No.5 – The Beatles, ‘Rubber Soul’

Listening to this much Beatles in such a short space of time really makes me question whether the band really deserves this many spaces in the top five.

Maybe I’m missing some important context, or maybe I’m just Beatlesed-out, but Rubber Soul was boring. It wasn’t interesting. While essentially inoffensive, it didn’t feel as original or as innovative or even as enjoyable as ‘Sgt Pepper’ or ‘Revolver’ – there weren’t any standout tracks for me at all. They all seemed to blend into one. At this level of supposed greatness, I’m sorry but I need more variation than “oh, hey, this one has a sitar on it”.

Aaaaand to be honest, it’s at this point that the Rolling Stone panel kind of begins to show their hand. We’ve got five full albums down this list, and so far we have only heard records from straight white dudes from the 60s and 70s, three of which were by the same band. Are we really saying that this particular Beatles album, not even their best one, is greater, and more important to 20th century music, more influential than the entire discography of, say, Madonna? Of  Billie Holliday? Of David Bowie?

I’m doubtful.

When to listen to it: At the very end of the party, because guys, seriously, it’s 4.30am now and you need to go home.

Verdict: It’s not terrible, in all fairness, but it’s still taking up a precious slot on the list where something better could go.


Note: No.4 was Bob Dylan, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, but sadly this one wasn’t on Apple Music. No wonder I’m so overloaded on Beatles.


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