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1965 was the year that The Beatles began to be considered not just likeable entertainers, but something far more substantial. Geniuses in fact. The album 'Rubber Soul' was the start of a succession of brilliant Beatles albums.

'Rubber Soul', in fact, begins in unspectacular style, with 'Drive My Car', then 'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)' takes the breath away, with John Lennon singing a, legend has it, autobiographical song. It's a beautiful Eastern/Western mix, helped by George Harrison's sitar. 'You Won't See Me' is a poignant love song sung by Paul McCartney, and with 'Nowhere Man' following, we are already well into a classic Beatles album. The latter has John in sensitive, insightful mood. A beautiful song.

'Think For Yourself' and 'The Word' are uptempo, the former being a George Harrison song. The latter has a John vocal, and marvellous harmonies from John, Paul, and George. Both pretty good. Better still is 'Michelle', which underlines a rapid maturing of The Beatles. They are becoming accomplished at this time in creating songs in various styles. In this instance, Paul sings in French, with accompanying music that makes it sound like a French folk song.

Beginning side 2 is 'What Goes On', which suits Ringo Starr's plaintive voice, and 'Girl' is in a similar style to 'Norwegian Wood', with John again supplying a moving vocal. 'I'm Looking Through You' is unusual in that it's Paul and not John delivering a barbed vocal. John then sings 'In My Life', which is the stand-out track on the album. Lyrically it's even deeper when reading the lyrics only, and the music, especially George Martin's baroque piano, is enchanting, and it was a song which had 1960s intellectuals drooling! George Harrison's 'If I Needed Someone' is pleasant, with a Byrds style ringing guitar sound (The Byrds were influencing The Beatles at this time, and vice versa). The catchy 'Run For Your Life' sees John end things, using that sometimes spiteful tongue to good effect.

'Rubber Soul' was the first Beatles album to really take popular music to another level, and there were a few more outstanding Beatles albums to follow!

- Paul Rance/

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Beatles - 'Rubber Soul' CD Rubber Soul
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Beatles Rubber Soul Album Cover

'Rubber Soul' took four weeks to record.
The 'stretched' album cover photo was by photographer Robert Freeman. It came about after an accident elongated the photo, which the group thought would make an interesting cover.
'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)' was the first rock record to feature a sitar.
Ringo played Hammond organ on 'I'm Looking Through You'.
'Nowhere Man' was written by John, when suffering from writer's block and getting nowhere - hence, nowhere man.
'You Won't See Me' was recorded in two takes.
'Rubber Soul' had a different track listing in the US to the UK album, which is reviewed above. The US track listing was as follows: Side 1 - I've Just Seen A Face; Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown); You Won't See Me; Think For Yourself; The Word; Michelle. Side 2 - It's Only Love; Girl; I'm Looking Through You; In My Life; Wait; Run For Your Life. All tracks were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, apart from George Harrison's 'Think For Yourself'.

- Paul Rance.

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The Beatles - Rubber Soul T-Shirt

'Rubber Soul' Track Listing
(All Lennon-McCartney songs unless otherwise stated)

Side One
Drive My Car
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
You Won't See Me
Nowhere Man
Think For Yourself (Harrison)
The Word

Side Two
What Goes On (Lennon-McCartney-Starkey)
I'm Looking Through You
In My Life
If I Needed Someone (Harrison)
Run For Your Life

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