R is for Rubber Soul and Revolver

My two favorite Beatles albums came out in successive years, and are successive albums, at least in the United Kingdom and the rest of civilised world. In North America, the record executives managed to squeeze out another album in between. George Harrison once said, “I don’t see too much difference between Revolver and Rubber Soul. To me, they could be Volume One and Volume Two.” Paul McCartney has also blended the albums together in interviews. Here are the listings; there are also links to every song.

The title Rubber Soul is a variation on the term plastic soul, a term referring to white musicians singing soul music. Paul McCartney, in a studio conversation recorded in June 1965 after recording a take of “I’m Down”, the B-side of the single “Help!”, said “Plastic soul, man. Plastic soul.”

The italicized songs are those from the second half of the UK Help! album that show up on the US RS album. The songs marked in red were removed from the UK versions and put on the US-only album, Yesterday…and Today.

Side one
1 UK Drive My Car
1 US I’ve Just Seen a Face
2 UK & US Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3 UK & US You Won’t See Me
4 UK Nowhere Man
5 UK, 4 US Think for Yourself
6 UK, 5 US The Word
7 UK, 6 US Michelle

Side two
1 UK What Goes On
1 US It’s Only Love
2 UK & US Girl
3 UK & US I’m Looking Through You
4 UK & US In My Life
5 UK & US Wait
6 UK If I Needed Someone
7 UK, 6 US Run for Your Life

Or listen to the full UK album here or here.

At least they added a Lennon and a McCartney song (It’s Only Love, I’ve Just Seen a Face) as they dropped songs by John (Nowhere Man), Paul (Drive My Car), George (If I Needed Someone) and Ringo (What Goes On).

The cover illustration for Revolver was created by bassist and artist Klaus Voormann, an old Beatles’ friend from their days at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Voorman played on albums for each of the Beatles on their solo albums, save for Paul.

When it came to Revolver, the music, it was quite the lopsided edit:

Side one

1 UK & US Taxman
2 UK & US Eleanor Rigby
3 UK I’m Only Sleeping
4 UK, 3 US Love You To
5 UK, 4 US Here, There and Everywhere
6 UK, 5 US Yellow Submarine
7 UK, 6 US She Said She Said

Side two

1 UK & US Good Day Sunshine
2 UK And Your Bird Can Sing
3 UK, 2 US For No One
4 UK Doctor Robert
5 UK, 3 US I Want to Tell You
6 UK, 4 US Got to Get You into My Life
7 UK, 5 US Tomorrow Never Knows

Or hear the full UK album here or here.

John’s only represented twice on the US version, because three of his songs on the UK version also were dropped. Robert Rodriguez, who wrote a 2012 book on Revolver explains: “Capitol needed three more songs to flesh out Yesterday and Today, and he had the most songs finished by then.” George had three songs (Taxman, Love You To, I Want To Tell You) on both versions of Revolver.

The GOOD news is that, from this point, the albums released in UK were the same in the US, starting with Sgt. Pepper. Not incidentally, on the Rolling Stone magazine list of the 500 greatest albums, Sgt. Pepper was #1, with Revolver at #3 and Rubber Soul at #5. I tend to disagree. While Sgt. Pepper was clearly a breakthrough album, it sounds more dated, of its time, to me, than either Revolver or Rubber Soul.

ABC Wednesday – Round 11

0 thoughts on “R is for Rubber Soul and Revolver”

  1. Just love and am fascinated with all your facts on so many different subjects. I love learning from ABC Wednesday those of you who put so much time and effort into your posts…however, over at mine, I’m doing a bit of Rockin and Rollin myself! HaHa.


  2. They dropped “Nowhere Man”????? Bad move! I was in Liverpool in the summer when they were having a great revival and celebration of this famous group. But…I didn’t go to the museum or anything related to them since there was so much more to do and see in that fabulous city!

    abcw team


  3. Great post …love The Beatles supposedly there’s a cool article in The New York Times today about collecting Beatle memorabilia. I’m traveling and haven’t had a chance to check but thought I’d pass it on based on hear-say (not always a smart thing to do).

    Have a great week.


  4. Roger, you picked two of my favorite Beatle albums, the other being Sgt. Pepper. About the Plastic Soul comment, I’m thinking of Paul singing on “She’s a Woman,” as well as “Oh! Darlin.” He sang his guts out, not back for a white Brit.

    For the short time they were together, it was magic. Their careers apart, Paul’s love songs (eh!), John’s anti-war activism and music (really connected with me), and George’s mysticism… (I appreciated him more after the Beatles than before.) Big disappointment: Sell-out Ringo Starr. I think he’s doing Vegas or the casino circuit.

    THANKS, ROG! With love from me to you, Amy


  5. You can imagine that in Germany and Belgium the Beattles were right on the top, especially as they had started in Hamburg. I was busy with my husband to be and then the marriage, so that I really learned to know them only beginning the 70th. I heard their songs, but didn’t know who it was, lol ! That happens when you are in love !


  6. Ha! Do you want to smack Chrissy with your cane, or shall I ram into her shins with my walker? LOL

    Love The Beatles, John and Sir Paul are my favorites. And I now have “Norwegian Wood” playing in my head. Thanks a lot! (No, really! Thanks a lot!) 🙂

    This must be your favorite week on ABC Wednesday, eh, Ramblin’ Roger? 😉


  7. An interesting discography (record executives, what are they like, guess out to make more money). I’ve happily hummed my way through those lists.


  8. Interesting to read this. Most of the information was new to me. Funny, I had chosen “Run for your life” for the music bit of my post, but in the end, went with Rapturous Mozart. Quite a leap there 🙂


  9. wow, thanks for all the links! while the Beatles aren’t one of my favorites, there is absolutely no denying how much of a contribution to the world of music they made. what a tremendous amount of good they did, and do, for the world!


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