The Beatles: George Harrison (vocals, guitar, sitar); John Lennon (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Paul McCartney (vocals, guitar, piano, bass); Ringo Starr (vocals, organ, drums).
Additional personnel: George Martin (piano); Mal Evans (organ).
Photographer: Robert Freeman.
Though some might argue that the Beatles' unprecedented evolution from British Invasion pin-ups to pop music visionaries began with BEATLES FOR SALE, RUBBER SOUL is without a doubt the first album to definitively put the Fab Four in the running for Greatest Band Ever. Virtually every aspect of the Liverpool quartet's incredibly diverse sound is in evidence here: the dark, irony-filled Dylanism ("Norwegian Wood," "Nowhere Man"), pop perfection ("In My Life"), the passion for classic tin pan alley balladry ("Girl," "Michelle"), and the love of good 'ol rock & roll music ("Drive My Car"). Peppered with nasty fuzz bass, exotic sitar, cartoonishly sped-up piano that sounds like harpsichord, and elements of country, Motown, and classical music, the album reveals a creative scope and willingness to experiment so revolutionary it can now only be termed "Beatlesque." Though the Fabs don't go as far out on a limb here as on the more overtly experimental REVOLVER, RUBBER SOUL is perhaps the Beatles' most finely crafted and accessible work, and consequently many fans' and critics' favorite.
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.88) - Ranked #5 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Characteristically, they achieved a new musical sophistication and a greater thematic depth without sacrificing a whit of pop appeal..."
Q (6/00, p.78) - Ranked #21 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...Opened the floodgates to adventure, sophistication and subtlety....Great vocal performances abound and may well represent pop's sartorial zenith."
Q (Magazine) (p.120) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "With its more opaque lyrics and premonitions of psychedelia, it's where pop begins to blossom from black-and-white into colour..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #64 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Paste (magazine) (p.59) - "Lennon's Dylan affection flowers on tracks like 'Run for Your Life' and 'Norwegian Wood'..."