Album no. 55/1001
Rubber Soul is the SIXTH album The Beatles released, which is certifiably ridiculous considering their first album came out only TWO YEARS BEFORE in 1963.
This particular album tends to focus on a more soulful sound from the awesome foursome, but there’s a bunch of other genres that make an appearance too – including one of the first uses of the sitar in commercial music on ‘Norwegian Wood’.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: I have never listened to Rubber Soul. In fact looking at the track list, I don’t know if I’ve heard any of these songs before.
NK: I have, it’s not my favourite Beatles album, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
CL: There are quite a lot of songs on here that I really didn’t like. ‘The Word’ is NOT GOOD. I did not like that. ‘Girl’ just plods along as well.“Is there anybody going to listen to my story all about the girl who came to stay?” NO. Because it’s incredibly boring. Ooh dear. Is that a harpsichord on ‘In My Life’? No need for that guys.
NK: Harsh. Admittedly I don’t like ‘The Word’ either, but they’re doing something different at least. Harpsichord, sitar, there are signs of musical growth here.
CL: I struggled with this album, I really did. ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘I’m Looking Through You’ are probably the best, just because they have a bit of a kick to them. I really felt a bit like I was trudging through a swamp with this album.
NK: I really like ‘You Won’t See Me’, but I’m not quite sure why. Maybe because it seems so sad? It’s a really melancholy song, which is very much my jam. That’s my favourite, but ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘Nowhere Man’ are pretty handy as well.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: As above – trudging through a swamp. Truly though, I don’t know – I really wouldn’t recommend this as the album to get into The Beatles. Probably just skip it.
NK: “Trudging through a swamp” is hands down the best answer to this question we’ve given so far. I disagree though, I think this is a low-key breakup album.
CL: Is it? How can you even tell? Ugh, who cares. It’s boring.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: It’s pretty safe to say that this particular album isn’t filled with “Beatles Bangers” we’ve come to know and love. A lot of the songs are pretty slow-going – but having said that, this is definitely a critical part of the band’s evolution – we’re moving very quickly away from their early bubblegum pop sound into some more interesting arrangements. It’s just a shame a lot of them are VERY BORING.
NK: Don’t worry mate, Revolver is only a week away. I pretty much agree with you, although I think I liked it more than you did. I’m still not crazy about it though.
Will you be listening again?
CL: Interestingly, the first time I listened to this album I really didn’t enjoy it very much. I listened to it again and I still didn’t really enjoy it. It’s not my favourite Beatles album and I probably will not be listening to it again – sorry.
NK: What’s working against The Beatles here is that they’ve done so many albums that are better than this. I probably won’t listen to this again, but that’s The Beatles’ fault, not mine.