Writing about why you love The Beatles is almost like writing about why you love Van Gogh or Marlon Brando. It's so widely known that they are amazing in their field of expertise, so it's kind of boring to write about and really hard to sound, well, like you have some original idea on the subject. Nevertheless, without The Beatles, I wouldn't be named Paul and I'm sure my life would be drastically different. My mother is the biggest Beatles fan I know. She has a trunk in our family room that is filled to the brim with memerobilia. She has every record on vinyl as well as some Fan Club stuff that are much harder to come by. It's no surprise that the Beatles remind me of my childhood even though my love for them will never fail. When deciding to do this list of 25 important albums that have gotten me to where I am now, it was hard to choose which Beatles album would be best represent what important part of my life. I decided on Rubber Soul which to me is overshadowed by the more widely accoladed albums of their latter career. It probably embodies everything Beatles wise that I loved about them growing up and it is a transitional record for them from Pop Boy Band to Pop Music Innovators.
That being said, the tone of these blogs has been less about the albums but more about the associations. Again, this is tough to pinpoint specific moments to specific Beatles records. I listened to them so much as a kid that it's hard to really figure out any specifics of memories and such. The Beatles were so shortly prolific that it's hard to believe they only laster for seven years as a working band yet had 13 albums. Crazy. Rubber Soul is kind of the midway point in a sense as their style shifted a lot after it. It's a feel good record. It's pop music at it's purest and finest. I grew up with the UK version on CD so that's the tracklisting I'm used to, although the US version kicks off with "I've Just Seen a Face" which is one of my all-time fav McCartney tracks. What the Beatles do best with their songs on this album is create beautiful music simply. It's this simplicity that makes it essential pop music listening. As much as the psychdelic Beatles go, it's all gravy, but it's starting to sound a little dated where as Rubber Soul shines as bright as it did in 1965 when it was released.
This is the first album where the Beatles really started to move away from the cookie cutter covers into new, fresh and truly beautiful song crafting. Why as a adolescent I found this more appealing than most popular music may just be because The Beatles remind me of childhood times cruising with my parents. Songs like "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" remind me of some childhood friends who shared a similar love of the Beatles. "Nowhere Man" was my favorite Beatles song for sometime and is sitll one of my favorites. Something about the harmonies and melody of the track has stayed with me. "Michelle" and "Girl" are classic favorites. My favorite memory of any track from Rubber Soul goes to it's finest track, "In My Life." Beyond it's family stories of slide shows and the like, I sang this for an audition in high school and made a girl cry. It was the kind of a crazy moment and one that has flattered me to this day. Being named after McCartney has it's perks.
1. The Who - Tommy
2. Beck - Odelay
3. Television - Marquee Moon
4. Weezer - Pinkerton
5. Brian Eno - Before and After Science
6. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
7. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
Next Up: Grand Funk Railroad - Closer To Home