Thursday, December 31, 2015

Brad Carl: 50 Songs from the 70s and 80s That Still Hold Up

First posted 11/14/2019; updated 12/13/2020.

Brad Carl:

50 Songs from the 70s and 80s That Still Hold Up

Brad Carl is a former radio personality who wrote this book in which he picked 50 songs he believes still sound good against today’s popular music. He doesn’t claim it to be a definitive list, but one which hopefully sparks conversation. Here are the 50 songs featured in that book, as ranked by Dave’s Music Database. The top 16 songs appear in the top 1%, or roughly top 1000 songs of all time, according to Dave’s Music Database. The top 5 songs are featured in Dave’s Music Database’s book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999.

Click here to see other lists from publications and/or organizations.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1983)
2. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
3. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
4. Eagles “Hotel California” (1977)
5. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)

6. Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
7. The Knack “My Sharona” (1979)
8. AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long” (1980)
9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax” (1983)
10. The B-52’s “Love Shack” (1989)
11. Tracy Chapman “Fast Car” (1988)
12. Boston “More Than a Feeling” (1976)
13. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” (1985)
14. Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” (1980)
15. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” (1981)
16. Phil Collins “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)

DMDB Top 5%:

17. UB40 “Red, Red Wine” (1983)
18. Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” (1978)
19. R.E.M. “The One I Love” (1987)
20. The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (1982)
21. Cheap Trick “I Want You to Want Me (live)” (1979)
22. Aerosmith “Sweet Emotion” (1975)
23. Billy Idol “White Wedding” (1982)
24. Elton John “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” (1983)
25. War “Low Rider” (1975)
26. Stevie Nicks “Edge of Seventeen” (1981)
27. Katrina & the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)
28. U2 “Angel of Harlem” (1988)

DMDB Top 10%:

29. Cameo “Word Up” (1986)
30. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians “What I Am” (1988)
31. The Church “Under the Milky Way” (1988)
32. Billy Joel “The Longest Time” (1984)
33. Enya “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” (1988)
34. Billy Vera & the Beaters “At This Moment” (1981)
35. The Jacksons with Mick Jagger “State of Shock” (1984)
36. Whitesnake “Still of the Night” (1987)
37. Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” (1986)
38. Bangles “Hazy Shade of Winter” (1987)
39. Echo & the Bunnymen “The Killing Moon” (1984)
40. Traveling Wilburys “Hande with Care” (1988)
41. Rainbow “Since You’ve Been Gone” (1979)

DMDB Top 20%:

42. Benny Mardones “Into the Night” (1980)
43. Pixies “Where Is My Mind?” (1988)
44. Scandal “The Warrior” (1984)
45. Frida Lyngstad “I Know There’s Something Going On” (1982)
46. John Lennon “Nobody Told Me” (1984)
47. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band “Turn the Page (live)” (1976)
48. The Jeff Healy Band “Angel Eyes” (1988)
49. Sammy Hagar “I Can’t Drive 55” (1984)
50. The Firm “Radioactive” (1985)

Resources/Related Links:

2015: Top 25 Albums

First posted 1/8/2021.

Dave’s Music Database:

Top Albums of 2015

Based on a combination of year-end lists and overall status in Dave’s Music Database, these are the top 25 albums of 2015:

  1. Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
  2. Adele 25
  3. Chris Stapleton Traveller
  4. Hamilton cast album
  5. The Weeknd Beauty Behind the Madness
  6. Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell
  7. Tame Impala Currents
  8. Drake If You’re Reading This, You’re Too Late
  9. Courtney Barnett Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
  10. Justin Bieber Purpose

  11. Alabama Shakes Sound & Color
  12. Grimes Art Angels
  13. Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear
  14. Twenty One Pilots Blurryface
  15. Florence + the Machine How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  16. Jamie XX In Colour
  17. Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion
  18. Kamasi Washington The Epic
  19. Sleater-Kinney No Cities to Love
  20. Future DS2

  21. Wilco Star Wars
  22. Meghan Trainor Title
  23. Luke Bryan Kill the Lights
  24. Björk Vulnicura
  25. Dr. Dre Compton

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frank Sinatra's Top 100 Songs

First posted 12/12/2015; updated 5/25/2019.

image from

Singer born Francis Albert Sinatra on 12/12/1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Died 5/14/1998. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” is one of the premiere pop crooners and traditional pop artists of all time. His personal life was tabloid fodder thanks to several high-profile marriages and divorces and his alleged association with the Mafia.

He began professionally singing as a teenager. Worked with the Hoboken Four (35-39), the Harry James’ Orchestra (39), and Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra (39-42) before going solo on 9/3/42. On 6/1/43, he signed with Columbia Records and on 3/13/53 to Capitol Records, where he recorded a series of critically acclaimed and commercially successful themed albums. He was a residency performer with the Rat Pack in Las Vegas in the early 1950s and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in From Here to Eternity. Formed his own record label, Reprise Records, in 1960 and sold it to Warner Brothers in 1963.

“I’ll Never Smile Again,” which featured Sinatra on lead vocals with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953.

For a complete list of this act’s songs and albums honored by the DMDB, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Top 100 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards.

Notes: TD = Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra. Sinatra landed 40 songs at #1 on various charts, including the U.S. pre-Billboard pop charts (US), Hit Parade (HP), adult contemporary charts (AC), the UK charts (UK), the Canadian charts (CN), and the Australian charts (AU).

DMDB Top 1%:

1. I’ll Never Smile Again (w/ TD & the Pied Pipers, 1940) #1 US, HP
2. All or Nothing at All (w/ Harry James’ Orchestra, 1939) #1 US, HP
3. Strangers in the Night (1966) #1 US, AC, UK, AU
4. There Are Such Things (w/ TD & the Pied Pipers (1942) #1 US, HP
5. My Way (1969)

DMDB Top 5%:

6. Five Minutes More (1946) #1 US, HP, AU
7. Somethin’ Stupid (w/ Nancy Sinatra, 1967) #1 US, AC, UK, CN, AU
8. You’ll Never Walk Alone (w/ the Ken Lane Singers, 1945)
9. Theme from ‘New York, New York’ (1980)
10. One for My Baby and One for the Road (1949)

11. White Christmas (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1949)
12. In the Blue of the Evening (w/ TD, 1942) #1 US
13. Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week (1944)
14. They Say It’s Wonderful (1946) #1 HP
15. Stardust (w/ TD & the Pied Pipers, 1940)
16. Learnin’ the Blues (1955) #1 US, HP, AU
17. Young at Heart (1954) #1 HP, AU
18. Night and Day (w/ Axel Stordahl’s Orchestra, 1942)
19. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (1956)
20. Oh! What It Seemed to Be (1946) #1 US, HP

21. I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1944) #1 HP
22. Oh, Look at Me Now (w/ TD, Connie Haines, & the Pied Pipers, 1941)
23. All the Way (1957)
24. I’ll Be Seeing You (w/ TD, 1940) #1 HP
25. How About You? (w/ TD, 1942)
26. Almost Like Being in Love (1947)
27. Autumn in New York (1949)
28. Love and Marriage (1955)
29. But Beautiful (1948)
30. I’ve Got a Crush on You (w/ Bobby Hackett, 1948)

31. A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1944) #1 AU
32. Goodnight Irene (w/ the Mitch Miller Singers, 1950) #1 HP, UK
33. Mam’selle (1947) #1 US, HP, AU
34. Some Enchanted Evening (1949) #1 HP
35. Time after Time (1947)
36. People Will Say We’re in Love (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1943) #1 HP
37. You’ll Never Know (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1943) #1 HP
38. This Love of Mine (w/ TD & the Pied Pipers, 1941)
39. Nancy with the Laughing Face (1945)
40. Call Me Irresponsible (1963)

41. Love Is the Tender Trap (1955)
42. It Was a Very Good Year (1965) #1 AC
43. Stardust (1962)
44. Begin the Beguine (1946)

DMDB Top 10%:

45. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1943)
46. Everything Happens to Me (w/ TD, 1941)
47. High Hopes (w/ A Bunch O Kids, 1959)
48. September Song (1946)
49. Sunday, Monday or Always (w/ the Bobby Tucker Singers, 1943) #1 HP, AU
50. Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) #1 HP, UK, AU

