The Rewind Button is a group blogging project instigated by Rachel Tynan. As part of her New Years’ Resolutions for 2012, she set out to listen to Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums of all time. I thought it would be fun if a group of bloggers listened to the same albums at the same time, then posted their reactions.
“Ah! Can we have that? Can you do it like that?”
Notice how the album cover of Rubber Soul is askew. Apparently, this came to be when the photographer was showing the boys a slide show to demo how the album cover might look. As McCartney describes on the Anthology, one of the slides slipped and excitedly he exclaimed “Ah! Can we have that? Can you do it like that?” I think this moment symbolizes Rubber Soul/Revovler era of happy accidents and experimentation. Rubber Soul, the boys are branching out and trying some new things. While I do think Revolver is a far superior album and more evolved in this time of experimentation, Rubber Soul has a lot of good things going for it.
First of all, it is a very singable album. There is a whole lotta vocal action on this recording. There are “oohs and ahh and la, la, las” on nearly every track. And I do believe I have performed at least half this album live in one context or another. There are plenty of hooky and memorable tunes here. “Drive My Car” is a classic, rockin’ kickstarter to the album, “Norwegian Wood” is a solo acoustic favorite to play, then we have Paul’s smooth, foray into swooning the french girls in “Michelle”. You can really hear their admiration for Motown in songs like “The Word”.
The album title comes for overhearing a musician describing their British version of soul as “plastic soul, man. plastic soul”. It’s really a testament to their sense of humor and humility to embrace the criticism and create their own pun on the dig and use it as their album title.
The best song for me on the album is Lennon’s “In My Life”. It is heartfelt and timeless. Something everyone can relate to. The Beatles truly were ahead of their time. How could John Lennon have had such foresight to write a song perfectly suited to create hundred YouTube video montages?
Here is the best one: