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Friday, January 5, 2007

Question for New Staffer Eric Grandy: Revolver or Rubber Soul?

posted by on January 5 at 12:50 PM

The Stranger’s new staffer Eric Grandy (best known as DJ Fits) has been asked the question that has been asked of many others before him. You remember, don’t you? The Great Revolver Vs. Rubber Soul Debate of Fall ‘05? Amy Kate Horn just said: “Not that old discussion again.” Yup! It’s baaaaack!

(For those of you who weren’t alive a year ago, a recap: erstwhile music editor Dave Segal stated that Revolver is the best Beatles album. I dissented, because the best Beatles album is Rubber Soul. Segal told me to grow up. Sean Nelson said we were both wrong. David Schmader rejected the premise. Josh Feit yawned.)

Quoth the new guy:

I’ll say Revolver.

That’s not the right answer, Mr. Grandy. I don’t think this is going to work out.

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Actually, Sean was right: the White Album. More diverse and experimental than either Rubber Soul or Revolver, but with still enough pop gems to please those misguided souls who thought Revolution 9 was a bunch of twaddle rather than a SERIES OF SECRET SUBLIMINAL MIND-CONTROL COMMANDS FROM THE NINTH DIMENSION, which is, of course, what it was.

But if I had to pick one or the other, Rubber Soul is indisputably the best album from the Beatles' first (we could call it "pre-LSD") period. Revolver is a transitional album, not squarely in either camp, and thus not worthy of acclaim it's so often given.

Oh, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" is so far from the best Beatles song that anybody who says that must be high. But not high enough to appreicate, say, George's overlooked psychedelic masterwork, "It's all Too Much" from the otherwise nearly worthless Yellow Sumbarine album. (Other good and exclusive song on that album: "Hey Bulldog.") Not to mention not high enough to appreciate the whole White Album, start to finish.

Posted by MattyDread | January 5, 2007 2:12 PM

While the White Album is my favorite Beatles record for so many boring reasons, the question is between Rubber Soul and Revolver, and I'd have to take Revolver thank you. Two reasons: She Said and Tomorrow Never Knows.

Mattydread, you must be high. Tomorrow Never Knows is fucking killer. Shut the fuck up ho.

Posted by Walrus Gumboot | January 5, 2007 3:01 PM

Revolver has the best Beatles songs in one album.

But Rubber Soul is the best Beatles album. It's a sum of the parts type deal here.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | January 5, 2007 11:06 PM

The White Album is definitely the best. Of the other two, I'd hate to choose . . . that was the time when almost everything the Beatles touched was gold. Each song had its highs and lows but it was all so good . . . (and yeah, I'm 55, and those days are like yesterday for me.)

By the way, Eric's dad is weird. ;-)

Posted by Sachi Wilson | January 6, 2007 5:25 PM

Rubber Soul. I agree that it's a stronger album in sum. I like "Tomorrow Never Knows", but its rival wraps things up with "Run For Your Life". I have Rubber Soul as one long mp3 and I usually listen to the whole thing.

Posted by Wesley | January 7, 2007 7:06 PM

Eric is right, it's Revolver, if this and all other discussions of the Beatles are not worn into the ground...but this week he called the Weather Underground "yuppie"??? Think what you will of them, but yuppie is not the appropriate word, then or now. The Beatles (except for Lennon) on the other hand....

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 8, 2007 3:04 AM

He probably meant Yippie.

Posted by segal | January 8, 2007 2:27 PM

um...I'm a bit late to this but no one has mentioned whether they're listening to US or UK versions of either of the two LPs? Thats important 'cause the UK versions have different tracklistings than the US versions (Rubber Soul US has two songs off the UK version of HELP!! for fuck sake). Thank Capitol's need to cut up two UK LPs to make THREE US that regard Yesterday and Today will count in the equation (and it really serves to make US verions of Revolver & RS more producer's LPs rather than visionary Bealtes' LPs). Um ALSO mono AND stereo versions play into the sonic impact as well (I have a German copy of Rubber Soul and the stereo split is AWFUL)...seriously, if you're gonna fight about it...

oh well, I guess our opinions as to which is best don't really count as Mr. Harrison, in the Anthology, said Revolver and Rubber Soul could be referred to as 'Part 1 and Part 2' I guess (pun intended) it's really apples vs apples then?

Posted by nipper | January 9, 2007 4:46 PM

I assumed we are talking about the UK versions, which are of course superior to the US ones.

Nipper, your hair-splitting is driving me crazy.

Posted by segal | January 10, 2007 6:21 PM

really, you/we should then ask frizzelle which version he's talking about, it's his question. The UK versions of the LPs are pretty hard to come by in the US and most of us dug 'em first on beat up hand-me-down copies. Unless his older siblings/parents/parent's siblings were beatlemaniacs I suspect he grew up listening to US copies.

and hair spliting I must. hahahahaha! I'm a collector, I have an undying NEED to understand/hear all versions and variations to have an honest understanding of the whole, I know you know as a writer that kinda of context counts. It's careless to NOT seek it all out. Which got me to, this arguement could play the same for UK vs UK versions of Folyd's Piper, two different verions of that LP appeared along with very different mono and stereo mixes...but, if it's driving you crazy, it's only reassuring ME that I am crazy!

Posted by nipper | January 11, 2007 10:04 PM

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