segunda-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2016

THE BEATLES - "Rubber Soul"


Original released on LP EMI-Parlophone 
PMC 1267 (mono) / PCS 3075 (stereo)
(UK 1965, December 3)


"Rubber Soul" is the sixth studio album by the Fab4. It was met with a highly favourable critical response and topped record charts in the United Kingdom for several weeks, as well as in the United States, where it was issued with a different selection of tracks. Produced by George Martin, "Rubber Soul" incorporates a mix of 1960s pop, soul, and folk music styles. The album's name comes from the term plastic soul, which popular African American soul musicians coined to describe Mick Jagger, a white musician singing soul music. It was the second Beatles album – after the British version of "A Hard Day's Night" – to contain only original material, and was recorded in just over four weeks to make the Christmas market. Unlike the five albums that preceded it, "Rubber Soul" was recorded during a continuous period, whereas the group had previously made their albums during breaks between tour dates and other commitments. The project marked the first time that the Beatles focused on creating an album as an artistic work, an approach that they then developed with "Revolver" (1966) and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967).


The album has been included in numerous "best of" album lists compiled by various publications, and is regarded by musicologists as a major artistic achievement that continued the group's artistic maturation while attaining widespread critical and commercial success. In 2012, "Rubber Soul" was ranked number five on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, the album was declared as having gone platinum. Virtually all of the album's songs were composed immediately after the Beatles' return to London following their North American tour. The Beatles expanded their sound on the album, with influences drawn from African American soul music, the contemporary folk rock of Bob Dylan and the Byrds. "Rubber Soul" also saw the band expanding rock and roll's instrumental resources, most notably on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" through George Harrison's use of the Indian sitar. Lennon later said that "Rubber Soul" was the first album on which the Beatles were in complete creative control during recording, with enough studio time to develop and refine new sound ideas.


"Rubber Soul" was the group's first release not to feature their name on the cover, an uncommon tactic in 1965. The "stretched" effect of the cover photo came about after photographer Bob Freeman had taken some pictures of the group wearing suede leather jackets at Lennon's house. Freeman showed the photos by projecting them onto an album-sized piece of cardboard to simulate how they would appear on an album cover. The unusual "Rubber Soul" album cover came to be when the slide card fell slightly backwards, elongating the projected image of the photograph and stretching it. Excited by the effect, they shouted, «Ah! Can we have that? Can you do it like that?», to which Freeman said he could. The distinctive lettering was created by Charles Front (father of actress Rebecca Front), and the original artwork was later auctioned at Bonhams, accompanied by an authenticating letter from Robert Freeman. Capitol Records used a different colour saturation for the US version, causing the orange lettering used by Parlophone Records to show up as different colours. On some Capitol LPs, the title looks rich chocolate brown; others, more like gold. On the 1987 compact disc reissue, the letters appear a distinct green, and the 2009 reissue uses the original cover design with the Parlophone Records logo. Paul McCartney conceived the album's title after overhearing a musician's description of Mick Jagger's singing style as "plastic soul". Lennon confirmed this in a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, stating, "That was Paul's title, meaning English soul. Just a pun."

NOTES

"Rubber Soul" was issued at a time when stereo records sold to a small number of hi-fi enthusiasts and so mixing to mono took priority over a stereo version. George Martin decided to give "Rubber Soul" a new stereo mix from the four-track tapes for its debut release on CD in 1987. It's that version which is presented here, ripped from the SHM-CD, released in Japan in 2009.

Producer: George Martin
Sound engineer: Norman Smith
Photographer: Robert Freeman


A1. DRIVE MY CAR

Songwriter: Paul
Vocal, bass, piano: Paul
Vocal, tambourine: John
Lead guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums, tambourine, cowbell: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 13, 1965
Number of takes: 4
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 25-26, 1965

There is a noticeable difference between the mono and stereo mixes of this song. The stereo mix enhances Ringo's cowbell and has more reverberation on the vocals. Paul was pleased with his tune, but not his lyrics. He hurried to John's house in Weybridge to rewrite the song. The basic idea was to work with a phrase about a ring. "You can buy me a golden ring". Neither Paul nor John were inspired and they didn't get anywhere with this phrase. After a cigarette break, Paul somehow came up with another phrase, and they settled on drive my car instead of golden ring. «To me it was LA chicks saying: 'You can be my chauffeur', and it also meant 'You can be my love'. "Drive My Car" was an old blues euphemism for sex, so in the end all is revealed.» 



A2. NORWEGIAN WOOD (THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN)

Songwriter: John
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Bass, piano, backing vocal: Paul
Lead Guitar, sitar: George
Drums, tambourine, finger cymbals: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 12 and 21, 1965
Number of takes: 4
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 25-26, 1965

This charming song with an Irish flavor, tells the story of an extramarital affair. John's childwood friend, Pete Shotton, suggested that it was a female journalist, Maureen Cleave, a well-known journalist and the author of the famous Evening Standard article in which John made comments about Jesus Christ and Christianity that caused a scandal at the time. This classic track reveals, in the introduction, George playing a sitar for the first time. The instrument was featured in the incidental music for the Beatles second film "Help!". George was fascinated by its sound and acquired one. As usual this led the way for other artists to copy the Beatles' innovation and many records featuring the sitar, some good and some bad, were soon on the market.



