By Braden Murray | LTVN Reporter/ Anchor
The Beatles are considered by many to be the greatest band of all time. Even if someone doesn’t agree with that statement, it is hard to deny the massive influence the Beatles have had on the last five decades of popular music.
During their time together, they released 13 albums, which is even more impressive when you take into account the fact that they were only releasing music for seven years. That isn’t a very long time, considering the duration of other bands. For example, the Rolling Stones have been going strong for nearly 60 years, Elton John for 50 years and the Red Hot Chili Peppers for over 35 years.
There are two distinct eras in the Beatles’ discography to dive into. The first era is their rock ‘n’ roll inspired albums, which are rougher around the edges. These albums include “Please Please Me” (1963), “With The Beatles” (1963), “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964), “Beatles For Sale” (1964) and “Help” (1965).
The second era of the Beatles’ music is their more experimental and psychedelic albums, which have a polished and full sound. These albums include “Revolver” (1966), “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967), “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967), “The Beatles” (1968), “Yellow Submarine” (1969), “Abbey Road” (1969) and “Let It Be” (1970).
However, there is a lesser-known third era that includes only one album.
“Rubber Soul” was released in 1965, the same year “Help” came out.
“Rubber Soul” is a bridge album of sorts, as it perfectly captures the rock ‘n’ roll sound of the early albums while also introducing the more experimental aspects of the later albums, making “Rubber Soul” the perfect — and the best — Beatles album.
I am personally more of a fan of the Beatles’ later years, but I do appreciate their earlier sound from time to time. There is enough on “Rubber Soul” to satisfy both of my cravings.
“Rubber Soul” captures how the Beatles adopted a more polished sound and includes the first song that features a sitar — an instrument that would come to define their later years.
It is not only a perfect blend of the two eras but is also full of absolute bangers. In fact, this might be an album with zero skips — as most Beatles albums are, in my opinion.
“Drive My Car” is a fun little bop about driving a car. “Nowhere Man” was so good that a John Lennon biopic was named after it. “Michelle” is a nice little ditty that includes Paul McCartney speaking French. “I’m Looking Through You” has a great guitar lick that comes after the chorus, which I often have trouble getting out of my head.
My favorite song on the album, and a strong contender for my favorite song of all time, is “In My Life.” There’s something about that song that is so addicting to me, and I just can’t tell what it is. It might be the pleasant riff, it might be the brief keyboard interlude or it might be the impeccable harmonies — all of which come together to create an amazing song.
On the album, you have John Lennon and Paul McCartney, whose songwriting is great as usual. You also have George Harrison coming into his own as a respected songwriter. Of course, you have Ringo Starr on drums, with his obligatory bluegrass/country cover.
If you’re an avid Beatles fan like me, then it is super easy to pick out influences from earlier albums and records from their contemporaries, while also setting up their future groundbreaking albums.