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The Beatles Rubber Soul album cover
3.98 | 878 ratings | 45 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1965

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Drive My Car (2:30)
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (2:05)
3. You Won't See Me (3:22)
4. Nowhere Man (2:44)
5. Think for Yourself (2:19)
6. The Word (2:43)
7. Michelle (2:42)
8. What Goes On (2:50)
9. Girl (2:33)
10. I'm Looking Through You (2:27)
11. In My Life (2:27)
12. Wait (2:16)
13. If I Needed Someone (2:23)
14. Run for Your Life (2:18)

Total Time 35:39

Line-up / Musicians

- George Harrison / lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, sitar (2), bass, lead (5,13), harmony (4,6) & backing vocals
- John Lennon / rhythm & acoustic guitars, Vox Continental organ, lead (2,4,6,9,11,12,14), harmony (1) & backing vocals
- Paul McCartney / bass, acoustic & lead guitars, piano (1,3,6), lead (1,3,6,7,10,12), harmony (2,4,) & backing vocals
- Ringo Starr / drums, maracas, tambourine, cowbell, bells, cymbals, Hammond (10), lead vocals (8)

- George Martin / piano (11), harmonium (6), producer
- Mal Evans / Hammond (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Robert Freeman (photo)

LP Parlophone - PMC 1267 (1965, UK) Mono version
LP Parlophone - PCS 3075 (1965, UK) Stereo version

CD Parlophone - CDP 7 46440 2 (1987, Europe) New Stereo mix by George Martin
CD Parlophone - 0946 3 82418 2 9 (2009, Europe) Stereo remaster by Guy Massey & Steve Rooke; CD-ROM section includes Mini-Documentary video

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE BEATLES Rubber Soul Music

THE BEATLES Rubber Soul ratings distribution

(878 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE BEATLES Rubber Soul reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rubber Soul is where the Beatles really began to shake off the pop tag and move on to something different. Named after McCartney's "plastic soul" comment which can be heard on the Anthology, this is the Beatles at their sharpest before Dr Robert's drugs began to take hold. The Otis Redding-inspired opener "Drive my car" kicks off the album nicely, before we move into the pyromaniac "Norwegian Wood" (supposedly Lennon confessing an affair). "You won't see me" is another rocker, possibly overlong. "Nowhere Man" features some stunning harmonies (even better on the recent Yellow Submarine songtrack CD). "Think for yourself" is the first of Harrison's 2 strong efforts, featuring distorted bass. "The Word" is another soul-influenced number, predicting the Summer of Love almost 2 years in advance. The slightly cloying "Michelle" is pretty much a Macca solo effort, but, bypassing the obligatory Ringo effort "What goes on", this leads us into a run of 4 classics, from "Girl" with the rude "tit tit" backing through to "Wait". "I'm looking through you" was aimed at Jane Asher and features a great Macca vocal. There is a good version of this on the Anthology. "In My Life" is possibly Lennon's finest moment, rivalled only by "Strawberry Fields Forever". An emotional lyric, wonderful harmonies and Martin's speeded up baroque style piano solo make this the highlight of this album and a true gem. "Wait" is a rare Lennon-McCartney joint effort left over from the "Help" sessions. "If I needed someone" is Harrison's 2nd effort, featuring a Byrds-inspired guitar line. Even Lennon didn't like the slightly nasty "Run for your life", which ends the album on a bit of a low note, however this album was the start of greatness for the Beatles, eclipsed by "Revolver" the following year. I've only given it 3 stars as it can't really be called an "addition to any prog music collection". In the PopArchives it would be a 4 star gem.
Review by Guillermo
4 stars This is a very interesting album which marked a difference with the previous albums recorded by The Beatles, as the arrangements became more elaborated. The band had an evolution, and this album is one step closer to Proto-Prog.

"Drive My Car" is a good Rocker with piano played by Paul and a good lead guitar by George Harrison. "Norwegian Wood" is a beautiful song with sitar played by George Harrison. "You Won`t See Me" has good lyrics and piano, plus very good harmony vocals. "Nowhere Man" has good lyrics and harmony vocals and a very good guitar solo by Harrison. "Think for Yourself" (composed by Harrison) has a fuzz bass and good lyrics too. "The Word" is not one of the best songs in this album, but has an Harmonium played by George Martin. "Michelle" is a very good ballad, with good acoustic guitars and some words sung in French. "What Goes On" is a song composed by Lennon/McCartney/Starkey, the only song composed by the three, sung by Ringo, is more a "Country & Western" song. "Girl" has good lyrics and some humorous vocals, and very good guitar arrangements. "I`m Looking Through You" has an organ part (one chord, really) credited to Ringo. "In My Life" is a great song, the best song on this album, IMO, with very good lyrics, sung with feeling by John, and a great speeded-up piano solo played and arranged by George Martin. "Wait" is a more "ordinary" song. "If I Needed Someone" is one of the best songs which George Harrison composed for and recorded with The Beatles,is one of my favourites in this album, with very good 12 string electric guitars. "Run for Your Life" is another "ordinary" song.

Yes, it`s true. The Beatles had the time against them recording this album, so they had to use one song which was originally recorded for the "Help!" album, "Wait", finishing the recording of this song to be included in this album.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars The cover said it all. The fish-eyed , off-kilter, odd-angled picture of the somber foursome told us all that we'd never be able to look at them the same way ever again. The public's hysteria had ruined stage performing for them forevermore and they had made the decision to devote all their time and energy to creating songs in George Martin's unrestricted studio playground. The result was nothing short of musical revolution for the masses. This one required contemplation in order to process the tunes mentally and that was unheard of in pop music. But the time was right. From the strange guitar intro and chord progression of "Drive My Car" to the incredible introspection that is "In My Life" we fans knew we had ventured into uncharted seas with only the four self-assured and confident members of the band as guides. We heard a sitar for the first time on "Norwegian Wood" and a fuzz bass on "Think for yourself." We were informed that the "Word" was love and that if you didn't understand that concept you'd become a "Nowhere Man." We were told why they wouldn't be touring anymore on "You Won't See Me" when they sang "Time after time you refused to even listen." And, in "I'm Looking through You" we were told that "Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight." The only thing that keeps this from a 5 star rating is the unfortunate inclusion of "Run for your Life," perhaps one of the only throw-away songs they ever recorded. Nonetheless, the album represents the Beatles' turning away from the constant pressure of appealing to popular acceptance and entering the realm of experimentation and fearless musical exploration that was to characterize their work from that point onward.
Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is where things get really interesting. The Beatles left pure pop behind them, and started to venture into uncharted territory. It may not sound like it now, but this was a truly groundbreaking album. Brian Wilson sited it as an inspiration for "Pet Sounds." This was where rock became a true art form. They incorporated different time signatures, new instruments, and other musical styles. This may not be prog as we know it now, but it was the prog of the time.

"Drive My Car is a solid rocker, but sounds more like the big rock bands of the '70s, than the bands of the mid '60s. The bass is finally given its due (as it is throughout the album), and what is that sound ... oh yes, a cowbell (I've got a fever...).

"Norwegian Wood" is a beautifully crafted tune, complete with sitar. It's an odd tale, about a one-night stand. The lyrics must have had people all over the world scratching their heads. "Nowhere Man" has incredibly lush vocal harmonies. The instrumentation is not overblown, and just the right accompaniment.

"Think for Yourself" has those harmonies again, and nice fuzz guitar (is this the first time?). "The Word" is a groovy, funk inspired number, with a few change-ups. Lyrically, it is a great, simple message about the power of love. This also may be the first time it was used as a general concept, instead of just between two people.

"Michelle" is yet another outstanding love song, and has that added international aspect.

"What Goes On" has the boys going country again, with Ringo on lead vocal. I love Harrison's clipped guitar work on this one.

"Girl" is a heart wrenching number about a troubled relationship. The changes, and mandolin sounds, bring this tune very close to prog.

"In my Life" is a candidate for my favorite song of all time. It's simple, and excessively beautiful. This is the perfect one to play for a girlfriend who is worried about your past relationships. Great use of harpsichord on this one too.

"If I Needed Someone" is where George finally stands out as a songwriter. It isn't that he hadn't done well before, but this one is brilliant.

"Run for Your Life" is an odd choice for an album closer. Not so much a love song, as it is a threat. Nice slide guitar work from Harrison here (something he would later get a lot of recognition for).