51. Imagination (w/ TD, 1940) #1 HP
52. Polka Dots and Moonbeams (w/ TD, 1940)
53. It’s Always You (w/ TD, 1943)
54. I Get a Kick Out of You (1953)
55. Witchcraft (1957)
56. Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear to Tread (w/ TD, 1940) #1 HP
57. Summer Wind (1966) #1 AC
58. My Funny Valentine (1954)
59. Here’s That Rainy Day (1959)
60. It Started All Over Again (w/ TD, 1943)

61. Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue) (1945) #1 HP
62. That’s Life (1966) #1 AC
63. Come Fly with Me (1958)
64. Nature Boy (1948) #1 HP
65. If I Loved You (1945)
66. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time) (w/ the Ken Lane Singers, 1945)
67. I’ve Got the World on a String (1953)
68. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me) (w/ TD, 1940) #1 HP
69. The Second Time Around (1961)
70. It Only Happens When I Dance with You (1948)

71. I’m Walking Behind You (1953) #1 HP, AU
72. Just As Though You Were Here (w/ TD, 1942)
73. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (1955)
74. Day by Day (1946)
75. The Way You Look Tonight (1964)
76. Take Me (w/ TD, 1942)
77. Nice ‘N’ Easy (1960)
78. I Only Have Eyes for You (1949)
79. Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town) (1957)
80. All of Me (1948)

81. I’m a Fool to Want You (1951)
82. Fly Me to the Moon (1964)
83. They Can’t Take That Away from Me (1954)
84. Nevertheless I’m in Love with You (1950) #1 HP
85. Granada (1961)
86. Do I Worry? (w/ TD, 1941)
87. You and I (w/ TD, 1941)
88. Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me) (1958)
89. New York, New York (w/ Gene Kelly, 1949)
90. Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy (1950) #1 HP

DMDB Top 20%:

91. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (w/ Bono, 1993)
92. Dolores (w/ TD, 1941) #1 US
93. I’ll Be Seeing You (re-recording w/ TD, 1961)
94. All Through the Day (1946) #1 HP
95. Be Careful, It’s My Heart (w/ TD, 1942)
96. What’ll I Do? (1948)
97. Say It Over and Over Again (w/ TD, 1940)
98. Me and My Shadow (w/ Sammy Davis, Jr., 1962)
99. The Birth of the Blues (1952)
100. Our Love Affair (w/ TD, 1940)


Saturday, December 5, 2015

“Love Yourself” debuted at #4, giving Justin Bieber three songs in top 5

Last updated 2/15/2021.

Love Yourself

Justin Bieber

Writer(s): Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco, Justin Bieber (see lyrics here)

Released: November 9, 2015

First Charted: November 20, 2015

Peak: 12 US, 14 RR, 18 AC, 15 A40, 16 UK, 12 CN, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.85 US, 2.06 UK, 11.7 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1975.1 video, 1305.0 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“Love Yourself” was the third single from Justin Bieber’s fourth album, Purpose. All three songs went to #1 in the U.S. and UK. The song debuted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 while Bieber’s previous singles “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry” were still in the top 5. Prior to Bieber, only The Beatles and 50 Cent had accomplished that feat. WK “Love Yourself” knocked “Sorry” out of the number one slot, making him the twelfth artist to succeed himself on the Hot 100. WK It did so in the UK as well, making him only the third act – after the Beatles and Elvis Presley – to do so. SF It ended up as Billboard’s number one song of the year and was nominated for Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. It won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Song.

The cut was “a kiss-off to a narcisstic ex-lover who did the protagonist wrong.” WK Bieber said it was “definitely about someone in my past,” WK singing “‘Cause if you like the way you look that much, oh baby you should go and love yourself.” WK Bieiber also said that it was “cool because so many people can resonate with that because how many women do we bring back that mom doesn’t really necessarily like?” WK

It was written by Bieber with Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco. Blanco produced the track, offering the instrumentation and programming. WK The acoustic pop song featured “just vocals, an electric guitar, and a brief flurry of trumpets.” WK Sheeran, who has said he originally had Rihanna in mind for the track WK and that he considered it for his own album, SF provided background vocals. WK Of working with Sheeran, Bieber said, “I think he’s one of the most talented writers in the game right now” WK “so just to be able to work with that caliber of songwriter was really, really awesome.” WK

Consequence of Sound’s Michelles Geslani said it “sounds exactly like what you’d expect from a meeting of these two minds.” WK Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt called it “the world’s first campfire-folk diss track” WK and Digital Spy’s Amy Davidson called it a “deliciously evil poison-pen ballad.” Spin’s Andrew Unterberger called the song “an earth-salting, cruelly chuckling kiss-off track [which] features an unprecedented-for Bieber caliber of lyrical detail.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Scott Weiland: His 20 Top Songs

image from

Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots and the supergroup Velvet Revolver, died from a drug overdose on 12/3/2015 while on tour in Bloomington, Minnesota. He was 48. In honor of Weiland, here are his top 20 songs according to Dave’s Music Database, which compiles sales, chart performance, radio airplay, and best-of lists.

1. Stone Temple Pilots “Plush” (1992)
2. Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song” (1994)
3. Velvet Revolver “Fall to Pieces” (2004)
4. Stone Temple Pilots “Vasoline” (1994)
5. Stone Temple Pilots “Big Empty” (1994)
6. Velvet Revolver “Slither” (2004)
7. Stone Temple Pilots “Big Bang Baby” (1996)
8. Stone Temple Pilots “Creep” (1992)
9. Stone Temple Pilots “Trippin’ ona Hole in a Paper Heart” (1996)
10. Stone Temple Pilots “Sour Girl” (1999)

11. Stone Temple Pilots “Dancing Days” (1995)
12. Stone Temple Pilots “Sex Type Thing” (1992)
13. Stone Temple Pilots “Lady Picture Show” (1996)
14. Stone Temple Pilots “Pretty Penny” (1994)
15. Stone Temple Pilots “Wicked Garden” (1992)
16. Velvet Revolver “The Last Fight” (2007)
17. Stone Temple Pilots “Between the Lines” (2010)
18. Stone Temple Pilots “Revolution” (2001)
19. Stone Temple Pilots “Unglued” (1994)
20. Magnificent Bastards “Mockingbird Girl” (1995)

50 years ago: The Beatles released Rubber Soul

Last updated 11/24/2020.

Rubber Soul

The Beatles

Released in UK: December 3, 1965

Released in U.S.: December 6, 1965

Peak: 16 US, 18 UK, 1 CN, 111 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.5 US, 0.75 UK, 13.9 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop/rock

Tracks (UK Version of Rubber Soul):

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

You can check out the Beatles’ complete singles discography here.

  1. Drive My Car [2:30]
  2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) [2:05]
  3. You Won’t See Me [3:22]
  4. Nowhere Man [2:44] (3/5/66, 3 US, 1 CN, 1 AU, gold single)
  5. Think for Yourself [2:19]
  6. The Word [2:43]
  7. Michelle [2:42]
  8. What Goes On [2:50] (2/21/66, 81 US)
  9. Girl [2:33]
  10. I’m Looking Through You [2:27]
  11. In My Life [2:27]
  12. Wait [2:16]
  13. If I Needed Someone (Harrison) [2:23]
  14. Run for Your Life [2:18]

Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 34:55

Tracks (U.S. Version of Rubber Soul):

  1. I’ve Just Seen a Face [2:07]
  2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) [2:05]
  3. You Won’t See Me [3:22]
  4. Think for Yourself [2:19]
  5. The Word [2:43]
  6. Michelle [2:42]
  7. It’s Only Love [1:58]
  8. Girl [2:33]
  9. I’m Looking Through You [2:27]
  10. In My Life [2:27]
  11. Wait [2:16]
  12. Run for Your Life [2:18]

Total Running Time: 28:39

The Players:

  • John Lennon (vocals, guitar)
  • Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
  • George Harrison (guitar, vocals)
  • Ringo Starr (drums, vocals)

Rating for UK Version:

4.574 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Rating for U.S. Version:

4.038 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)

Awards for UK version of Rubber Soul:

About the UK Version of Rubber Soul:

Rubber Soul is without a doubt the first album to definitively put the Fab Four in the running for Greatest Band Ever.” CDU It was ”the best ‘60s rock album produced up to this point, which is saying a lot – there was…some stiff competition (e.g., The Beach Boys’ Today).” AMG2 “Written and recorded in just over a month,” AD Rubber Soul was “the opening volley of the album era.” IB “While the Beatles didn’t totally eschew the two-minute pop ditties on Rubber Soul,” DV “the songs started to get more serious” KN and “more than the traditional radio fodder.” DV This was really “the first set of rock ‘n’ roll originals written, recorded and packaged as an album.” IB It was “important historically [for] pushing The Beach Boys, The Beatles themselves and countless others” AD “away from singles” AD and “into a more considered album-making approach.” AD It would become “the foundation upon which the music industry would be based for the next 15 years.” IB

The album “was well-timed, well put together and is very easy to listen to…thanks to clever sequencing.” AD “Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward” AMG2 as this “was the first disc…to give the Beatles room to experiment musically.” DV ”Virtually every aspect of the Liverpool quartet’s incredibly diverse sound is in evidence here.” CDU “Intricate folk-rock arrangements…reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds” AMG2 and the “burgeoning folk rock movement.” AD “The group and George Martin were also beginning to expand the conventional instrumental parameters of the rock group.” AMG2 The album is “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.’” CDU

“The lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities.” AMG2 “The band sounds far more intelligent…(and stoned) than on their early records.” MU “John, Paul, George and Ringo finally gave in to their urge to grow and released their first introspective work.” RV “While John and Paul were beginning to carve separate songwriting identities at this point, the album is full of great tunes.” AMG2

“Whilst the overall sound and feel of the album is cohesive, ‘Think For Yourself’, ‘What Goes On’, ‘I’m Looking Through You’ and the closing ‘Run For Your Life’ don’t feel like major compositions…They sound perfectly fine…and work within the LP’s framework, but any one of these four songs taken away and judged individually would lose power.” AD On top of that, “there’s no cornerstone to Rubber Soul - no ‘A Day in the Life’ or long medley,” IB although “‘Drive My Car’ and…‘In My Life’ are lasting classics of such different styles you can hardly believe one band recorded them. Only one band could have.” IB

It could also be argued that ”The Fabs don’t go as far out on a limb here as on the more overtly experimental Revolver,” DBW Despite it all, “as a collection of songs” IB Rubber Soul “is perhaps the Beatles’ most finely crafted and accessible work.” CDU This is “not a raft for a few hits or a soundtrack to a wacky film, but something to be listened to and contemplated from start to finish.” TL In short, “this record is a blast;” DBW a “virtually flawless” IB and “undeniable pivot point in the Fab Four’s varied discography” AZ “and consequently many fans’ and critics’ favorite.” CDU

Rubber Soul perhaps finds John Lennon at his absolute best. Several of his songs were written under a quick approaching deadline, and when it came to writing under pressure, nobody churned out better lyrics than Lennon.” KN

“In My Life”

John’s "In My Life is the best of the lot, marked out by timeless lyrics” MU that “wrap up a lifetime’s worth of reminiscing and maturity in a manner that is rarely achieved in any art form.” DV Its “poignant” DV and “misty-eyed reflections” IB make for a slice of “pop perfection,” CDU that is both “emotionally devastating and beautiful.” AD To top things off, there is “a backwards piano solo courtesy of George Martin” MU that “sound[s] like a harpsichord.” AMG2 This may “be the best Beatles song ever written.” DV

“Norwegian Wood”

“In My Life” and Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) are both “highly personal, almost diary-like sketches that rank among his most popular work.” JA “The Beatles’ burgeoning experimentation comes to fruition on [the latter] with George Harrison introducing the sitar into the band’s work” RV “long before Ravi Shankar’s set at Woodstock, by using it as - egads! - a lead instrument.” DV It was “the first prominent rock record to feature a sitar” JA and, thanks to the “continuing improvement in the inventiveness of [George’s] playing,” AD made for “a strange combination that [was] absolutely magical,” DV “mysterious and pained.” TL

“Nowhere Man”

John uses ‘Norwegian Wood’ and Nowhere Man to showcase a touch of “dark, irony-filled Dylanism.” CDU The latter “compositionally things take a further step forward” AD as “the first Beatle song to move beyond romantic themes entirely.” AMG2 “’Nowhere Man’ was one of those songs that John wrote at the last minute for the album, and it turns out super.” KN “John sounds wonderful, the lyrics are wonderful, the guitar folk rock and the bass fluid and melodic. The harmonies work well and the whole thing works together, creating something of a minor masterpiece.” AD

“The Word”

”John is experimenting with anthems [such as] The WordAZ which “can be read as a pre-psych warning shot.” AZ The song “summarizes the whole flower power movement two years before it even happened.” JA Both that and ‘Drive My Car’ “parade a fat, Stax-like bottom end.” IB

