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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influencial, Essential!
Rubber Soul is where it started! in studios terms, Lennon and McCartney by now heavely influenced by Dylan, emarked on being experiamental and pushed the boundries out, that only they could see eg, Norwegian Wood (1st Pop song to have a sitar on)Rubber Soul has a more fuller effect than the previous Beatle albums eg, better basslines, guitar work, vocal styles and...
Published on 12 Oct 2006 by Mr. A. M. Bell

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Big Disapointment..
Hello..Re the remasters..Have bought Revolver-Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour,and thought I would work my way back through the previous releases starting with this,Rubber Soul..Big mistake..According to the booklet ,the 1987 stereo remix was used for this remaster..Why?..The stereo mix is a joke with 95% of the instruments in the left channel and the vocals in the...
Published on 14 Oct 2009 by A Band fan


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influencial, Essential!, 12 Oct 2006
By 
Mr. A. M. Bell (Chester, Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
Rubber Soul is where it started! in studios terms, Lennon and McCartney by now heavely influenced by Dylan, emarked on being experiamental and pushed the boundries out, that only they could see eg, Norwegian Wood (1st Pop song to have a sitar on)Rubber Soul has a more fuller effect than the previous Beatle albums eg, better basslines, guitar work, vocal styles and harmonies! Enjoyable album in which i never get bored of, very catchy, killer hooks, entertaining and timeless with a rich mixture of sounds! I recommend, Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Wait, Nowhere Man, Girl, In My Life, Run For Your Life!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I even had difficulty slipping the album into its outer cover just like I did years ago, 9 Sep 2014
This review is from: Rubber Soul [VINYL] (Vinyl)
The music is in my mind 5 star but others may have a different opinion.

The Amazon service delivery was first class. The album arrived exactly as promised and was very well packaged and protected. There was no damage whatsoever to the outer cardboard.

The album itself was also well packed. The cling film wrap was tough and very tight and I was tempted to use a knife to open it. I resisted and found a corner to open the album with my fingernails.

The album cover was also first class and almost exactly replicated the original that I bought in 1965. The interior cover was lined with PVC. I even had difficulty slipping the album into its outer cover just like I did years ago.

I gave the album a good looking over. It was not warped or scratched anywhere and it did not look as if it needed cleaning. The central spindle hole was perfectly aligned as far as I could see. The album did not feel much heavier or solid than the original 160 gm version.

I had to wait until my wife finished playing music before I was allowed to put the LP on my main Hi-Fi. I dusted the needle and carefully mounted the album then gave it the once over with a carbon brush and very carefully cued the stylus.

The album sounded exactly like I anticipated. I could not hear any groove noise; the vinyl was very quiet.

Everything perfect so far.

Compared to what I was listening to in 1965 the music really did not sound that much different but of course in those days we were using much more primitive equipment and the record groove was wider. This mono remaster has got a microgroove which is the same width as a Stereo record. In 1965 the replay sounded a little softer; perhaps it was because we were using ceramic cartridges, sapphire needles and valve amplifiers which created more harmonic distortion than today. We also have better speakers today.

Compared to 1965 the LP has a much better treble response so the tympani is much more apparent. There are lots of cymbal sounds on Rubber Soul along with triangles etc. On "I 'm Looking Through You" Ringo's slapping and clicking of a match box is much more apparent.

I don't have an undamaged copy of the Rubber Soul original but I do have an almost mint 1963 copy of With The Beatles and the sound of the latter sounds almost as good as a modern remaster.

Also the "S" sounds or sibilance are much more apparent than in 1965. The high notes on the guitars and sitar are also more piercing. As far as the bass is concerned the notes are clearer rather than thumping out but that could be because I am playing the record on much better equipment.

All in all from a technical point of view the record and its sound quality are first class even using a stereo stylus.

I am going to ignore all the griping that we are being ripped off and all the rubbish on forums that you can hear a mosquito passing John Lennon's microphone on the vinyl version but not on the CD or vice versa. No-one is forcing me to buy the record and it is really great to hear an LP without all the scratches and popping which were inevitable, in the good old days, because we passed the records around amongst our friends or bumped the record player when were jiving.

On a nostalgic note - I did not have to save for the LP so the anticipation and great feeling of opening a Fab Four album was no longer there. However, I still have the opportunity to buy the albums singly and when I feel like it; but I really appreciate the fact that nowadays I can afford to buy a whole set of Beatles LPs in one go. Back in 1965 nearly everyone thought twice about buying an LP - even adults, for money was that tight.