This is a perfect album. Absolutely flawless is not an overstatement. If you have never heard it, I suggest you turn off the computer, and go get a copy right now. Unfortunately, I can't call this a masterpiece of prog, so it gets four stars. That means that it would be an excellent addition to any prog collection. Outside of that constraint, it is a must for any well-rounded music collection.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rubber Soul is the album that marked a new era for the Beatles. Gone were the simplistic pieces about holding hands and being happy just to dance, and in came songs about risque affairs, nowhere men, and reflections on life itself. It also would be the first album since A Hard Day's Night to feature all original compositions and it would also be the first album to have a Starkey contribution to it (although it was only one line in the middle eight), and Harrison's two songs would be thought provoking and prove that not all catchy songs have to be love songs. Surely, though, this album would be the first in a string of many excellent albums for the Beatles that would take them through the rest of their career's working together.

Drive My Car opens the album with a rollicking guitar lick and some nice piano work from McCartney, as well as a fun chorus and some nice harmonies. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is the first track to show the first true progression in the Beatles. This nice acoustic ballad is augmented with George Harrison's first flirtations with the sitar, and it gives the piece a nice oriental feel. Lennon is also great on the guitar and he wrote some great lyrics (about an affair) to go along with it. You Won't See Me also features some more keyboard oriented parts with some nice hammond organ bits from Mal Evans and some nice harmonies. Nowhere Man is a song that would become one of my favorite songs from the group. A creative chord progression and some witty lyrics are combined with lush vocals and a great lead performance from John. Think For Yourself is the first Harrison penned piece of the album, and similar to You Like Me Too Much, Harrison was writing about failing relationships and the idea that you don't need people to carry on. It has a nice chorus as well as some great guitar work. The Word features some nice stabbing chords and a cool harmonium break from George Martin (the Beatles seemed to be using the classic progressive rock keyboards even this early in the game) and some cool mutli-layered vocals from John.

Michelle is a somber tune with some touching lyrics and vocals from McCartney as well as a nice melody and some creative instrumentation. What Goes On is the Starr vocal performance of the album, and it would mark his first writing credit with the group (the next one wouldn't come until The White Album). It's an affair similar to that of Act Naturally on the previous album Help!, it being a more country/rockabilly tune at its core, and it's a very fun song as well. Girl is one of the songs that really doesn't do anything for me. It's not that it's a bad song, it's good, but it just doesn't have that kick that the other songs do. I'm Looking Through You gives Ringo a shot at the Hammond organ during the instrumental breakdowns. This song also shows Paul McCartney delving into the same territory that George Harrison was going into, and he did a great job at it with this sneering piece. In My Life is a somber retrospective song with some thoughtful, almost tear jerking lyrics from Lennon as well as a creative melody, and George Martin's piano break is nothing short of spectacular. Wait, and Run For Your Life are two of the last pieces, and they are a bit underwhelming (Lennon always said Run For Your Life was his least favorite song), but If I Needed Someone makes up for both of them with nice intelligent lyrics from Harrison and some creative instrumentation and musicianship.

Overall, Rubber Soul would be the best Beatles album to date and it ushered in a new era of creativity and experimentation for them. Their next album, Revolver, would utilize more studio techniques and a lot more experimentation. So does this make Rubber Soul a progressive record? Well, not entirely, but it certainly was a step in the right direction and it would ultimately lead to their masterworks and their most creative albums. For those looking into the foundations of progressive rock, you could find something of value here. 4/5.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Classic stuff. ' Rubber Soul' for me was the beginning of the more psychelic side to the Beatles. Overall it is very hard to fault this fine album from the opener' Drive My car' and the following ' Norwegian Wood' you knew straightaway this was not some fad band happy to slam out hundreds of hits on a monthly basis. ' Rubber Soul' is full of ironically....'Soul', tons of it. George Harrison's guitar work especially creative and Lennon and McCartney supply their normal truckload of fanfare. The Beatles influenced so many bands in their formative years but personally I believe ' Rubber Soul' was the beginning of further albums that helped shape the psychedlic progressive rock era that so many of us enjoy.'Nowhere Man' and ' Girl' are other great gems on this highly acclaimed release by the fab four.
Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Rubber Soul marks several important changes in the greatest band of past, present, and future, The Beatles. First, the band decided to stop touring because they believed that their booked scheldule was resulting in lower quality albums; in essence, they feared albums being stopgaps between touring. Thus, the band focused all their attention on music, always a good sign. Next, I'm sure The Beatles had taken drugs before now, bu this is where they began to center songs around their experiences on drugs, particulalry acid. It isn't nearly as prevalent on this album as it is on every subsequent Beatles album, but it was the impotus of experimentation in the band's sound and musical direction.

The other change is that Lennon and McCartney's oligarchy on the band's lyrics was broken by George Harrison, who would go on to write some of the band's best lyrics. His contributions are "Think For Yourself" and "If I Needed Someone" two of the strongest tracks on the album. Ringo also gets a moment in the sun, but his mediocre vocals on "What Goes On" hint at why he doesn't sing too often. This album is a classic of rock music. Songs like the infectious "Drive My Car" and the catchy "Taxman" bridge the gap between the hok-heavy pop of yesteryear with the equally hook-laden masterpeices that would arrive shortly. The sitar on "Norweigan Wood" shows the band's newfound sense of experimentation. "In My Life" is the first lyrical triumph of the band, though it would soon be forgotten among the avalanche of lyrical genius on Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's abbey Road, and the White Album.

Geroge Martin's production proves why he was and is the greatest producer of all time. He is every bit as important to the band's experimentation as psychedlic drugs, though I'm certainly not comparing the two;). While this is a landmark album of rock as a whole, it isn't a prog masterpiece. However, it is the earliest form of non-jazz experimentation, and it would prove vital in the maturity of The Beatles whose work from here on would be the basis of psychedelic rock which would give birth to prog. As a prog album it barely gets four stars, though Revolver would improve things and Sgt. Pepper's would see teh band's peak.

Grade: B-

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Paul McCartney came up with the title "Rubber Soul" as a pun directed at some of the black artists who were complaining that the wave of white artists (The Beatles,The Who,The Kinks, Rolling Stones who were playing a brand of R&B influenced music) were in fact playing "plastic soul" music, not the real soul music they were playing.

Though still making pop songs the band is starting to develope their sound. In fact George Harrison said that "Rubber Soul" was "the best one we made" because "we were suddenly hearing sounds that we weren't able to hear before". "Norwegian Wood" would be the first pop song to feature sitar on it. I like the acoustic guitar as well, and also the line "she told me to sit anywhere, so I looked around and noticed there wasn't a chair".

"Nowhere Man" is a Lennon song that was a depressing picture of himself. Great song though. "Think For Yourself" is a Harrison song with McCartney playing fuzz bass on it. "Michelle" is of course a classic while "What Goes On" is a very country sounding tune. "In My Life" is a beautiful ballad while "If I Needed Someone", another Harrison song has some really good guitar on it, and is another favourite of mine.

Another classic album where The Beatles are starting to pay more attention to the recording process, spending more time in the studio.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For me, this is the place where all got started (and not overrated Sgt. Pepper): expansion of music with different influences, studio experiments, early psychedelic design of the cover, and above all amazing song writing. Sitar sounds in "Norwegian Wood", wonderful vocal harmonies in "Girl" and "Nowhere Man", European classical touches in "Michelle", all show that something irreversible is happening: a progressive widening of sources and influences that would start infiltrating the simple template of the known rock'n'roll song format. "Rubber Soul" is one of the most important albums in rock history and one of the Beatles' best works.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars In 1973, I got used to the whole discography of the band and this album was one of my favourite one.

It clearly marked some evolution in terms of instrumentation. The best example is "Norwegian Wood" of course. The use of a sitar on a rock track was quite revolutionary for the time. The Stones will also use one in the fantastic "Paint it, Black". It is one of my fave from this Fab Four album.

The band have never reached such perfection in their vocal arrangements and some gorgeous songs are featured on this album which is an enchantment to listen to. The opener "Drive My Car" featuring funny lyrics is one of them even if Paul is not too enthusiastic about it. "Nowhere Man" is another one of that kind. It is auto biographic and explains John situation while trying hard to come up with a song for "Rubber Soul". Since he couldn't write anything good after several hours. He thought of himself, I quote : ""Then I thought of myself as Nowhere Man - sitting in his nowhere land". And here we go...

Some great songs in awaiting of the bilingual "Michele". Another brilliant yet simple and ultra melodic, melancholic ballad. I am virtually excessively moved while listening it for this review. Because when you concentrate on these songs (which unfortunately little people do), you are just submerged with such an emotional feeling.

The good point of the vinyl album was that you had to physically get up and turn the record to listen to side two, because the shock with "What Goes On" is tremendous. By far the weakest song from this album. Press next to prolonged the enchantment of "Michele" with one of their most melodic song ever : "Girl". An unusually mood for a Lennon song. But how great it is. Another highlight."In My Life" sounds childish and was harshly criticized by John (who wrote it). Still, a jewel in my standards.

The second Harrison song from this album stressed, if needed, that his composing skills are exceptional and I understand his frustration to be allowed to only feature one of his songs here and there on the Fab Four albums. It was his only song ever played live. Prior to this there was already "Think For Yourself" which showed interesting backing instrumental parts.

Almost each song here does get a great treat. Melody as well as lyrics. "Run For your Life" is far from being a childish song as it MAY sound. John's lyrics are rather hard towards the fair sex.

I quote : "You better run for your life if you can, little girl. Hide your head in the sand little girl. Catch you with another man. That's the end'a little girl. Let this be a sermon. I mean everything I've said. Baby, I'm determined. And I'd rather see you dead".

In other words, you belong to me, little girl.

This album is probably the best one the Fab Four have recorded so far. Four stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Using previous album "Help" sound mastery, the band added some more depth and a bit complex arrangements in their music. The success of making such an excellent sound in "Help" album made them very confident to secure the sound technology and improved their musical ideas. The opening track "Drive My Car" (2:30) depicts clearly how the upbeat tempo pop music combined with catchy chorus and choirs has made it a great track. The main structure is basically a pop music but it has been enriched with tasteful vocal harmonies, catchy guitar solo and melody. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (2:05) demonstrates the depth and complexity of the song followed with pop rock outfit "You Won't See Me" (3:22).

"Nowhere Man" (2:44) is also a good example of a bit complex arrangements with excellent vocal harmonies. The guitar melody demonstrates an uplifting mood that makes the song is rich in arrangements. It's simple but it works well. The album also features "Michelle" which has become a well-known ballad. Another great ballad is "Girl" which has good melody and simple arrangements. That's another strong point of The Beatles whereby they can make a good song with only acoustic setting like "Girl". Not only that, they can further build their music with strong foundation of their core competence in creating excellent notes that form catchy melody line.

Overall, this is an excellent offering from The Beatles.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Finally a Beatles release that here in Brazil was equal to the original, same title, same track listing and same track order. Hooray! Only the year was a bit different, since Rubber Soul was issued here in early 1966 instead of 1965 - we had to wait for their next album to see things definitely aligned.

And finally a Beatles album we can (even barely) place in the proto-prog section. Another hooray! And also with Rubber Soul we start to understand why The Beatles were so influential for the prog genre development - but they were not the only ones; around 1965 to blend rock with other genres was not a novelty although not mainstream and the first echoes of psychedelia were just arriving and many acts bought the tickets for the trip prior to them, but when the Beatles got the ship, it was huge and notorious.

Almost all songs are well-known but here goes an opinion based on my taste about them: we have good rocks like 'Drive my car' and 'Think for yourself', some fine ballads like 'Girl' and 'You won't see me', songs able to be tagged as proto-prog like 'In my life' and 'Norwegian wood' and the Dylan-inspired 'Nowhere man', a kind of continuation of 'I'm a loser' and 'Help!' from their previous albums. All other songs are typical Beatle-score and are nicely audible with the exception of the forgettable 'What goes on' (poor Ringo!).

Noticeable are the presence of producer George Martin and also other guest musicians that could share their experiences with the guys, influencing them heavily for the years and albums to come. As mentioned, Beatles showed an array of different spots going from erudite to folk and the pop-rock (and later prog-rock) scenario gained immensely with this direction. Rubber Soul isn't a masterpiece but an excellent addition to any music collection, including those collections settled on a progressive music foundation.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Rubber Soul" is the 6th full-length studio album by UK pop/rock act The Beatles. The album was released through Parlophone Records in December 1965. Itīs the successor to "Help" from August 1965. Like all preceding albums by the band, the album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and was produced by George Martin.

The Beatles made a conscious attempt at creating an album where every track mattered, as opposed to the more regular routine in the late 50s/early 60s where most artists would concentrate on singles or a few standout album tracks, and many other tracks on an album were filler material. The Beatles were greatly influenced by the way Brian Wilson from the The Beach Boys composed and structured "The Beach Boys Today! (1965)", which was created with a similar mindset. Quality over quantity.

...and listening to "Rubber Soul" it is audible that there is more substance and depth to the material, than anything previously released by The Beatles. The music is still centered around catchy and beautiful vocal melodies and sophisticated vocal arrangements with harmonies and choirs being an important part of the sound, but the instrumental arrangements on "Rubber Soul" are more clever and detailed than before. All tracks are high quality material (maybe except for the Ringo Starr led "What Goes On". The man just doesnīt have a very interesting voice or delivery). Tracks like "Drive My Car", "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (with added citar! A new thing in The Beatles universe), "Nowhere Man", "The Word", "In My Life", "If I Needed Someone" and the beautiful ballad "Michelle" are all standout tracks, but as mentioned almost every track on the album could be mentioned as a highlight.

Thereīs no arguing that "Rubber Soul" proved to be a game changer. Not only in the bandīs own discography, but also on the pop/rock music scene as a whole. The idea to give every track on an album release the same attention and thereby create a more well rounded and whole listening experience influenced a lot of other artists to try and do something similar. Itīs obvious on many subsequent 1966 and 1967 album releases that the album format suddenly had more focus, although singles were too still a very important release format in those years. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Review by Negoba
4 stars The Best of the Best

This may be the best album ever made. The Beatles, that almost unholy convergence of talent and good luck, were just starting to grow up. Their pop craft was at its sharpest and if I were to pick one album as a textbook for songwriting, this is the one. Melody, harmony, economy, rhythm, all the basics are so perfectly in evidence here that despite hour after hour of study, I still learn every time I return to these songs. Even the misogynistic "Run for your Life" is a splendid piece of songcraft despite it's now cringe-worthy lyrics.

Much of the album centers around the slow death of Paul McCartney's relationship with actress Jane Asher. Many of his songs like "You Won't See Me" and "I'm Looking Through You" have a bite that they never did either before or after this album. At the same John writes some of his most tender love songs ("In My Life", "Girl") while starting to develop his alter-ego theme ("Nowhere Man"). In all, everything that was good about the Beatles meets here, and continues for one more album. But where on Revolver the experimentation had really begun in earnest, on Rubber Soul, it was still in its infancy. The simple sitar line in "Norwegian Wood" introduces a flavor the would later define a generation, but here it seems almost innocent and quaint. At the same time, the songs on Revolver are not quite as strong but their sound was so revolutionary that it triumphed not only as icon of rock but of prog as well.

Here on prog archives, I cannot call this a masterpiece of progressive rock music, because it just wasn't all that progressive. But as a piece of perfect songwriting, it is still an excellent addition to any collection.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The first of my two Beatle masterpieces

I will go to my grave fighting the widely held, errant belief that Revolver and Abbey Road are the best Beatles albums. For when one strips away the flowery frosting and looks to the most important factor of great songwriting, it is the material recorded just prior to these albums that are the finest Beatle recordings: Rubber Soul and Let It Be. I can already hear the howling out there and the rolling of every pair of eyes, but alas, for these two albums I shall suffer the disdain of my peers.

Rubber Soul was released in December of 1965 closing out another fantastic year for the lads. They had resolved to write all original material for this one and spend much more time in the studio. I believe they logged over 100 hours on this, probably extravagant at the time, these days just enough time for Big Star X to arrange the candles and schedule tee times for midday break. Revolver is worshiped by every rock rag as the greatest album ever and that seems to common belief by many music fans but I've never agreed. It is heralded for breaking ground but in truth the complexity level is not so different that what came a few months before it. Revolver has a bit more icing on the edges I will admit, these nice little effects and tricks designed to show off their newly acquired trippy muscles. So the boys dragged more stuff out of the closet and the prog heads see this as some huge advancement toward progressive rock. I think not. Revolver was made with the assistance of LSD and the boys were pushing things but the icing doesn't make a better cake. In fact Revolver is like Rubber Soul-part 2 but the original has a bit more magic and impressive original songwriting.

