My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
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Brief Background: Rubber Soul was recorded toward the end of 1965 and released in time for Christmas of the same year. Although, the album had a time limit in order to get it out before Xmas, this was the first time the Beatles were allowed to play around in the studio without rushing between filming and/or touring.
What I think: When I think of an album as a whole, this is the one that comes to mind. It is a piece of art as much as it is a rock album. This album would set the bar for best album ever and depending on your tastes may not have been equaled again. This album has a certain feel to me that none of their other albums would have again. There is a glumness or sadness to it that is hard to explain. It’s not hopelessness though, but there is resignation. I sort of think the fact that it contains more Lennon songs than McCartney (a rarity in their catalog, I believe) has something to do with this.
My favorite song here is “Drive My Car”, which I sort of hated for a long time and therefore has a special place in my heart. After that though it’s hard to pick and choose favorite songs. “Norwegian Wood” has Lennon’s odd abstractions, “Nowhere Man” is the epitome of loneliness. “The Word” is sort of the start of their Hippie ideals with love. The Second half of the album though from “Girl”, “I’m Looking Through You”, “In My Life”, “Wait” and “If I Needed Someone” maybe the best stretch they ever put on an album. It doesn’t hurt that “In My Life” may be the best song ever written. There may be better, but I wouldn’t argue against somebody who nominated it.
It’s sort of a shame the album has to end with “Run for Your Life” making its only negative another song of Lennon’s jealousy and proposed cruelty to his love interest. The funny thing about it, is the music is wonderful, it’s the lyrics that are atrocious (According to the Wikipedia page on the song, Lennon later agreed with this sentiment and wishes the song hadn’t been included on the album).
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I wholeheartedly agree this should be here. It’s not my favorite album, and not even my favorite Beatles album, but is close to the top in both of those lists.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (15/59)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 75%