I quite often play Beatles music through a low powered single active speaker and this gives me more of a feel for the sound quality of the 1960s. To me 60s mono records sound better this way and this is no different with the new Rubber Soul album.

On a technical note: do not be tempted to play this record on old "Dansette" type equipment as you will ruin it in a short time. You must use a modern turntable equipped with a stereo cartridge and needle or a modern mono-cartridge and needle with a 0.7 mil tip radius that will not damage micro-groove records.

This is an LP lover's chance to get pristine records which play without all the clicks, pops and scratches that second hand vinyl from the 60s suffers from. To get a mint condition version of this album from 1965 will cost you and arm and a leg and this album will sound better. If you are a fan of The Beatles and love a vinyl sound then go for it and the others.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music still unbalanced stereo, 11 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. R. G. Prizeman "Dickie 1" (croydon UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
I receieved my Stereo Box set, i was so excited I had been waiting ages for the improved versions. Where should l start, I decided to start with one of my favorite albums, Rubber Soul, As the CD Player started and Drive my car came on my heart sank.After all this waiting and all these years of remastering and knowing this problem can be sorterd(see yellow submarine songtrack) We still have voices out of one channel and instruments out of the other. This is just not exceptable in this day and age of headphones I players ect, this is just not a comfortable way to listen to such a great album. According to George Martin he did re balanced versions of the albums but they were rejected by apple. I don't get this at all. As you may be aware the Beatles were only involved with the Mono mixes and the Stereo mixes were knocked of in one afternoon by an engineer. With this being the fact surley as The Mono Mixes were what most of us heard on the Radio and at home what is wrong with doing the early albums propery with vocal in the centre, That is not altering history as it is clear to everyone except those at EMI that if the Beatles had no involvment in the stereo version make them sound at leat like the MONO versions. Golly to think Pet sounds by the Beach Boys on the same lablel sounds fantastic. I really think Paul and Ringo should have been involved with these issues and perhaps this could have been resolved.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in the best possible taste, 25 Oct 2006
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
'Rubber Soul' is the first Beatles album that works its magic without yelling at you. It sounds much more like a carefully-crafted gem than the representation of a live set. The band sound confident that they're taking rock music to a new level and from here on they don't need outside material. It serves partly as a wind-up for 'Revolver', the album it most resembles, but is a classic in its own right. You can admire the diversity and ingenuity here, but you can't allege gimmickry.

The stylistic progression includes the more solid rock approach of 'Drive My Car', subtle but intricate vocal arrangements as on 'You Won't See Me', the laughing effect of the fuzz guitar on 'Think For Yourself' and the smouldering, impassioned delivery of 'Girl'. There are many great songs too, as indicated by the extent to which other artists picked this album over. The Overlanders took 'Michelle' to number one and disappeared; The Truth put 'Girl' in the charts and followed suit; The Hollies made 'If I Needed Someone' another top ten hit; and Judy Collins brought out the full poignancy of 'In My Life'. Then of course there's John Lennon's legendary 'Norwegian Wood', a tale of the unexpected, as well as the instant 'Nowhere Man'.

The only false notes are perhaps 'What Goes On' on which Ringo reminds you that he drums better than he sings, while Lennon himself is on record as saying that he hated 'Run For Your Life'. Even so, it isn't a bad song. File 'Rubber Soul' under the usual - peerless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl Rubber Soul MONO release, 11 Sep 2014
By 
Steve (Leeds) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Well, this is something. I never got to hear the original Beatles' mono releases due to my age and lack of money. I'm not too fussy about the stereo or mono debate, sacrilege though that that may seem. But I do like vinyl for acoustic and aesthetic reasons, and having recently purchased a good record deck am selecting a few new vinyls to accompany my old ones.

Sound-wise, I think this is great. My single greatest worry was that the sound would just appear to be coming from a tiny space dead-centre of the stereo speakers (I have heard that effect on some classical mono CDs). I would describe the sound here as spacious mono; no left/right split as on the stereo mixes, just warm and spacious sound that is, for whatever reason, so involving you just want to go on listening. It all sounds just right. I heard the 2009 stereo digital remasters and could never understand why they were being praised so much. The sound mix just seemed to have muddied things. Here, we have transfers from the original analogue master tapes, done with loving care, and it sounds it. Clarity is all. (One strange thing though; side 2 sounds to have been cut at a higher level than side 1. Am I imagining this??).