A3. YOU WON'T SEE ME

Songwriter: Paul
Vocal, bass, piano: Paul
Tambourine, backing vocal: John
Rhythm guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums: Ringo
Hammond organ: Mal Evans
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 11, 1965
Number of takes: 2
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 1, November 15, 1965

"You Won't See Me" is about Paul's relationship with Jane Asher. A problem of communication and boredom, Paul made his little drama about a breakup that had not yet occurred. Without a doubt he mixed his own feelings into a purely fictional story. During the perfomance, there is a gradual slowing of tempo. It starts at 119 bpm and ends at 113 bpm. Was Ringo getting tired?



A4. NOWHERE MAN

Songwriter: John
Vocal, rhythm and lead guitar: John
Vocal, bass: Paul
Lead guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 21-22, 1965
Number of takes: 5
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 1, October 25-26, 1965

Hiding out at home and totally uninspired, after five hours John was still struggling to write a new song for the album. «I'd actually stopped trying to think of something. Nothing would come. I was cheesed off and went for a lie down, having given up. Then I tought of myself as a nowhere man - sitting in this nowhere land. "Nowhere Man" came, words and music, the whole damn thing... So letting it go is what the whole game is.» Paul recognized that "Nowhere Man" was one of John's best songs. It was included in the animated film "Yellow Submarine", which came out in 1968.



A5. THINK FOR YOURSELF

Songwriter: George
Vocal, rhythm guitar: George
Hohner piano electric piano, backing vocal: John
Bass, backing vocal: Paul
Drums, tambourine, maracas: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 8, 1965
Number of takes: 1
Mixed at Abbey Road, room 65, November 9, 1965

George's words here do not help us understand the meaning of the song, the text of which could either refer to a romantic relationship or political criticism. George does not provide many clues. However, like his friends, he matured very quickly. He did not want to stick with the sentimental love songs that made the group's initial reputation. Their minds were open. A new social consciousness was born. When you are dealing with a friend of Bob Dylan, you have to pay attention to the words.



A6. THE WORD

Songwriter: John and Paul
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Bass, piano, backing vocal: Paul
Lead guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums, maracas: Ringo
Harmonium: George Martin
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 10, 1965
Number of takes: 3
Mixed at Abbey Road, room 65/studio 1, November 11 and 15, 1965

The song was originally written around one note, like "Long Tall Sally". John and Paul cowrote the song, even if John later said in 1980: «"The Word" was written together, but it's mainly mine. You read the words, it's all about gettin' smart. It's the marijuana period. It's love, it's the love-and-peace thing. It seems like the underlying theme to the universe. Everything that was worthwhile got down to this love, love, love thing. And it is the struggle to love, be loved, and express that (just something about love) that's fantastic.» After writing "The Word", John and Paul decided to relax a bit. They rolled a joint. Normally they did not smoke while working, but this time they illustrated their draft with multicolored psychedelic designs in watercolor.



A7. MICHELLE

Songwriter: Paul
Vocal, bass, rhythm guitar: Paul
Backing vocal: John
Rhythm guitar, lead backing vocal: George
Drums: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 3, 1965
Number of takes: 1
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 9 and 15, 1965

"Michelle" was written when Paul was a student at the Liverpool Institute of Art (1953-1960). He wanted to write a tune in the style of Chet Atkins. Years later, Austin Mitchell, who was one of John's teachers at art school, hosted a party during which Paul sang "Michelle", improvising French words in the style of Juliette Greco as a ploy to attract women. Both Paul and John admired Juliette Greco as the "muse" of the existential Saint German-des-Prés nights in the 1950s. In 1965, when they were looking for new titles for their album, John reminded Paul about the "French thing" that he used to do at Mitchell's parties. Paul took the melody and reworked the lyrics with Jan, a French teacher and the wife of his old friend Ivan Vaughan. The title generated controversy. Who is Michelle? For some, it was Michelle Morgan, the French actress; for others the sublime Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, or Richard Anthony's first wife (a French singer), who had charmed the Beatles. But whoever Michelle was, the song is one of the Beatles' most popular songs, along with "Yesterday". "Michelle" won the Grammy Award for song of the year in 1966.



B1. WHAT GOES ON

Songwriter: John, Paul and Ringo
Vocal, drums: Ringo
Rhythm guitar, backing vocal: John
Bass, backing vocal: Paul
Lead guitar: George
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 4, 1965
Number of takes: 1
Mixed at Abbey Road, room 65, November 9, 1965

"What Goes On" is one of John's older songs, written before he formed the Beatles. Originally sung by John, it was in the end performed by Ringo. The song is not a masterpiece, but its country and western style is quite charming. It is nonetheless surprising that it was chosen to open the second side of the album, unless perhaps this was done to please Ringo's fans.



