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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: October 12, 1965 (Tuesday)

The Beatles had released two albums in 1963 and 1964, and now in 1965 they did the same again. The problem was, they had little material to work with and time was passing by. John and Paul had to force themselves to come with more than a dozen new songs and then, with George and Ringo, zip through a crash series of recording sessions in order to have the LP in the stores by early December. These did not even begin until today, October 12th.

Rubber Soul was a major truning point in the Beatles career, in terms of musical composition and recording technique. Rubber Soul has proven a durable and very necessary platform between the class pop music of HELP! and the experimental ideas of Revolver.

John later admitted that in having to write and record quickly he would sometimes rely on other records for his ideas. Certainly he did so for "Run For Your Life", the first song taped in these new sessions, lifting two lines from "Baby Let's Play House" (Elvis Presley, 1955). The recording was begun and completed in five takes, 2:30 to 7:00 pm.

Rather than break for dinner, the Beatles immediately began to tape another new John Lennon song, and one of which he was, justifiably, more than a little proud. At this stage it was called "This Bird Has Flown", when it was re-made nine days after this first attempt. The term re-make can often imply that the initial recording has imperfections - not so for "This Bird Has Flown", however, for while it may not have been an exact realization of what John wanted, it was still a suberb recording, quite different but arguably as dazzling as the version which ended up on the L.P. Just one take of this, with a number of overdubs, was recorded between 7:00 and 11:30 pm, with George's sitar contribution marking the first appearance of this Indian instrument on a pop record.

 

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