Manufacturing is wonderful. Universal, who now own EMI (except Classics), got the German company Optimal to plate and press these mono issues, and the surfaces are wonderfully silent. I am not convinced we need 180 gm pressings, but at least this copy is flat (unlike the second disc of my copy of Pink Floyd's The Wall, which is warped, and crackles to boot. That was pressed before EMI was taken over by Universal and I wonder if it was a different manufacturer).

Anyway, back to Rubber Soul, a self-recommending album, probably my favourite from the mop tops. The packaging really is wonderful, as near to the original sleeve as possible, with wrap-over edges, a slightly glazed front, and, oh joy, 'Printed and Made by Garrod and Lofthouse Ltd' printed on the back, just like the original. They ceased to exist many years ago, but, like 'New Emitex' record cleaner, are resurrected here. I'm also glad the inner sleeve is poly-lined, not just paper.

When EMI held a music press meeting for the release of the digitally remastered Beatles, (for CD), all sorts of claims were made about this being the best ever, surely nothing could ever surpass these heights of achievement.

I find it ironic that here we are, years on, seeing the Beatles not only reappearing on vinyl, but in mono!

There really is something about listening to and handling a vinyl disc that appeals to the heart and soul of man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reviews!, 30 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
Rubber Soul is the stepping stone album from The Beatles marking the shift from the pop perfection of Help to the experimentalism of Revolver and beyond. A mix of both worlds it shows the band pushing all the known boundaries of pop and rock music, changing both genres forever. Things were being done both lyrically and musically that had never been thought of before, new styles were being borrowed and adapted, new production techniques, new song writing skills, new instruments all employed to propel the band forwards. Even today it sounds new and challenging and very few first time listeners should find it dated. Of course there are still one or two songs that people won't enjoy and they hadn't yet reached the heights of Revolver and Pepper. There is a new sophistication with the themes and lyrics, gone are the bland outbursts of love and school boy cynicism, replaced with a more developed, poetic, and intelligent style. Nothing in simple anymore and everything in the music and lyrics is conveyed with ambiguity.

`Drive My Car' starts the album and instantly shows the lyrically progression the band has taken. It is the first song to truly feature strong original lyrics, moving on from the variations on love from before. With it's euphemism for sex and themes about fame and doing anything to achieve it, it displays both the dark side and comedic spark of the band. Obviously this sort of thing was happening in the band at the time and in many other bands, it's both an in-joke about groupies and a celebration of them. With it's catchy chorus and memorable `beep beep' moments it was destined to become a staple for car adverts through the decades. The guitars are much more blues influenced than anything that had gone before, and the percussion and piano has a distinct jazzy feel.

`Norwegian Wood' is a Lennon ballad showcasing the band's change of perspective to writing songs about the darker side of love, and themes which recur through the album such as deceit, jealousy, misogyny, possession, revenge etc. The first thing to notice is the Eastern influence which would be greater on subsequent albums. The new instruments fit in seamlessly with the traditional guitar use and vocal harmonies. Dealing with an affair, paranoia, and revenge the lyrics are a massive step up from anything else the band had written. Poetic, ironic, and with a story telling feel it marks the new Beatles era.

`You Won't See Me' has a nice melodic intro after a percussive start building up to typically sweet harmonic intro. Again the bridge switches to minor chords for added melancholy. The lyrics speak of a breaking relationship, depression, and not being able to carry on when the one you love keeps turning you away.

`Nowhere Man' can both be taken as an introspective Lennon number, and a song decrying any number of generations- his parents for being tightly conformist, later one for being passive and irresponsible. It is notable for being the first Beatles song which doesn't deal with love in any way. Lyrically it is quite clever and biting, though musically it is simple and uninspired. I see it and the next song as a rallying call to the kids to start making a change in the world rather than sitting back and watching- something which would become Lennon's quest for the rest of his life.

`Think For Yourself' is a Harrison penned track dealing with individuality and not trusting and blindly accepting other people's and groups' views. You can always rely on Harrison making a unique tune which is set apart from the other songs on any album and the same is true here. The unusual guitar sound makes the song memorable, the lyrics are as strong as anything Lennon was writing at the time, and the melodies are unlike most other tracks.

`The Word' is a pseudo- political song by Lennon covering his attitudes with the metaphor of love, as if he was testing the water or breaking in the fans gently before the more overt messages of later work. The song itself is fairly repetitive, standing out by the use of the Harmonium towards the end.

