The album Rubber Soul, released by The Beatles in 1965, was recorded in just seven weeks to make the Christmas market, but was nonetheless a major achievement, gaining wide critical and market success. Produced by George Martin (who also appears on keyboards in a few places, for example the piano solo in "In My Life") for EMI Records.
The album represented a major artistic development for the Beatles, as they branched out from their original sound. All the songs on the album were written by members of the group. New instruments, such as the sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", were used,
and the influence of other contemporary artists like Bob Dylan could also clearly be seen. The lyrics also showed a new maturity, as they began to explore other subjects besides romantic love.
In particular, the relationships between the sexes moved from simple boy-girl love songs to more nuanced, even negative portrayals. "Norwegian Wood" sketches an ambiguous encounter between the singer and a girl. The girl in "You Won't See Me" is described as immature and obstinately refusing to listen to the singer. In "I'm Looking Through You", the girl "did not treat" the singer right. "Girl" depicts someone who "puts you down when friends are there", and "Run For Your Life" features a vague death threat.
The album had a 42-week run in the British charts starting on December 11 1965, and on Christmas Day took over from Help!, the Beatles' previous album, at the top position in the charts, a position the album would hold for eight weeks. The album became a classic — on May 9 1987, it returned to the album charts for three weeks, and ten years later made another comeback to the charts.
In 1998 Q magazine readers voted Rubber Soul the 40th greatest album of all time; in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 6.
- "Drive My Car" (Lennon-McCartney) Beatles drive my car.ogg
- "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (Lennon-McCartney) Beatles norwegian wood.ogg
- "You Won't See Me" (Lennon-McCartney)Featuring Mal Evans on Hammond
- "Nowhere Man" (Lennon-McCartney) Beatles nowhere man.ogg
- "Think For Yourself" (Harrison)
- "The Word" (Lennon-McCartney)Featuring George Martin on harmonium
- "Michelle" (Lennon-McCartney)
- "What Goes On" (Lennon-McCartney-Starkey)
- "Girl" (Lennon-McCartney)
- "I'm Looking Through You" (Lennon-McCartney)
- "In My Life" (Lennon-McCartney) Beatles in my life.oggFeaturing George Martin on piano
- "Wait" (Lennon-McCartney)
- "If I Needed Someone" (Harrison)
- "Run For Your Life" (Lennon-McCartney)
Rubber Soul came out in the United States three days after the British release, and began its 59-week long chart run on Christmas Day. It topped the charts for six weeks from January 8 1966, before dropping back. The album sold 1.2 million copies within nine days of its release, and to date has sold over four million in America.
Like other pre-Sgt. Pepper Beatles albums, Rubber Soul differed markedly in its US and UK configurations; indeed, through peculiarities of sequencing, the US Rubber Soul became something of a "folk-rock" album, thanks to the addition of "I've Just Seen a Face" and "It's Only Love" (leftovers from the UK Help!) and the deletion of some of the more upbeat tracks. The tracks missing on the US version would later surface on the infamous "Yesterday" ... and Today collection. The US version also differs by having a "false start" at the beginning of "I'm Looking Through You." These variations have not persisted in the CD era.