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Why Isn't ' Rubber Soul ' Our Favourite Beatles Album ?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Wildest cat from montana, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. douglas mcclenaghan

    douglas mcclenaghan Forum Resident

    This is good. I find RS el blando; nothing jumps out and grabs me.
    angelo73 likes this.
  2. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    Depends what day you ask him, sometimes it's 'Let It Be'...
  3. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    It's too slickly arranged and performed, like a paint-by-numbers portrait. I don't doubt the songwriting is good, but I think George Martin had his fingers in more than a few of the stilted arrangements. It doesn't have any organic spontaneity, and half the songs don't have a groove to speak of.
  4. theMot

    theMot Forum Resident

    It's great but it gets overshadowed by the brilliance of Revolver. The only song off Rubber soul up to Revolver standard is Norwegian wood.
  5. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Every Beatles album is somebody's favorite Beatles album. Magical Mystery Tour (the U.S. one) was mine until I found the UK edition of Revolver. Many people swear by the U.S. Rubber Soul as the best.
    D-rock, Mackaveli, Suncola and 4 others like this.
  6. Mackaveli

    Mackaveli Forum Resident

    I too have always felt some weird vibe from the instrumentation here. Some of it just doesn't feel like The Beatles
  7. Kerm

    Kerm Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    It would make the record SO much better. I know “Run For Your Life” gets a lot of hate. On an earlier record it maybe wouldn’t bother me so much, but the maturity of “Rubber Soul” makes it an outlier. The fact that it’s the closer is especially mystifying. But it’s probably proof it would be one more record until the Beatles really considered the power of the album and sequencing.
  8. Chazz Avery

    Chazz Avery Music Addict

    For me, the US version has always been my favorite Beatles album. Here i am with my original copy 40 years apart.

    jpw67, Blue Cactus, Peachy and 25 others like this.
  9. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Ok album.

    I prefer Revolver, AHDN, and HELP more.
  10. Mackaveli

    Mackaveli Forum Resident

    What is really so mature about Rubber Soul? Run For Your Life isn't really anymore immature than Norwegian Wood
  11. Kerm

    Kerm Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Look, it’s not Tolstoy but it’s a step up from Help! (Though I might like Help! more?). I do think “Norwegian Wood” is a vastly more poetic, evocative and genuine feeling depiction of a bad relationship (or fling) than the goofy, hamfisted “Run For Your Life.” Your mileage clearly varies.
  12. Mackaveli

    Mackaveli Forum Resident

    I love Help! I suppose I get your angle on it but I enjoy Run For Your Life. I like the reference to the Elvis song and I've never understood the dislike a lot of people seem to have with it
  13. wellhamsrus

    wellhamsrus Surrender to the sound

    Possessive jealousy like "Well, I'd rather see you dead, little girl/Than to be with another man" isn't really mature, whereas the adultery of Norwegian Wood is necessary adult.
  14. Kerm

    Kerm Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I don’t know! I think a fascinating, mature song can be written about possessive jealousy. Or any subject! I just know the “Run For Your Life” ain’t it. It’s just a cringe.
  15. jpgrbtalls

    jpgrbtalls Forum Resident

    Rubber Soul (UK version) is the album that illustrates the Beatles are leaving Beatlemania behind them. The arrangements, musicianship, artwork and songwriting point to a new phase. If We Can Work It Out and Day Tripper were included then there would be no discussion about it's place in their best work.

    IMO the one track that lets it down is What Goes On. Also, their calendar was quite hectic so they had to resort to using an outtake (Wait) from Help! to make up the 14 tracks they needed.

    To me it is a great album and the beginning of their studio dominance right through to their break up.
  16. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    Rubber Soul is great. Not their best. Wait, What Goes On, Run For Your Life and Think For Yourself are ordinary.