`Michelle' mysteriously won the Grammy for song of the year in 67, a rather doleful ballad by McCartney notable for its French lyrics and feel. This is one I usually skip- still a good song, it just bores me for some reason.

`What Goes On' is a very country feeling song with good guitar from Harrison, and Ringo sings it very well accompanied by some high pitched harmonies. It is quite a simple love song with darker lyrics about confusion and mistrust. A fast paced song it helps to lift the middle part of the album.

`Girl' is quite a melancholy love song, with lyrics speaking about being in love with someone but not being sure why. It is memorable for the sighing melodies, strong lyrics, and added beats towards the middle part and end.

`I'm looking through you' is an up tempo down beat McCartney song about how people and love can fade and change over time in a relationship. Melodic and with good lead guitar it sounds quite angry yet happy at the same time.

`In My Life' is the stand out song on the album and the best Beatles ballad. Full of powerful lyrics, regret and misty eyed nostalgia, yet it has eternal hope for the future. The melodies are beautiful, the interesting middle part giving a Renaissance twist and the recurring riff is soft and sweet but free of soppy sentiment.
`Wait' is an unusual almost off key song that further shows the group's experimentation. The lyrics speak of coming back to a loved one after being apart, something the group were feeling after many tours. There is irony in the `I've been good- as good as I can be' considering the affairs of the band members.

`If I Needed Someone' is a Harrison penned song marked by a catchy lead guitar line. Again the song employs minor chords for the chorus to suggest that not everything is as perfect as it should be. The lyrics are not exactly bitter, but neither are they the sort of words you would expect a pop band of the time to be singing, the narrator saying if they have nothing better to do then they may find a moment to squeeze in the subject.

`Run For Your Life' is a much derided song amongst fans, and later by Lennon himself who wrote it. Accused of misogyny but perfectly apt considering the feelings one has can have the lyrics speak of jealousy of other men, possession over a loved one and including a famously dark line borrowed from an Elvis song. These feelings would be developed and return on Jealous Guy but here they are less subtle and more angry and accusing. The music rattles along quickly and has a blues/country feel to it. A strange end to the album.

Rubber Soul has plenty of flashes of brilliance but being a stepping stone album it doesn't have the quality of the albums which bookend it. It is still classic Beatles and features some of their best songs, but it is inconsistent. Naturally this is subjective and some of the songs I am not overly fond of her will be another's favourites. What we can agree on is that it clearly shows the moving towards greater artistry, creativity, and experimentation which would herald the next two albums as two of the best albums ever.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fab album! BUT after remastering - vocals are mainly too loud and instruments mainly too quiet...., 29 Oct 2009
By 
M. Norman "BeatleGeek" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
First of all ....the music! Apart from the Ringo song (What Goes On) the rest of the album is pretty damn good (I even like the Lennon throw-away Run for Your Life because his vocal is SO good!!). It's a pretty big jump in quality from the previous HELP! album and there's more sophistication. Drive My Car, Norweigan Wood, Nowhere Man, Think for Yourself, Michelle, In My Life, If I Needed Someone are all superb - and for most other bands all of these could have been singles. But as The Beatles released the double A sided We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper single on the same day as Rubber Soul, NONE of the tracks off the album were released as singles in the UK.

Now for the re-mastering... The overall sound is more dynamic, rhythmic and three-dimensional than the 1987 CD release but unfortunately on most tracks the balance of vocals to music is too heavily biased in favour of the vocals with You Won't See Me being the worst case. This makes the tracks far tamer than they should be and prevents the songs from gelling. The improved definition and clarity of sound of the instruments does help to make up this gap a little - but I think the guys at Abbey Road have boobed! What was required from the re-mastering was a noticeable improvement on the 1987 CD (which to me was more two-dimensional sounding and a bit too trebly) rather than a re-interpretation of the sound of the songs. On the other hand Nowhere Man and If I Needed Someone are markedly improved compared to the 1987 CD. The instruments sound a bit louder and ballsier - so these tracks zip along very well thank you very much. If the rest of the CD had been re-mastered to this standard I would be a very happy man!