John Lennon called Rubber Soul "the pot album" for the great inspiration this substance had here. Well meaning folks will say you don't need drugs to make good music, and while this certainly is true for many artists, these folks are being intellectually dishonest if they fail to acknowledge the significant impact THC had on many of the recording artists of this period. For while the talent must be there to begin with, newbie marijuana use no doubt lowered inhibition and gave the artist just another avenue into somewhat more fantastic ideas and arrangements than might otherwise have been obvious, at a time when it was not considered as threatening as it is today. It was artistically liberating and helpful to many musicians any way you slice it. I believe the "more and harder" drugs the Beatles would eventually dive into did not help them artistically beyond a certain point, but on Rubber Soul the newness and innocence of the period experience is so obviously a positive, joyful vibe that permeates every track. I agree with Philip Norman's assessment in "Lennon" that about half the album consists of great pop tracks that confirmed them as creators of the "catchiest, classiest, edgiest pop around." And that the other half of the songs "were of an order so different, so vastly superior, it was hard to believe they sprang from the same musicians or moment in time....these owed nothing to any other current pop sound and fit no known categories."

The album opens with another solid Beatle single in "Drive My Car." Then comes a Lennon masterpiece up there with "Yesterday," the phenomenal "Norwegian Wood." John's lines about this encounter are pure poetry of the highest order, complete with a slightly mysterious ending if you think about it. The accompanying Harrison sitar part is so perfectly suited because it adds just the right exotic touch, but his part remains simple so as not to overpower it, as that instrument easily could. Lennon would easily outshine McCartney on Rubber Soul, something not true of every album. The disillusioned majesty of "Nowhere Man" is another gem. The incredible vocal of "Girl" where an incredulous John audibly inhales/sighs to express that which words left short. What a great moment. There is the tender and melancholic "In My Life" which any of us can relate to as a nostalgic love letter to our past and our future. Martin's brilliant solo is actually Bach inspired piano but he toyed with the recording speed to make it sound a bit like Harpsichord. (Like John's breathing on Girl, this was another trick that actually worked for something important, as opposed to some of the overkill effects on Revolver and Pepper that were just dressing.) McCartney's best moment was the perfectly sweetened (but not too much) romanticism of "Michelle" with its lovely guitar/bass, harmonies, and bit of French (another meaningful touch). George contributed two strong tracks and was beginning to show that he could produce to a good level despite being trapped in a band with a team like Lennon/McCartney. "Think for Yourself" has killer vocals and feature Paul on a fuzzed up bass part for a distinct sound.

Rubber Soul will remain the iconic masterpiece of the mid 1960s in my personal opinion, showcasing a band at the height of their unity, talent, and potential for fun. Listen again to them both, and listen first and foremost to the quality of the songs, not the special effects or backwards tapes nonsense. You'll find songs of equal quality for the most part, but those of Rubber Soul packing a bit more magic and meaning in their beautiful simplicity. One of the greatest recordings of all time.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While Help showed the early stages of a band in transition, Rubber Soul was where the Beatles weren't trying to hide it anymore. Love it or hate it, this is definitely an important transitional release that helped shape albums like Revolver and therefore kick-started the band's experimental phase.

I can definitely agree that the Beatles weren't on top of their game with the release of Rubber Soul. The album was released only a few month after Help and just in time for Christmas season 1965. Still, there is no doubt about a great deal of amazing songs featured here. Big public favorites like Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), Drive My Car and Nowhere Man may not be among my personal favorites but they still complement the highlights quite well. To me, it's all about those two French-inspired compositions called Michelle and Girl that unfortunately often get overshadowed by, what I can only assume to be, publics fascination with sitar sound and studio wizardry.

Yes, Rubber Soul might have been a great achievement from a recording point of view, plus it just might have been the first British pop record to feature a sitar, but I don't find these aspects as interesting as excellent songwriting. Since this album was one of my later stabs at the Beatles' discography, it doesn't have that nostalgia factor as Help or many of their previous albums have on me. Still, its a decent recording that should definitely be respected for brining forth the elements that would be perfected on albums like Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Even though I do enjoy Rubber Soul it doesn't really reach the level of the next few releases and in order to differentiate it from the bunch I'm giving it a good, but non-essential rating with a big plus sign on the side.

***** star songs: Michelle (2:42) Girl (2:33)

**** star songs: Drive My Car (2:30) Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (2:05) You Won't See Me (3:22) Nowhere Man (2:44) Think For Yourself (2:19) What Goes On (2:50) In My Life (2:27) Wait (2:16) Run For Your Life (2:18)

*** star songs: The Word (2:43) I'm Looking Through You (2:27) If I Needed Someone (2:23)

Review by friso
3 stars The Beatles - Rubber Soul (1965) mono

This is perhaps the last beat-oriented Beatles album. The songs have that classic beat-music sound with it's simple drums and rhythmical patterns. The song-writing is good, if not memorable. Most of the songs are worthwhile and some are actually quite good. Songs like Michelle, If I Needed Someone and Run For Your Life stand out as songs with both good lyrics and inventive use of chords (for the time it was recorded that is). There is no progressive music to be found anywhere on this album.

I myself own a second-hand mono vinyl of the album, and I must say I'm beginning to understand the hype about mono records of the Beatles. The music sounds authentic and present. It convinced me to get some more Beatles oldies on mono vinyl.

Conclusion. I don't have a lot say about this nice pop/beat album. If you like sixties music and light psychedelic rock that sounds very sweet (as in 'candy') this would be an excellent addition to your music collection. I'm not going to say it's the Beatles, so it must be essential. Young people might even be disappointed (as in 'this is it?').

Just a good record that deserves three stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the album where The Beatles became a bit more experimental and even darker in some ways. The songs focussed on the similar love themes of other albums but there was an edge of sinister cynicism on the material; Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is Lennon at his cynical best, You Won't See Me and Nowhere Man are mysterious and downbeat. Think For Yourself is a strange lyrical beast, Girl has some weird air sucking sounds giving it a weirdness that other songs at the time did not have. Run For Your Life is a moody little song with threatening lyrics, warning if Lennon catches his woman with another man "that's the end".

It is all quite a mixed bag. The highlight is perhaps Drive My Car with such a great melody and well known worldwide. Other songs are rather melancholy such as the lilting Paul ballad Michelle complete with French lyrics. The album is one for all Beatles addicts, but the best was yet to come.

Review by colorofmoney91
1 stars I'm not really a huge Beatles fan, but I know that I enjoy their music at least a little bit. The music on "Rubber Soul" isn't really interesting in my opinion, but it is very accessible.

Thought not interesting, there are some moments that set this apart from most poppy music (inclusion of sitars, the French language), but still, this is pop music. Some of the tracks here happen to be quite beautiful and uplifting, but I can't imagine myself listening to this album in full, and I'd play selected tracks only once in a while. Also, for being pop music, I don't detect anything memorable here.

This is a Beatles album for Beatles fans only, which I'm not really.

Review by baz91
4 stars Then everything changed. After five pop-oriented LPs, the early sound was starting to get a little old, and since The Beatles were popular enough so that anything they wrote would go straight to #1, they decided to experiment just a little. As a result, many of the songs off this record feel more satisfying and wholesome than the tracks off the earlier records. Also, there appears to have been new technology to record this album, as it sounds far clearer than the earlier records.

The first songs to note are Michelle and In My Life, both of which are infinitely more mature than any song The Beatles had written before. Girl is also a fantastic song with very meaningful lyrics, and ones that I can sadly relate to! Norwegian Wood is now a classic song, with it's cryptic lyrics and the use of sitar. Nowhere Man shows the more psychedelic side of The Beatles, although it's still in its infancy here. I particularly like the heavy sound of Think For Yourself. The Word has a very similar theme to Yes's Time And A Word, and probably inspired it. I'm Looking Through You is an amazing song with great lyrics and a wonderful memorable melody. Run For Your Life has some of the most horrible lyrics of any Beatles track: the lyrics start with 'Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl than to be with another man' and just get worse from there on! According to John Lennon, this was the song he most regretted writing.

While The Beatles had already proved themselves as a brilliant pop group, it was with Rubber Soul that they started to secure their place as one of the best bands of all time. This is an extremely important album, for The Beatles and for rock music in general. The music here is fabulous, but the best was yet to come!

Review by Warthur
3 stars Finally able to record an album in a properly planned series of sessions rather than grabbing studio time here and there between concert and filming appearances, Rubber Soul showcases the Beatles doing precisely what they want to do, with less commercial influence than ever before. Of course, Parlophone weren't fools - they realised by this point that anything the band produced would sell like mad, so there was no point not letting them indulge themselves.

What results is the first "mature" Beatles album - gone is the pretence that rock music is just for kids, and in its place comes a set of grown-up songs expressing grown-up feelings and attitudes - as expressed in songs such as Drive My Car and Nowhere Man. Love is no longer the simplistic unalloyed good yearned for in the lyrics of the early album; it's a complicated business, people make mistakes, and when mistakes happen things get ugly very fast. Or maybe, as on the Word, it's something altogether more mystical than that...

With the added lyrical depth came more musical experimentation. George Harrison's sitar on Norwegian Wood - otherwise a fairly simple (if well-crafted) folky piece - is in some ways hilariously out of place, but there's no denying that it adds something to the sound and proved to be immensely influential in the future. The fuzzy guitar on Think For Yourself adds the necessary bite to match the dismissal implicit in the lyrics. George Martin provides a harmonium line on The Word that helps evoke the cosmic themes the song is aiming at.

Which isn't to say that any listener should expect proggy levels of complexity here; simpler tracks include the beautiful and French-flavoured Michelle (check those Beach Boys harmonies!) and the almost country-like What Goes On - the latter of which is the obligatory "Let's let Ringo sing this one" number that actually works better than a good many of the songs with Starkey on lead vocals. In fact, if the album has a weakness is that it's so diverse that unless your musical tastes are especially broad (and you're especially fond of the Beatles) you'll probably find some songs weaker than others, though it doesn't quite have the chaotic lack of focus that plagued the White Album.

For my part, I find myself kind of turned off by Run For Your Life, a Lennon song in which the narrator threatens his partner with violence. Of course, domestic violence is a serious issue which artists should not feel afraid to address, but the delivery of the lyric is a slice more gleeful and enthusiastic than I'm comfortable with, especially considering Lennon's own history of domestic violence (which he would confront in some of the more confessional periods of his later solo career).

This is a second transitional release from the group and as such feels still a little tentative, with the occasional misfire here and there. In presentation it feels like the Beatles momentarily fell into imitating the West Coast pop scene rather than blazing a new trail; in principle Rubber Soul was a necessary step for them to accomplish in order to broaden their musical horizons, but at the same time the masterpieces that would follow rather leave it in the shade. A three star album made of a cluster of four-star and two-star songs.

Review by thehallway
4 stars This is where things start to get really interesting for The Beatles, with Rubber Soul being more in the folk-rock vein than the Merseybeat style. The songs are really good, and tasteful, which is the most important thing. But there is also some very interesting developments here that would lead to all manner of future musical avenues (including progressive rock). Yes, I'm talking about the sitar on 'Norwegian Wood'.

'Drive My Car' is a catchy number with a cool groove and some nice guitar work. Vocals come complete with "beep beep!" cliche. The aforementioned 'Norwegian Wood' is one of Lennon's finest so far; a warm slice of pure folk that would influence bands like The Byrds and Fairport Convention. 'You Won't See Me' has another great Paul melody that is difficult to ignore. It's also quite long for a Beatles tune. Then there is 'Nowhere Man', which isn't bad but gets quite annoying after a few listens. Lennon starts to get philosophical on this track and would take this further on Revolver. 'Think For Yourself' is a mediocre Harrison composition, saved by Paul's nifty fuzz bass, while 'The Word' speaks of the same word in Yes's 'Time And A Word'. This song is one of the band's funkiest. Side one closes softly with the charming 'Michelle', the obligatory acoustic Paul ballad for this album. It's as beautiful as 'Yesterday', and there's a bass solo; what more could we ask for?

Ringo dutifully sings his allocated song on Rubber Soul, the country-influenced 'What Goes On'. It's probably the dullest song on the album, but Lennon's dark ballad 'Girl' immediately raises the quality back up again. 'I'm Looking Through You' is a simple folk ditty but it's one of my favourite Beatles songs ever, probably because of the melody again. Paul is a master at creating medlodies. The icing on the cake has to be those Hammond organ stabs, playing edgy "Gershwin chords" at the end of each chorus, by Ringo no less. 'In My Life' is a fairly downbeat song, but it's very reflective. George Martin's sped-up piano solo is the highlight. 'Wait' is nothing special, and I wasn't surprised to find out that it was a leftover from the Help! sessions. George's 'If I Needed Someone' has a famous transatlantic riff, and is one of his better songs, although a year later he would deliver what he was really capable of. The closing 'Run For Your Life' is a bit of a let down. A forgettable tune with strangely murderous lyrics.

There is plenty of pop on Rubber Soul, but also heavy dosages of folk, skiffle and pure rock. The album's main draw is the band's increasing use of unconventional instruments, although later, more adventurous album's like Sgt Pepper would not capture the friendly intimacy of this record. As with almost every Beatles album, they struggle to give us 14 amazing songs, but there are probably 8 or 9 here.

Review by J-Man
4 stars In addition to being widely considered one of the best releases in their catalog (and music history in general), Rubber Soul can probably be seen as one of the most important transition albums from The Beatles. Though the fab four changed up their sound quite a bit from album to album during the second half of their lifespan, Rubber Soul is the album that brought them from their earlier 'beat' era to their later, more experimental works. This LP from 1965 shows The Beatles beginning to incorporate more experimental tendencies into their music than ever before, while still maintaining a strong foundation in the style of their first few albums. Rubber Soul is a fine marriage of stellar songwriting and musical innovation, resulting in an album that is instantly accessible and recognizable, yet still satisfying for hundreds of repeat listens. That is the definition of musical genius, and that's exactly what you'll find on Rubber Soul. While I do prefer a few later releases from The Beatles to this one, it has earned a deserving spot as one of the best rock albums from its era.

Rubber Soul has a pretty interesting history with me, and as such it's difficult to review this album without a heavy sheen of nostalgia. This was actually the first album I ever bought - an almost blind purchase on a $1 copy of beat-up vinyl. The LP was definitely beat up enough when I first bought it, but I must have listened to the album over 50 times during the short period of time afterwords. I simply couldn't get enough of the fantastic songwriting, unforgettable choruses, and lovely lyrics; words probably can't describe how immensely this album has shaped my future listening habits. Nowadays, this vinyl copy is probably unplayable, but I did purchase a CD version somewhere down the line anyway. I hadn't taken out Rubber Soul for a spin in years before I decided to write this review, so this has definitely been quite the nostalgic experience for me. And what a great one too - it's amazing how I'd nearly forgotten what a spectacular album Rubber Soul is!

Even though it had been awhile before I'd last listened to Rubber Soul, it's almost as if no time was lost at all. I can still remember every harmony, recite every lyric, and recall every bridge - a true sentiment to the fantastic songwriting talents of The Beatles. As with most albums from the fab four, the biggest focus is on blissful vocal harmonies and short pop/rock songs. As a matter of fact, only one song (the wonderful "You Won't See Me") exceeds the 3 minute mark. Rubber Soul is anything but a challenging album, but it does contain new ideas (for the time) such as a sitar in "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", fuzz bass on "Think For Yourself", and a generally more folk-influenced approach to pop/rock music. The biggest treat this album has is mainly in the form of blissful vocal harmonies from John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr - while these guys weren't virtuosos when it came to musicianship, they had their craft mastered, and the clever harmony arrangements are undoubtedly a massive chunk of what makes Rubber Soul such an enjoyable listen. Though "What Goes On" is a pretty weak track, there are enough gems like (to name but a few) "Girl", "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", "Nowhere Man", "In My Life", "I'm Looking Through You", and "Wait" to keep the album from ever feeling inconsistent.

Rubber Soul is the sort of album that nearly every fan of rock music has heard somewhere down the line, and there's a good reason for that. This is one of the most infectiously fun albums out there, and I know I'm always going to be in for a great time when I decide to listen to this gem. Though this isn't my favorite album from The Beatles, it's certainly one of their best - I'd recommend Rubber Soul in a heartbeat for anyone moderately interested in their music. It's rare to hear a release with this many excellent choruses, clever vocal harmonies, and well-composed pop/rock tunes, so I'd say a big 4.5 stars are fair in this case. This is one of the best mid-sixties' rock albums.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Since I started to listen music, always heard how good Rubber Soul is, and how impressed Brian Wilson was. Well, after years of having it in a box, decided to give the album a new chance, and honestly, was as disappointed as usual. Found it bland and uneven with a few good tracks, but very far of the masterpiece most people talk about.

Some tracks like the opener Drive my Car, You Won't See Me and The Wordare simply out of time, maybe in 1963 or 64 would had been somehow innovative, but in Christmas 1995 and early 1966 sounded dated and terribly repetitive, too many bands were exploring and were miles ahead of this mediocre lollipop-rock.

Others as Michelle and it's clone Girl are simply as boring and predictable as watching the grass grow, hey, no changes, no experimentation, just week soporiferous ballads good for the top 40's list, but not for an album that many people believe marked a crucial point in THE BEATLES evolution. Seems as if they played safe and added this songs to have good reception among teen girls who were still in love with the four guys of Liverpool.

Of course the lowest point is What Goes On, some sort of Folk Rock that really disappointed me. But what can we expect of Ringo Starr, surely the luckiest guy in the universe, an average drummer but not remotely a good songwriter or a vocalist.

But of course there are a couple of impressive songs, starting with the incredibly beautiful Norwegian Wood, a real gem with soft but interesting changes and a great deal of experimentation (starting with Harrison on the sitar), the amazing Nowhere Man, where we can listen George Harrison's touch for the first time and the nice In my Life with the delightful organ solo, but apart from this, nothing caught my attention.

If Rubber Soul would had been released two years before, I would had gone with 4 stars, but in in December 1965 / early 1966, there were many bands releasing stuff far more elaborate and innovative, so will have to go with 2 stars.

Review by Necrotica
5 stars As bands progress in their career, it's usually inevitable for their sound to mature in the process. Even teenage adolescent punk groups and bubblegum pop artists have a time when they throw away at least SOME of their young touch behind in favor for something new (even though there ARE some exceptions)... and what better band is there to represent that than The Beatles?

Since 1962's famous Please Please Me, The Beatles rose to superstardom, already becoming one of the most formidable forces of their era. Their simple pop/rock songs were addictive and fascinating to the point that they still see a great deal of airplay even today. By 1965, however, things were changing for the band. They started taking different influences than they had in the past, two of the most important during this time being Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys. This all resulted in a serious reduction in live performances and one of the most controversial Beatles releases, 1965's Rubber Soul.

This is most commonly seen as The Beatles' "transitional album, but in their case, is that really a bad thing? This album collects almost all the styles that the band were famous for, and drops them in a mixing pot. What would come of this is a unique musical concoction and a streak of brilliance. In here, you'll find rock, jazz, folk, blues, Indian music (hear the sitar on "Norwegian Wood), and even Greek music in spots! This caused a bit of a debate on whether it could be considered the first progressive rock album, but who cares? The quality is more important, as well as the old question: does this album stand the test of time? It does in SPADES.

One thing that stands out is the musical innovation at work here. You'll hear then-inventive instrumentation like using a sitar, a fuzzbox (a bass fuzzbox, I might add), and a classical harpsichord-esque piano. Sounds like these were quite uncommon to rock music (other than some sitar use on Rolling Stones' "Paint it, Black") and only gave The Beatles more free reign to work their experimental magic in the studio. The complexity of the music was also a standout during this era, as the album was among the first to have such varying tempos and to step away from the original confines of what pop music was back then.

However, what is it that really elevates this album to such a high pedestal in the music world. Really, it's because of how well the band combined their tastes and influences into a cohesive whole. Unlike their previous albums, The Beatles seemed to finally be in this together despite now have multiple different musical identities to work with. Thus Rubber Soul, despite the title, shows a more pure, emotional aspect that most bands could only hope to achieve in the pop realm of the 60's.

When the album opens with "Drive My Car", it's a little bit of a tease as you can hear many glimpses of old Beatles pop magic, of course with an extra rock edge this time around; When you're greeted with "Norwegian Wood", though, everything totally takes a shift in pace. Now sitar and acoustic guitar work take the reins as John Lennon sings of an affair away from his wife Cynthia, and the consequences regarding it all. It seems so surreal that a band talking about young love less than a year before this is now taking on such mature subject matter, but it works perfectly with the somber songwriting.

Speaking of somber, listen to "Michelle" and "Girl" as well. These are a few of the songs that utilize that Greek sound mentioned above, as well as some lyrical innovations such as Paul McCartney singing in French on "Michelle", which led to it being one of their most successful songs in said country (very similar to Queen's "Teo Torriatte" in Japan). Both songs are done in a pretty contrasting style, being in a "melancholy swing" if you will. Both utilize astounding vocal harmonies that would make The Beach Boys proud, and the acoustic lines were beyond their time, but what really stood out is how dark and depressing the songs were in terms of pop culture back then. The Beatles knew their audience weren't stupid, and they could take what the band threw back at them, so this became a plus for the band in future years with songs like "Eleanor Rigby."

The award for the best song, however, goes to the extraordinary "I'm Looking Through You;" where the hell do I begin with this one? It starts out with another acoustic guitar line, one that might have influenced Queen's "39." When the drums and vocals come in, though, it's pure magic. The lyrics speak of Paul McCartney's unhappy relationship with then-girlfriend Jane Asher, but he reflects then in a very unique way. He doesn't spew out anger or act mopey in any way, he simply acknowledges it in a deep thoughtful way. Emotion is where this song really shines, and is shows that you don't have to be insanely complex with your sound to make a fantastic, flowing piece of musical heaven.

This is the album that really elevated The Beatles to a higher plane in their career, as well as opening up so many possibilities for their sound to open up and branch out. A higher level of experimentation would be the next plan for the group, but with that said, this is the album that made it all happen. If you haven't given Rubber Soul a listen lately, dust it off and give it a try; you may really be surprised.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars

Dec. 15, 1965

Dear Diary,

Just got back from the record shop, I went with Trudy, we had a gas. We got some boss stuff. She bought the Rolling Stones, I think it's called Out of My Head or something. The Stones are realy cool but I like George and John and Ringo and Paul. They are so cute!!! (xoxoxo) I got the new one that just came out with the wierd picture of them on the cover!! It looks like theyr under water or somthing. I'm playing it now on my hifi. It sounds really good.

The first one is called Ive just Seen a face and I like it alot but it reminds me of my dads folk records which he plays which I dont really like that much and the second song is kinda like the first one but a little bitt slower and its pretty cool its called Norwegen Wood. Then comes You wont see Me which is kinda cool but not "Think for yourself" because its slow and it dosn't sound so good, it has a wierd sound. Then The word is choice! But not as choice as Michele because michele is such a wonderful love song I love it! So romantic. I love Paul!! And John!!

Oh but than its Only Love!! Sooooo cool!!!!! I think george has that echoie thing my boyfreind has on his giutar (but we broke up and Im not talking to him so i dont really know) . And then a song called "Girl" which is just so good i dont know how to discribe it. Oh but this song is so good. I love the words they write. I think this is John singing the lyrics but i'm not for sure. And then Im looking throu You-- this album keeps getting better and better and better! Then In My Life which is a very beautiful song which my Mom really likes alot. "Wait" is excellent but Run For Your Life is good but i dont really like the mad lyrics. Oh well, no one is perfect.

All in all me and Trudy had a bitchin day and i love her and the records we got. She is my best freind and I love THE BEATLES so much !

Review by jamesbaldwin
4 stars "Rubber Soul" is a great album, certainly the best of the Beatles until 1965. It represents a great leap forward in the evolution of the music of the Fab4, because the pop of the Beatles here finds various arrangement solutions and it is expressed with great variety of styles . The Beatles with "Rubber Soul" invent a refined art-pop, allowing you to touch many musical styles and to start experimenting with refined sounds in the studio.

