Rubber Soul, released in December 1965, 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 specific period, the sessions not dashed off in between either tour dates or during filming projects.
Rubber Soul is often cited as one of the greatest albums in music history. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted it the 40th greatest album of all time, while in 2000 the same publication placed it at number 21 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2001, VH1 placed it at number 6. In 2003, the album was ranked number 5 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, the album was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best albums of all time.
The unusual album title has never been thoroughly explained.
The song "Wait" was recorded during the Help! sessions. All other songs were recorded in October and November, 1965.
An early Beatles high-water mark, Rubber Soul was written under severe pressure. When recording started on October 12, the band had very little material, and in order to catch the Christmas market, they had to write the songs and record them in just under a month. Adding to the tension, the onset of creative friction between Harrison and McCartney led to the bassist assuming lead guitar duties on some tracks. Paul's loss of faith in George may also explain why keyboard instruments, including piano, harmonium, and Hammond organ, play a greater role in the arrangements. Despite all this, Rubber Soul is a gem. In America, it sold 1.2 million copies within nine days of release, and after charting at No. 1 in the U.K. on December 8, it held off all comers for 12 weeks.
Robert Freeman took the photograph for the cover slick in the garden of John's house in Weybridge. He later wrote, "The distorted effect in the photo was a reflection of the changing shape of their lives".
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