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The Beatles - Rubber Soul CD (album) cover

RUBBER SOUL

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.94 | 724 ratings

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Floydman
4 stars By 1965 a whole scene had sprung around the success of the Beatles. Their success gave rise to a full-scale British Invasion as groups like the Rolling Stones, Hollies, The Searchers, The Yardrbirds, The Moody Blues, The Animals, The Kinks, Zombies, The Who, The Dave Clark Five and many others came into the charts around the American and the world. American groups like the Byrds, The Lovin Spoonful and the Beu Brummels were quick to respond. This in turned influenced Bob Dylan to go electric. A transatlantic dialog sprung up because of this and the influences went back and forth. This still is happening today.

This transatlantic dialog shows up strongly between the Beatles and Beach Boys. It starts in earnest with Rubber Soul which inspired Brian Wilson Pet Sound which then influenced Sgt. Pepper which in between was Revolver.

Rubber Soul is a mix of R&B, country, various folk styles, some Indian and the beginning of psychedelic in its album cover and some songs. Rubber Soul is stage one of the Beatles psychedelic sound. "Norwegian Wood" introduces the sitar which would soon not only be featured in many psychedelic songs but in pop music in general. The guitar and sitar melody is played in unison which must have sounded strange to rock music in general. "The Word" with it's R&B beat, odd drum breaks, a prolonged harmonium break and the psychedelic lyrics universal love concept that would soon be a trademark of many psychedelic songs. "Nowhere Man" the lyrics, the vocal harmonies and bright, shimmering chord fills and a chord melody solo, ending on a high harmonic..

The album on a whole is going beyond the normal sounds of pop music with half speed imitation harpsichord solo "In My Life" baroque. "Girl" European folk sounds have Harrison and Lennon both in capoed playing with a mandolin like sound and a solo in a Greek folk style. The Beatles are also experimenting in other guitar sounds, "If I Needed Someone"" has ringing arpeggiated chords on an electric 12-string with drones influenced by Indian music, and on "Wait" there are volume-pedal chord swells. On "Drive My Car" a R&B influenced track in which they create a powerful sound by using low guitar and bass in unison. Though maybe the most the innovative track might "Think For Yourself" in which like the Who "My Generation" uses lead bass but differs in the track in two ways. One the lead bass sound is fuzz upfront followed by another bass in regular tone. The other is the lead bass is throughout the song never taking a back seat to an electric guitar.

A great pop album with psychedelic overtones in some of the tracks and country-rock in some of the tracks like "Run For Your Life" and "What's Goes On" which would be precursor to the country rock sound of the Byrds, and the Band.

Floydman | 4/5 |

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