I’m not one for having favourites of anything, mainly because it often depends on how I am feeling on any particular day as to what I consider to be my favourite of something, it is, for the most part, a changeable thing. This does not appear to be the case though when it comes to Beatles albums. I was in Head records in Leamington Spa and before me was the entire Beatles back catalogue re-released on 180g Vinyl. I could have had any of them, but could only afford one. I pondered for a brief while, but quickly discounted ‘The White Album’ as I have long thought it would have made an amazing single album but not a double, also, it was the most expensive. ‘Sgt. Peppers’ seemed an obvious choice as did ‘Revolver’, but no, the album I was repeatedly drawn back to was ‘Rubber Soul’.
1. Drive My Car
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3. You Won’t See Me
4. Nowhere Man
5. Think for Yourself
6. The Word
1. What Goes On
3. I’m Looking Through You
4. In My Life
6. If I Needed Someone
7. Run for Your Life
I am at a loss to explain why it was this one and not any of the others, but perhaps it defies analysis. The tracks are all very short, averaging around 2 minutes 30 seconds and one of them I happen to really dislike (‘Michelle’, in case you were wondering). I do have a theory, though I am completely unable to back it up, however, I think it has something to do with simplicity. Let me expand on that.
A very long time ago I was the owner of a cassette tape of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, which I liked, but my brother was the owner of ‘The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl’, which I liked even more, so we swapped. Now I know that on the face of it I ended up with the lesser album, but my 11 or 12 year old mind just seemed to connect with these shorter, catchier songs much more and I was quite happy with the deal. I did try and listen to the ‘Hollywood Bowl’ album the other day for the first time in years and it is really bloody annoying, so much screaming!
I’m not alone in liking this album of course, it’s ranked number 5 on the Rolling Stone 500 greatest albums of all time (if you care about that sort of thing). Above it are the following:
1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
3. Revolver, The Beatles
4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
Which correlates with what I was saying earlier. I don’t want to sound as though I am apologising for my choice as favourite, because I’m not, it is my favourite and that’s all there is to it.
Here is about 8 minutes on the making of Rubber Soul: