection. The bulk of the songs are split between John and Paul (on the US release, Ringo doesn’t even get a cameo), and though the pair were presumably writing apart both make concessions to the other; Paul lightening John’s heavy load (“Wait,” “In My Life”), and John softening his sharp views with some wonderfully fluffy music (“Run For Your Life,” “The Word”). Also featured on the US release is the George Harrison track “Think For Yourself,” where George’s hazy, signature sound first blossoms. Despite some troubled subjects, Rubber Soul has an offhand, organic charm that suggests the influence of the country. Acoustic guitars and soft keyboards (piano, organ) play a prominent role, and the band was only beginning their experiment with alternative religions (“The Word”) and drugs (“Norwegian Wood”). In fact, Rubber Soul may mark the height of their romantic ballads; if they’ve written anything prettier than “Michelle,” “Girl,” “It’s Only Love” (one of two tracks left over from the UK version of Help!) and “I’ve Just Seen A Face” (the other), I haven’t heard it. But the album also looks forward to the experimental, psychedelic works that followed. “You Won’t See Me” has that Penny Lane polish to it, “Norwegian Wood” is blurred imagism as pop music, “Think For Yourself” crackles off the speakers like the acerbic “Savoy Truffle.” Balancing the heavier tracks are light arrangements that may represent the best part of the ride: “I’m Looking Through You,” “Run For Your Life.” Popular music thought enough of this period of The Beatles to preserve it with the likes of The Monkees, etc., though by then the Beats had moved on to greater things. Today, Rubber Soul can be seen as the culmination of one style (romantic pop) and the beginning of another (psychedelic pop/rock), the first work in which the sound of the “old” Beatles (“Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “The Night Before”) is noticeably absent.

ST-2442 back cover
ST-2442 back cover

TRACK LISTING

    US track listing
  1. I'VE JUST SEEN A FACE    2:04
  2. NORWEGIAN WOOD (THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN)    2:00
  3. YOU WON'T SEE ME    3:19
  4. THINK FOR YOURSELF    (George Harrison)    2:16
  5. THE WORD    2:42
  6. MICHELLE    2:42
  7. IT'S ONLY LOVE    1:53
  8. GIRL    2:26
  9. I'M LOOKING THROUGH YOU    2:20
  10. IN MY LIFE    2:23
  11. WAIT    2:13
  12. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE    2:21

    All selections composed by John Lennon & Paul McCartney unless noted

CREDITS

GEORGE HARRISON -- guitar, backing vocals, vocals, sitar
JOHN LENNON -- guitar, vocals, backing vocals
PAUL McCARTNEY -- bass, vocals, backing vocals, piano, fuzz bass
RINGO STARR -- drums, Hammond organ
"Organ" Evans -- Hammond organ (us3)
George Martin -- harmonium, piano
Robert Freeman -- photography

return to THE BEATLES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 1965 Parlophone LP PMC 1267  
US December 1965 Capitol LP T/ST-2442 avail. in mono & stereo
US 1969/71 Apple LP ST-2442  
US 1976 Capitol LP/8T SW/4CL-2442 orange label reissue
ARG   EMI LP 9116 Braun label reissue
YUG 1977 Jugoton LP LSPAR 70809  
US 1978 Capitol LP SW-2442 purple label reissue
UK   Parlophone LP PCS 3075  
ARG 1985 EMI LP 56916 yellow label reissue
BRA 1985 EMI LP 6604115  
GER   EMI/Odeon LP 1C 062 04115  
GRC   EMI LP 14C 062 04115  
MEX   EMI LP SLEMO 20  
NET   Parlophone LP 1A 064 04115  
UK 1988 EMI/Parlophone CD CDP 7 46440  
US   Capitol CD/CS 46440  

 

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