B2. GIRL

Songwriter: John
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Vocal, bass: Paul
Bouzoukis, acoustic guitar, backing vocal: George
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 11, 1965
Number of takes: 2
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 1, November 15, 1965

"Girl" was undoubtedly John's response to Paul's "Michelle". The instrumentation is similar, and the song offers the same intimate feelings. This magnificent ballad speaks of his dream girl, the one he was looking for. However, the lyrics are ambiguous. The girl hurts, humiliates, and manipulates him - she is far from a dream girl. One sentence is surprising: 'Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure?' The song was a great success, and deserved release as a single. John waited nearly fifteen years to write a sequel to "Girl". It was "Woman" from his last album, "Double Fantasy", released in 1980.



B3. I'M LOOKING THROUGH YOU

Songwriter: Paul
Vocal, bass: Paul
Rhythm guitar, backing vocal: John
Lead guitar, tambourine: George
Drums, percussion, hammond organ: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 24 and November 6,10,11, 1965
Number of takes: 4
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, November 15, 1965

Jane Asher, an actress at Bristol Old Vic, did not want to give up hr career, as Paul so ardently wished. Paul suffered in this tumultuous relationship. Paul confessed to Barry Miles that he knew that his fiancée did not correspond to the image he had of her and that he clearly saw through her. Paul on lead vocals on this semi-rock and roll song reveals the influences of both Little Richard and Buddy Holly. The American stereo version of this track includes two false starts.



B4. IN MY LIFE

Songwriter: John and Paul
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Bass, backing vocal: Paul
Lead guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums, tambourine: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 18 and 22, 1965
Number of takes: 3
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 25-26, 1965

"In My Life" is one of those rare songs of uncertain paternity. John claimed that, other than the middle eight, he wrote the song. Paul claimed responsibility for the melody. The song was inspired by a remark made by Kenneth Allsop, a British journalist and writer, after the publication of John's book, "In His Own Write", asking why Lennon's songs weren't more serious. After thinking about it, John wrote "In My Life", his "first really big song", entirely on his own terms. His idea was to tell how key places in Liverpool had played a role in his life. "In My Life" was performed at the funeral of Kurt Cobain, who idolized John Lennon.



B5. WAIT

Songwriter: Paul
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Vocal, bass: Paul
Lead guitar: George
Drums, tambourine, maracas: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, June 17 and November 11, 1965
Number of takes: 4
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 1, June 18 and November 15

This song was written while the Beatles were filming "Help!" in the Bahamas. "Wait" is entirely Paul's composition. The lyrics probably reflected his complex relationship with Jane Asher: 'I am often away, but if you really love me, wait for me'. Not easy, life with the Beatles! For some reason the song does not seem to fit in with the previous tracks. It sounds almost as if it was left over from either "Beatles For Sale" or "Help!".



B6. IF I NEEDED SOMEONE

Songwriter: George
Vocal, lead guitar: George
Rhythm guitar, backing vocal: John
Bass, backing vocal: Paul
Drums, tambourine: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 16 and 18, 1965
Number of takes: 1
Mixed at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 25-26, 1965

On August 27, 1965, still in the US, Paul and George visited the Byrds in their studio, while the group recorded "The Times They Are A-Changin'", a Bob Dylan song. The same evening, the Beatles met Elvis Presley at his house in Los Angeles. Immersed in the California folk rock atmosphere, George wrote "If I Needed Someone" with the Byrds' music in mind.



B7. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

Songwriter: John
Vocal, rhythm guitar: John
Bass, backing vocal: Paul
Lead guitar, backing vocal: George
Drums, tambourine: Ringo
Recorded at Abbey Road, studio 2, October 12, 1965
Number of takes: 5
Mixed at Abbey Road, room 65, November 9-10, 1965

John never liked "Run for Your Life" because it was "just a sort of throwaway song". He was inspired by Elvis Presley's 1955 song "Baby, Let's Play House", written by Arthur Gunter. Paul, however, thinks it was John who was running for his life. John had a hard time living with Cynthia and hiding his affairs, unlike Paul who had a completely open relationship with Jane Asher. The lyrics may be interpreted through this prism, but their macho, threatening tone is still astonishing: 'I am a wicked guy... born with a jealous mind'.


Credits:
"All the Songs" (Philippe Margotin & Jean-Michel Guesdan)
"The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics" (Alan Aldridge)
"The Beatles Album File and Complete Discography" (Jeff Russell)

2 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

Nice piece of work, Mr. Rato!
I love particulary the last photo, where we can see the old ladies assembling the album pieces. Congratulations for this magnificent post!

Willians disse...

Realmente grande postagem. Os detalhes das gravações do Rubber Soul é de dar água na boca. Valeu.

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