Rubber Soul (DBM-008)
Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), You Won’t See Me, Nowhere Man, Think For Yourself, The Word, Michelle, What Goes On, Girl, I’m Looking Through You, In My Life, Wait, If I Needed Someone, Run For Your Life
When EMI officially released Rubber Soul (CDP 7 46440 2) on April 30th, 1987, they used the stereo transfer instead of mono as they did with the Beatles’ first four LPs. Collectors were quick to point out that it was actually a remix rather than a straight transfer of the original stereo. Although it had better sound and some of the mistakes in the mix were corrected (for example, the noise in “Run For Your Life” present in the original is absent), a desire for fidelity to the original album as it was released lead to the production of many needle drop reproductions. Perhaps the earliest needledrop Rubber Soul was released only two years after EMI when Rubber Soul Special (MIDO Enterprize ZS 9103) was issued in Japan. This contains a transfer of the original vinyl along with bonus tracks. Of the more contemporary releases, both Fabulous Sound Lab (fs-1006) and Rubber Soul (MFSL 1-106) were issued in 2000. The Fabulous Sound transfer was processed using HDCD, but there is audible surface noise and pops present.
Rubber Soul (DLH) MFSL (DLH-1-106) was released in 2003 and is a straight transfer of the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab version. Millennium Remasters issued the stereo twice. Rubber Soul (Millennium U.K. Collection) (PMC 1267/MFSL 1-106) was released in 2002 and features the stereo from the MFSL 1982 box set and the UK mono LP box set. Rubber Soul (U.K. Collection BM-1/BC-13) (PMC 1267/PCS 3075) was issued in 2004 and like the earlier release offered both mono and stereo transfers with the mono sourced from the black box set and the stereo from the UK blue box. A label calling themselves Millennium Reel released Help!/Rubber Soul (L 2386/L 2442) in 2004 using stereo mixes of both albums. The stereo on Rubber Soul is remixed. For example, the shaker in “The Word,” while in the right channel on the original album is in the left channel. In 2006 Mirror Spock issued a cd-r of the UK stereo (BC13). This version suffers from some crackles in the right channel in the first track, but is otherwise very good.
Dr. Ebbett released eleven versions covering both the UK and US stereo and mono versions of the album. In 2000 they released two versions of the UK stereo edition, one from the Mobile Fidelity Stereo Lab (MFSL-1-106) and from the normal edition (PCS 3075). In 2005 Dr. Ebbett released Rubber Soul (DESS Stereo Remix – Parlophone) (PCS 3075rm). This is the third remix project by the label (following Please Please Me and Meet The Beatles) where Dr. Ebbett remasters the stereo so that the vocals and bass are more centered. These three proved to be very popular, but the more orthodox complained about fiddling with the mix. Last year Dr. Ebbett released their version of the blue box remaster (PCS 3075) on cd-r. The current DBM version is a straight copy onto silver disc of that release. It sounds excellent and is a great way to own a pristine needledrop transfer of the original UK stereo edition of Rubber Soul. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)