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Album Review Of The Beatles' Rubber Soul

1165 words - 5 pages

The Rubber Soul album is a major artistic achievement by a band with an experimental
style and influence that reaches beyond the musical realm. The Beatles, a British quartet, were
arguably the most influential and often imitated band. John Lennon played acoustic guitar,
George Harrison played electric lead guitar, Paul McCartney played bass guitar, and Ringo Starr
played percussion. From 1960­1963, the Beatles worked hard building their reputation by playing
in clubs in Liverpool, England before becoming international stars in 1963. Not only were did
they become big stars, they captivated the attention of the world during the mid­60's. Screaming
fans followed the band's every move in what became known as "Beatlemania". Today,
according to the Recording Industry Association of America, the Beatles are the best­selling
music artists of all time in United States.
Rubber Soul, The Beatles sixth album, was a shift in direction from their previous work. In
1965, they were touring most of the year. They managed to record it in about four weeks in the
studio. It was released on December 3, 1965. The album separates itself from the commercial
style of music during the Beatlemania craze, and moves toward introspective, thoughtful and
sophisticated lyrics. The album has a more polished and cohesive studio sound than before
what the band had released previously. It is entirely original material­­no cover songs. It mixes
the genres of soul, folk, and even spices of Indian, French and Classical music into a basis of
rock, and pop. Harrison called Rubber Soul "the best one we made," because "we were
suddenly hearing sounds that we weren't able to hear before." Beatles' producer George Martin
said of Rubber Soul, "For the first time we began to think of albums as art on their own, as
complete entities," he said (Lewisohn 1988).
The Beatles first arriving in the US could be considered a catalyst of the 1960's
counterculture "hippie" revolution. "Beatlemania" and the "British Invasion" of the US pop market
began just 3 weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy. The Beatles created a huge

fan frenzy on their first visit to the US to play on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Beatles were like
medicine for a nation that was still mourning Kennedy's death. It's possible this healing agent
needed to come from an outside source not affected by the somber mood of the country at that
time. The Beatles' shaggy hair and experimental nature soon became cornerstones of the '60's
movement. Their song "The Word", which was released on Rubber Soul about a year and a half
before the Summer of Love, anticipated and probably influenced the movement as well. The
song has a multicolored sound with a driving rhythm. Its based in a simple chord structure, and
beautiful three­part harmony of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. The chorus of "Say the word,
the word is love" seems, in hindsight, like an anthem to the counterculture movement that was
just starting...

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