By any standards, Rubber Soul, released by The Beatles in 1965, is one of the most important records ever made. Nothing wrong with those early Beatles records of course – and we have interesting and rare copies of Please Please Me, With The Beatles, Beatles for Sale, Hard Day’s Night and Help in The Record Album racks as I write – but Rubber Soul marked a giant step forward even for the greatest band of them all.
Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Michelle, In My Life, in fact virtually every track represented a new and thrilling sophistication and pointed the way to the imminent splendours of Revolver and, of course, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
So it is especially gratifying for us to find ourselves with a copy of the most mysterious and intriguing of all the many versions of Rubber Soul at The Record Album. What we have before us is the very first pressing of the mono version (PMC 1267) with the XEX 579-1 and 580-1 matrices in the dead wax. As Beatles experts know, that means it is the legendary “Loud Cut” pressing, one of the rarest Beatles records of all.
At least we think it is.
There is nothing, bar the details listed above, to tell you that this is the Loud Cut – a hot master of the record which was only available for a few days before replaced by a (presumably) cleaner version. Only the matrices mark it out.
Our copy has worn its 53 years well, a few marks but it is playing beautifully as I write.