    Of course, many other great tunes but it feels a bit rushed (which it was). The drums are still light sounding; Paul finds his Rickenbacker bass and that’s huge. But George and John guitar tones sound limp and sometimes shrill. By end of 1965, other bands were rocking circles around The Beatles tonally and energy-wise. Revolver would rectify that to a point but 1965 was the year that the competition became fierce.
  17. mschrist

    mschrist Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    I think "Rubber Soul" used to be rated a little higher in the Beatles catalog. Paul Gambaccini's 1978 Critic's Choice: Top 200 Albums book, which asked rock critics their favorites, had "Rubber Soul" as the second-highest-rated Beatles album (after "Sgt. Pepper") and the fifth-highest-rated overall. Both Robert Christgau and Cameron Crowe individually rated it their favorite Beatles album in that book. "Rubber Soul" was also described by Peter Herbst in the 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide as "perhaps the Beatles' greatest album". All three of these critics were likely referring to the pre-1987 U.S. tracklisting, which (I think) is tighter and just plain better.

    But I think that's mostly splitting hairs. Even if "Revolver" and "Abbey Road" tend to get rated more ecstatically today it's still the case that "Rubber Soul" continues to be regarded as among the all-time greats. The new, shaken-up Rolling Stone all-time poll had it at #35 -- that's still really high!
  18. ostrichfarm

    ostrichfarm Forum Resident

    New York
    My wife and I listened to Rubber Soul not so long ago and were both surprised by how little we enjoyed it, at least as an album.

    The tracks that later showed up on Red are all good (though I've never been much for "Nowhere Man"), and I've come to like both of the Harrison tracks (though of the two I much prefer "If I Needed Someone", which I like more than most of the Byrds tracks it imitates).

    But most of the other songs do little for me and have an odd tendency to wear out their welcome despite their short length. "I'm Looking Through You" is a close call but I don't like the tape speed-up and prefer the Anthology outtake.

    Of course, any album with "In My Life" and "Norwegian Wood" is still a remarkable thing. But for me, the Beatles' great run as an "albums band" begins with Revolver and ends with Abbey Road.
  19. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Salem, MA
    I love the song, in spite of the lyrics. It's a favorite on the album. It's so damn catchy, as is just about everything on the album.
  20. unfunkterrible

    unfunkterrible Forum Resident

    A Coruña , Spain
    Rubber Soul is just an intermediate phase in the constant evolution of the Beatles, this constant moving forward is for many one of the best things about them so it would be counterintuitive to designate this, say, stage C as the best when you got F or G.
    Personally I think is my favorite, not necessarily their best, the perfect mix of the freshness of their early formal simplicity with the freshness of a new intellectual sophistication and new horizons , the moment when they meet "the future". But that's just one criteria among many, so with a catalogue so diverse it's only natural that there are so many favorites and so many best Beatles albums. For me it's enough if it's my favourite, I would be worried if Rubber Soul was considered sub-par or something(incidentally, that's what used to happen to me in regards to the Kinks Schoolboys in Disgrace, but I've learnt to live with it :agree:)

    PS: and I like very much that poor orphan, ugly duckling of a song: What Goes On.
  21. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle Forum Resident

    Plague Island
    I really like the cutting lyrics in TFY.
  22. Changingman

    Changingman Forum Resident

    Revolver used to be my favourite, but Rubber Soul took its place a few years ago.

    On a curious note, it’s their first album no to have the word “Beatles” written on the front cover. I suppose by late 1965 they had reached such a level of recognition they didn’t need that.
  23. rainingdogs

    rainingdogs Rainy Day In June

    The drumming on the album sounds so flat and weird, did Ringo even play drums on it? ;)
  24. unfunkterrible

    unfunkterrible Forum Resident

    A Coruña , Spain
    I understand the reservations about Run For Your Life, but to me it's a song about paranoia, and tongue in cheek at that, probably, so it fits their new lyrical approach, though in a somewhat crude way because of its ambiguity. Because it's written in the first person people assume that it's Lennon's threat, but from a literary point of view it doesn't have to be so; I don't think those lyrics were seen as proper at the time either, though because of more hypocritical reasons, so maybe there's shock value at play that once again would fit their new freedom and Lennon's tendencies to upset the applecart. I can't see this song before Rubber Soul, not later either, probably.
  25. Dandelion1967

    Dandelion1967 My Favourite Parks Are Car Parks

    Rubber Soul is my favourite but I reckon Revolver is the best.

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