The first side in my rating has an exceptional average quality (7.86), making it one of the best in the Beatles discography. In this side, both McCartney and Lennon write 3 songs, plus a Harrison song. Start Macca with a great track rock (Drive My Car, vote 8), nice guitar riff and in the background piano chorus; "Drive my Car" goes alongside the single of Lennon "Day Tripper", just released: they are both songs based on a similar guitar riff. In Drive My Car there is also a very good ironic text, with a chorus "Beep beep yeh". Lennon responds with the dylanian "Norwegian Wood" (vote 8), excellent acoustic melancholy ballad embellished with an ironic text full of double meanings and Harrison's sitar, which for the first time appears on a Beatles album; follows a song of Beatlesian pop of McCartney, "You Wont See Me" (vote 7,5), with time to dance, accompanied by piano, good the melody of the bride: nice song, although it does not constitute anything new, it is comparable to "The Night Before" of the previous album (Help). He resumes Lennon with another folk acoustic ballad, "Nowhere Man" (vote 7,5/8), with many vocal harmonies and an excellent electric interlude. So far there are 3 Beatles classics on 4 songs. In the album the vocal harmonies touch apices never touched so far (which will be almost absent in "Revolver"), which will culminate in the single "Paperback Writer", anticipator of "Revolver".

"Think for Yourself" (vote 7,5) is a lively Harrison song characterized by the distorted bass of McCartney that gives a threatening sense to the whole piece, well structured, with interesting melodic turns, gritty, and again full of vocal harmonies - Macca could have written it. "The Word" (vote 8) is a soulful and choral soul song, a hymn to universal love, which is difficult to consider a minor piece for the energy and the charge it instills. In fact it would have been considered a pearl, as it actually is, if it had not appeared on an album full of classics. It's a contagious song, arrembante, cured a lot in the arrangement, with an excellent organ interlude played by George Martin, who from this album will be more and more present as the fifth musician. The first side closes with the fourth classic, the melodic masterpiece "Michelle" (vote 8+), with text in part French, song of love that has made epoch, bass in evidence and George's guitar solo. It's a song that cites the lenses of the vocal groups of the '50s but that does so with great inspiration and arrangement. Macca had already touched a French atmosphere with the accordion of the single "We Can Work It Out", side A along with "Day Tripper", released simultaneously with "Rubber Soul" and he will return to writing romantic songs with a French atmosphere in "Revolver" and "Magical Mystery Tour".

The second side opens with a country song sung by Ringo (What Goes On, vote 6,5), written by the new trio Lennon-McCartney- Starkey; Harrison, excluded, compensates with an excellent work on the rhythm guitar. The song is carefree, nice, Ringo style, and follows "Act Naturally" of "Help": in both discs the second side opens with a country sung by Ringo, but here are the Beatles to write it, in this case. It is one of the lightest songs on the album, in fact the least significant. Follows "Girl" (vote 8,5), the masterpiece of the album. Lennon writes a melancholy folk song with an acoustic solo of oriental guitar, which resembles the sound of the sitar; the melody, the singing and the guitar solo are beautiful.

Another acoustic folk ballad follows, "I'm Lookin Through You" (vote 6,5), which appears to be as simple as an arrangement, as happened with some of Help's songs, giving the impression of not having completed the instrumental accompaniment. The song is resumed with the insertion of the electric guitar at the end of the verses, which tries to bring it on rock themes. Follows the sixth Beatles classic, "In My Life" (vote 7,5/8), another Lennon ballad, this time with a more structured rhythm, which leaves less space for the expressiveness of the voice, also because it almost always doubled with the choirs. The song is an almost masterpiece, which reaches the climax in George Martin's baroque piano solo. We return to choral acoustics with "Wait, a song sung by both John (who prevails in the verses) and Paul (who sings alone in the bridge), with a synchronous singing in the refrain. The song brings the mood back to enthusiasm, and returns to propose vocal harmonies: the voices compensate for the poor instrumental arrangement. Probably it was written by both, with prevalence of Paul.

Harrison returns with "If I Needed Someone" (vote 7,5), which begins with Byrds-style electric guitars, an explicit country-rock quote; the song is a fine electric ballad, with choirs in the verses and a more beautiful melancholic bridge. Lennon closes the second side (where he writes 3 songs, against Paul's two songs) with another song with acoustic base (Run for Your Life, vote 7,5) but at a good pace, which shows off a rock guitar solo. Also this song gives the impression that it could have been more accurate in the arrangement. Overall the second side is more qualitatively alternate than the first, and it does not close in crescendo, however it holds very well, the whole album is marked by songs that, despite being mostly mid-tempo ballads, are very flowing, and alternate exuberance and extroversion to melancholy.

Rubber Soul is the album of the Beatles masterpiece ballads, all signed Lennon (four by Lennon plus "The Word" by both John and Paul), while McCartney contributes with a rock masterpiece ("Drive My Car") and a romantic melodic masterpiece in French style ("Michelle"). Harrison writes two very respectable songs, much better than those of "Help", which keep the average quality of the album high. It is a great album, with only two weak songs, both on the second side (What Goes On, I'm Looking Through You), which manages to revive the enthusiastic pop of the Beatles embellishing it with rock, folk, country, soul arrangement (often melancholy and acoustic) and introspective lyrics.

Medium Quality of the Songs: 7,625. Vote: 8,5. Rating: Four Stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars It's certainly mind-blowing in the 21st century, an age when artists take several years to craft the next album, that in the 1960s artists would crank out new products at an astonishing speed and no other act more than THE BEATLES displayed not only how prolific they were with a seemingly endless supply of infectious melodic pop rock tunes feeding a ravenous music scene but in how they crafted one of rock music's most inventive canon's of product within the span of a mere decade. It was only 1963 when Beatlemania captured North America when the band instantly took the world by storm and found itself as the top dog of complete pop rock domination so it's utterly amazing to ponder the fact that within only a short two year run, the band that caused utter hysteria for the female fanbase with banal tracks such as "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was proving by 1965 that the Fab Four had a much deeper and more profound nature to their genius that was not allowed to express itself in the beginning.

The early years of THE BEATLES is a true headache for databases with different albums emerging on each side of the Atlantic that included different track listings, some the same, some completely different but by the time Beatlemania began to subside from its initial impact, the band was maturing into more sophisticated musical expressions and at last a convergence of marketing strategies that allowed the same album to be released everywhere was allowed. RUBBER SOUL was the beginning of the next step of THE BEATLES' musical reign that dominated until the band's ultimate demise in 1970. The only difference between the UK and US versions is that the former opened the album with the more suitable "Drive My Car" whereas the American versions for some reason started the album with "I've Just Seen A Face" which appeared on the UK version of "Help." This review is about the only true RUBBER SOUL album in my book, the UK version of course.

While later albums such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" often get credit for the innovative experimentation that allowed catchy pop hooks to insert themselves into bouts of psychedelia, folk music, R&B and rock music, the trend actually began on RUBBER SOUL. The title was a play on on the term "plastic soul" which alluded to the tongue-in-cheek admission by the band that their music was devoid of soul compared to the African-American music of the era. RUBBER SOUL along with the following album "Revolver" were sort of the second phase of the band that were transitional albums between the Beatlemania years that preceded and the full-blown mind bending experimental albums that followed. Despite "Sgt. Pepper's" and "Magic Mystery Tour" finding the band at the peak of their creative free-for-all experimentalism, RUBBER SOUL initiated the process by augmenting the mostly folk inspired feel of the album to incorporate various new guitar tones, musical ideas such as ska syncopation as well as new instruments such as harmonium, sitar and fuzz bass.