If you already own the 1987 CD version and you don't listen to music that critically, I would not buy the 2009 digital re-master. If, like me, you're obsessed with The Beatles (so you already own the 1987 CD release of course!) and you have decent hi-fi separates - suck it and see. You may or may not like what's been done to this album. You can always return it or pass it on to someone worthy who hasn't heard the album before... If you currently don't own this album - try hunting around for the 1987 CD release in the jewel case. If you can't find a copy or if it's too expensive buy this new version and don't worry too much about my Beatle Geek tendencies!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEATLES GROW UP!!!..., 26 May 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This fabulous, fourteen track CD, with twelve tracks by the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo, one track by Lennon/McCartney/Starkey (Ringo), and one by George Harrison, is a significant departure from their earlier works. Here, the music is lusher, darker, and more complex. With the release of this album, The Beatles bid goodbye to their "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" days and established themselves as a musical force of note, more talented than anyone had imagined.
With vivid imagery and themes, they sang about life and all its turbulent emotions, a virtual social commentary. From the rock and roll refrains of "Drive My Car" to the sitar laden "Norwegian Wood", followed up by the existential "Nowhere Man", The Beatles had a lot to say, and they did so with a vengeance.
Love was still an important theme, however, to which Paul paid homage with the romantic ballad, "Michelle", as did John in "Girl", a song so filled with yearning it is almost palpable. As if this weren't enough, add the lament of love lost in "I'm Looking Through You", as well as the achingly poignant "In My Life", and you have a musical experience so complete, that no music collector should be without this CD.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEATLES GROW UP!!!, 18 Sep 2001
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rubber Soul (Audio CD)
This fabulous, fourteen track CD, with twelve tracks by the Lennon/McCartney songriting duo, one track by Lennon/McCartney/Starkey(Ringo), and one by George Harrison, is a significant departure from their earlier works. Here, the music is lusher, darker, and more complex. With the release of this album, The Beatles bid goodbye to their "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" days and established themselves as a musical force of note, more talented than anyone had imagined.
With vivid imagery and themes, they sang about life and all its turbulent emotions, a virtual social commentary. From the rock and roll refrains of "Drive My Car" to the sitar laden "Norwegian Wood", followed up by the existential "Nowhere Man", The Beatles had a lot to say, and they did so with a vengeance.
Love was still an important theme, however, to which Paul paid homage with the romantic ballad, "Michelle", as did John in "Girl", a song so filled with yearning, it is almost palpable. As if this weren't enough, add the lament of love lost in "I'm Looking Through You", as well as the achingly poignant "In My Life", and you have a musical experience so complete, that no music collector should be without this CD.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first great Beatles album, 26 May 2007
By 
Paul Rance (Whaplode Drove, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rubber Soul [VINYL] (Vinyl)
1965 was the year that The Beatles began to be considered not just likeable entertainers, but something far more substantial. Geniuses in fact. The album 'Rubber Soul' was the start of a succession of brilliant Beatles albums.

'Rubber Soul', in fact, begins in unspectacular style, with 'Drive My Car', then 'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)' takes the breath away, with John Lennon singing a, legend has it, autobiographical song. It's a beautiful Eastern/Western mix, helped by George Harrison's sitar. 'You Won't See Me' is a poignant love song sung by Paul McCartney, and with 'Nowhere Man' following, we are already well into a classic Beatles album. The latter has John in sensitive, insightful mood. A beautiful song.

'Think For Yourself' and 'The Word' are uptempo, the former being a George Harrison song. The latter has a John vocal, and marvellous harmonies from John, Paul, and George. Both pretty good. Better still is 'Michelle', which underlines a rapid maturing of The Beatles. They are becoming accomplished at this time in creating songs in various styles. In this instance, Paul sings in French, with accompanying music that makes it sound like a French folk song.

Beginning side 2 is 'What Goes On', which suits Ringo Starr's plaintive voice, and 'Girl' is in a similar style to 'Norwegian Wood', with John again supplying a moving vocal. 'I'm Looking Through You' is unusual in that it's Paul and not John delivering a barbed vocal. John then sings 'In My Life', which is the stand-out track on the album. Lyrically it's even deeper when reading the lyrics only, and the music, especially George Martin's baroque piano, is enchanting, and it was a song which had 1960s intellectuals drooling! George Harrison's 'If I Needed Someone' is pleasant, with a Byrds style ringing guitar sound (The Byrds were influencing The Beatles at this time, and vice versa). The catchy 'Run For Your Life' sees John end things, using that sometimes spiteful tongue to good effect.

'Rubber Soul' was the first Beatles album to really take popular music to another level, and there were a few more outstanding Beatles albums to follow!

- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
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