“Drive My Car”

“The punchy R&B” IB of Drive My Car, is a “relatively straightforward pop/rock opener” AD “rooted in their early cute phase,” TL “but exhibited some “amusing tale-spinning” IB and a “love of good ol’ rock & roll music.” CDU The song demonstrated that while “the Beatles were often still sticking to their tried-and-true love song format,” JA most notably on Paul’s contributions, “the lads could still rock, but with a little more substance.” RV

“You Won’t See Me” / “I’m Looking Through You”

Other examples of the tried-and-true love song format include “You Won’t See Me[which] works as a showcase for Paul’s new mellow bass sound,” AD and I’m Looking Through You, which features “fantastic hammond organ playing” MU from Ringo, turning “a better than average Paul folk-rocker into an instant classic.” MU Those songs and “’Michelle’ are all delightful, immediate, and enduring.” IB


Michelle, Paul’s best contribution,” KN “is typical McCartney;” AD “a simple but sweet ballad” KN whose “arrangement and melody really do a good job of creating the atmosphere of a night in Paris,” MU not to mention “a little bit of French thrown in that adds to the song’s feel.” KN Of course, it is another line in the song that “raises a smile:” AD “‘these are words that go together well’…McCartney does exactly that with his lyric writing,” AD “opposed to the lyrically more thoughtful John.” AD


“Michelle” and Girl, both laced with “Greek-like guitar lines” AMG2 and “the ability to make young girls swoon.” RV reveal a “passion for classic tin pan alley balladry.” CDU The latter, “written on the last night of the sessions” AZ ranks as “of the best ballads [John] ever wrote.” IB “He’s on wonderful vocal form throughout” AD on what “stand[s] as [one of the] turning points in John Lennon’s oeuvre.” AZ

“If I Needed Someone” / “Think for Yourself”

George Harrison, who was “developing into a fine songwriter,” AMG2 “comes through with his best tunes to date.” MU He “throws in clever lyrics” DBW on “the Byrdsish If I Needed SomeoneAMG2 “and rocks out on Think for Yourself, with Paul on fuzz bass.” DBW

“What Goes On”

“There is but one stumbling point on Rubber Soul - namely, the sole contribution that drummer Ringo Starr makes” DV with “the countryish-ditty What Goes On.” MU “This has nothing to do with Starr’s songwriting ability or vocal talents…Starr was more competent of a singer and songwriter than many people are willing to give him credit for;” DV if anything, blame…is shared with Lennon and McCartney, who also wrote the song. Simply put, it’s not…the strongest material ever to come from these songwriters’ pens.” DV

“Run for Your Life”

”John’s insecurely misogynistic Run for Your LifeJA is “a cold-blooded attack on an unfaithful lover. ‘I’d rather see you dead little girl, than be with another man,’ he bawls.” RV Despite being “perhaps the least essential track” AD on the album, the song still “features a great vocal” JA and some nice “little guitar interludes between the verses and following the chorus parts.” AD

About the U.S. Version of Rubber Soul:

Rubber Soul was repackaged in the U.S. “in an attempt to offer a more ‘American’ release” AZ “that better reflected “the folk-rock sound blossoming in the States,” AMG1 and “ the influence that the sound of the Byrds and the songwriting of Bob Dylan were having on the Beatles.” AMG1

”Capitol Records removed four songs from the U.K. edition of Rubber Soul [later on the US-only album ”Yesterday”…and Today], and added two songs from the U.K. Help!AMG1 – “the pleading acoustic ‘It's Only Love’ and the rollicking opener ‘I've Just Seen a Face.’” AMG1

“By dropping the piano-driven ‘Drive My Car’ and the stark ‘Nowhere Man,’ the U.S. edition stands as a much more organic and warm musical whole,” AMG1 “more earthy and textural.” AMG1

One final note: “Some pressings of the U.S. edition were released with an odd ‘false start’ at the beginning of ‘I'm Looking Through You,’ a fact that is sure to prick up the ears of die-hard Beatles fans upon first listen.” AMG1

Notes: In 2006, the Capitol Records Vol. 2 box set gathered the U.S. albums The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help!, and Rubber Soul on CD for the first time.

Resources and Related Links: