I have added a post today to honor Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber… Ashford helped contribute a lot to the Motown sound… and Leiber helped contribute a lot to every sound, having a most amazing impact on R&B and Popular music. RIP, both… May you write tunes in heaven that descend upon us. Lord knows we need them.
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
Don’t worry, Andrew… Revolver is coming! In 1965 The Beatles released their sixth studio album, Rubber Soul. This seems to be the transition album from “old” Beatles to the “new” Beatles… Gone was the Merseybeat (think early Beatles, Dave Clark Five, The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits) and in was a much more complex sound with a great number of influences.
From Wikipedia: “Lennon later said this was the first album on which The Beatles were in complete creative control during recording, with enough studio time to develop and refine new sound ideas. The US version of the album also greatly influenced the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson believed it was the first time in pop music that the focus had shifted from just making popular singles to making an actual album, without the usual filler tracks. He “answered” the album by releasing Pet Sounds in 1966.“
While there is a little debate as to who got there first, it is generally agreed that “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” was the first rock/pop song to use the sitar. Both the band and producer George Martin were expanding the music and the instrumentation on this record, which remarkably was recorded in just over four weeks. According to All Music: there was “intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds… and Greek-like guitar lines on “Michelle” and “Girl,” fuzz bass on “Think for Yourself,” and a piano made to sound like a harpsichord on the instrumental break of “In My Life.”
This album was a giant leap on many levels. Rolling Stone listed it as the fifth greatest album of all time back in 2003 and All Music hails it as a Folk/Rock classic.
Although they always shared credit, it is on this record that John and Paul started to write more on their own. George Harrison also penned two songs for this album, “Think For Yourself” and “If I Needed Someone.”
Picking favorite Beatles albums is an unenviable task… perhaps impossible. Each has so much to offer. However, if push comes to shove, this would probably be in my Top Three! I love this one so much… everything about it… the music, the sounds, the artwork… this one typified the complete Beatles package. Forget it bouncing around, Rubber Soul has stuck with me forever.