The experimental touches proved to be a gateway drug for the band to continue this approach until the climactic thunderous roar of "Sgt. Pepper's" but at this stage the band kept the pop infused tracks less cluttered with experiments since they were still touring and performing the songs to live audiences. Despite the inchoate experimental touches, RUBBER SOUL successfully managed to display another batch of 14 instantly infectious pop tracks that found the songwriting triumvirate prowess of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison ratcheting up a few notches in sophistication and while Harrison's contributions had been extremely limited up until this point, on RUBBER SOUL his two contributions "Think For Yourself" and "If I Needed Someone" showed his songwriting techniques to be on par and (in my opinion) even better than the powerhouse team of Lennon-McCartney penned tracks. At this point, it was practically a tradition to include on lighthearted tension breaking track by Ringo Starr who cowrote and sings on "What Goes On"

RUBBER SOUL was also the first BEATLES album to shift the focus away from singles and focus the attention of a complete album experience was has been cited as one of the most innovative moves in all of pop music. Of course singles were still a big part of THE BEATLES experience but this was the first time non-album singles were released, a trait that THE BEATLES would continue for much of their remaining years, therefore while the non-album double single "Day Tripper" / "We Can Work It Out" was hitting #1 on the singles charts, the album RUBBER SOUL was set apart from it in terms of musical experiences thus creating a newly uncharted duality that more serious rock bands would adopt. Of course RUBBER SOUL itself hit #1 and contained 14 well crafted pop tunes that were all worthy of singles consideration in their own right and both "Michelle" and "Girl" were ultimately released as such. While the whole idea of a concept album hadn't gelled yet, RUBBER SOUL took the first steps in that direction with an overarching cohesiveness to the album even if not in lyrical content.

RUBBER SOUL may get buried beneath the phenomenal leaps of musical maturity that follow but if accepted on its own merits, that being a well crafted folk music inspired pop rock album, then it's hard to find any flaws in this album whatsoever. It was clear by this point that THE BEATLES were no one trick pony and had the musical chops to reinvent themselves as the musical sophistication reached new heights. By taking the crab walk approach of gradually transitioning into the proto-progressive and psychedelically infused albums that followed, RUBBER SOUL was more than an extraordinarily strong album of ingenious pop hooks supplied by inventive instrumental interplay and soulful harmonic interactions but also served as an invitation into a much richer musical universe that even THE BEATLES themselves were not sure as to where it would lead. The remarkable success of RUBBER SOUL that outsold all the albums before was an affirmation that the public was ready to follow anywhere THE BEATLES were willing to go and as such RUBBER SOUL was that musical portal that gave permission to the entire explorative nature of all the creativity that followed to blossom like a million flowers in spring time and therefore RUBBER SOUL should never be forgotten for this amazingly underappreciated significance.

4.5 but i'm rounding this sucka UP!

Review by patrickq
4 stars Rubber Soul, the Beatles' sixth album, represents a turning point in a number of senses. To begin with, it's the first Beatles LP that strikes me as an album, not just a collection of songs. A part of this may be because two of their strongest pre-1966 songs, "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out," were left off the album, being released instead as a double A-side single. This deprives Rubber Soul of two classics, but it also emphasizes the quality of the "deep cuts" here. Rubber Soul was their strongest album since A Hard Day's Night (their third, released just a year and a half earlier); but the strength of A Hard Day's Night was in its standalone songs.

And in another significant shift, Paul McCartney's songwriting improves perceptibly. "We Can Work It Out" was largely a McCartney composition, but it required Lennon's input to make it the classic it became. McCartney's best songwriting days still lay ahead, but his Rubber Soul songs, like "Wait" and "You Won't See Me," were on a par with Lennon's. This must've been a factor contributing to the decision not to include any cover songs. Among the other strong tracks are the fun "What Goes On," credited to Lennon, McCartney, and drummer Ringo Starr; and Lennon's "The Word" and "In My Life." While Lennon's ventures into weighty material don't always work (e.g., the nonetheless catchy "Nowhere Man"), "In My Life" and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" represent Lennon's growing lyrical sophistication. Meanwhile "Girl" and McCartney's "Michelle" are examples of songs which work much better as album tracks than singles (although they received plenty of airplay, it seems, on MOR radio stations eager to play hip music which was nonetheless within the taste range of its presumably staid audience).

Rubber Soul isn't an unqualified success, and to use a cliché, it pales in comparison to either of the group's next two albums, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But while it doesn't rise to masterpiece status, Rubber Soul is a part of a truly great run of albums by a truly great rock band.

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5 stars I gain satisfaction from the process of deciding what album I'd like to review next for Most recently, I've realized I've only reviewed one of Genesis' albums, "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." My ostensible choice for my next review was Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail . . . ." ... (read more)

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4 stars Rubber Soul was a major leap forward in the already high-quality Beatles output. Maturing studio and playing abilities as well as exploring LSD did contribute to the legendary position of Rubber Soul. Starr showed promising drumming treats coming out of his comfort zone. Lennon/McCartney provided ... (read more)

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5 stars Rubber Soul by British pop/rock band The Beatles, released in December 1965 as the bands sixth studio album. This is the first album by the band to start heading in the psychedelic direction, reaching its all time high in Sgt Peppers, with Revolver coming before that. Rubber Soul shows great ins ... (read more)

Report this review (#2508918) | Posted by Lieutenant_Lan | Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars By 1965, Beatlemania had reached its climax. The Beatles were getting tired of the hysteria around them, especially the horrible conditions under which they were touring, not to mention the concerts where no one, including themselves, could hear the music because of the screams. Playing concerts was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2500947) | Posted by The Anders | Monday, February 1, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Probably the Most Musical of the early (pre-Sgt Pepper) Albums. Despite being put together quickly back in 1965, this album is surprisingly musical. While all Beatles albums have withstood the trials of time, this album is notable for having virtually of the songs remain strong after 50 years and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1698705) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, March 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rubber Soul-Drive my car, Norwegian wood, Nowhere man, Michelle, Girl, In my life are songs for ever. And the rest are also beautiful songs. I still look at this site and don't understand how The Beatles are so underrated, although I noticed their ratings are climbing steadily. Maybe in the end ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378153) | Posted by ridemyfacetochicago | Thursday, March 5, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For my 1st Beatles album review I chose Rubber Soul. The simple reason is that it is probably my favorite Beatle album. It's a very close call between this and Revolver, but I have to give the edge to RS. This is definitely a 5 star album for me; this is the Beatles at their best. I think ... (read more)

Report this review (#917283) | Posted by thwok | Thursday, February 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I've always viewed Rubber Soul as a strong transition album to their more, artsy, phychadelci period. This album is no longer completely dominated by love related lyrical content as it has been on every album since. Musically, it's still simple two minute pop-rock, but at least the sound is improvin ... (read more)

Report this review (#771417) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: 9/10 This is the 1st album of the 2nd part on Beatles' career. It is a masterpiece. They start being aware of the recording studio possibilities. The experimentation is gradual, but evident. Once again, Mc Cartney is ahead of the rest. He opens the door with "Drive my car", ... (read more)

Report this review (#458486) | Posted by Mattiias | Thursday, June 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 'Rubber Soul' is a very important album because it took rock music to a new level. The band proved to be more talented than anyone had imagined. On one hand, the songwriting took an enormous turn. There's some vivid imagery and themes about life and its emotions.The opening 'Drive My Car' also ... (read more)

Report this review (#438382) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ot ... (read more)

Report this review (#359045) | Posted by Floydman | Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The first of many innovations in music, like technical death metal. The Beatles - Rubber Soul (1965) Overall Rating : 11 (That's a LOW eleven, sirs, exactly the opposite of their mental composure) Best Song : NORWEGIAN WOOD (THE BIRD HAS FLOWN), or YOU WONT SEE ME So no this isn't the ri ... (read more)

Report this review (#293977) | Posted by Alitare | Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the first great Beatles album. It marks an important transition in the band when they were getting rid of their pop rock and roll style and moving onto something different. It is not their former pop genre, though it is not their great psychedelic era yet. Most tracks are different th ... (read more)

Report this review (#278597) | Posted by BrownsFan | Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This and Revolver are like two peas in a pod. Sometimes lumped together unfairly (I just did it). I think Revolver is decidedly more psychedelic, or moving that direction. Rubber Soul is like a culmination of their early period, and what a fast early period from 62 to 65. Rubber Soul is in ... (read more)

Report this review (#273761) | Posted by akajazzman | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Around the world with The Beatles. This is the album where I feel this band came of age. Or maybe they came on age on Help ? In any case, the naivity has gone and been replaced with well crafted songs. Although this album scatters in all directions. From their usual naive pop to soul, Indian ... (read more)

Report this review (#240656) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, September 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The record that started it all, for The Beatles and for the music from 1965 to date. As Noel Gallager (Beatle wannabe) once said "Rubber Soul is the best album of all time.." maybe not the best but it's the one that put The Beatles in a higher level than the rest of the bands of their gener ... (read more)

Report this review (#89313) | Posted by Pascual | Saturday, September 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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