Rubber Soul – The Beatles

It’s Friday, and you know what that means. We’re flashing back to 1965 to, for the first time in Colossus music history, take a look at a Beatles album. In December of 1965, The Beatles were coming off a very successful American tour, and that prolonged exposure to America’s Motown, Soul, and Folk music helped the band to create Rubber Soul. The name of the album plays off the term “Plastic Soul”, which had been used to describe soul music put out by white bands. Rubber Soul marked the beginning of a new era of music for The Beatles, and it went on to influence most of the popular music during its time. Let’s jump right in.

The Vocals:

The vocals on this and every other Beatle’s album are rock solid. The group was blessed to have three very talented vocalists, and on Rubber Soul the group drew inspiration from Motown and Soul music by incorporating seamless harmonies in many of the songs. John Lennon offers a steady baritone for Paul McCartney and George Harrison’s voices to layover, and that’s the winning formula for nearly every track on this album. Driving rock vocals on the opening track “Drive My Car,” swaying folk singing over “Norwegian Wood,” these guys do it all.

The Instrumentals:

Beautiful instrumentation. Everyone has (or should have) a favorite Beatle, and mine is George Harrison. The band’s sound just isn’t the same without his jangling guitar licks and innovative style, and he really puts that on display in this record. He also displays impressive skill in the sitar, playing lead on the song “Norwegian Wood.” His job is made easier by having Paul McCartney, a master on bass, keeping time and laying down some really grooving bass lines. Some of the lines he lays down on this record, while also nailing perfect vocals and harmonies, leads me to believe that Paul McCartney might have two brains. Rubber Soul is an album that you need to listen through at least four times so you can focus in on the contribution of each member, and you’ll get a different listen each time.

The X-Factor:

The X-Factor here has to be production. George Martin, often called the fifth Beatle, was a master of his time. Few bands during this time could capture the sound that The Beatles had, and that is very much thanks to George Martin. The band spent over 120 hours in the studio recording this album for a tight Christmas deadline, and Martin took all of this and spun it into Rubber Soul.

The Essentials:

“Norwegian Wood,” “Michelle,” “In My Life,” and “Nowhere Man”

The Rating:

This is one of the best albums by arguably the greatest rock band, and its influence on the genre is undeniable. After hours of meticulous calculation, this album gets a…


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BEATLES - 1965


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