We’ve debated this endlessly over the years, Revolver vs Rubber Soul. My 15 year old daughter Emily is doing a program in Oxford this summer and was asked to write about her favorite Beatles album.

Revolver is a genius work of art. … It is terrifically well balanced and consistent,
giving the listener a taste of all the Beatles have to offer. Revolver
is by far the Beatles strongest and most impressive album.

There’s a lot more including the opportunity to leave a comment and join the endless debate.

#My Music

Comments (Archived):

  1. S.t

    How can you compare? They are both awesome.RevolverAugust 1966All tracks are credited to Lennon/McCartney, except where noted.[edit] Side one 1. “Taxman” (Harrison) – 2:39 2. “Eleanor Rigby” – 2:07 3. “I’m Only Sleeping” – 3:01 4. “Love You To” (Harrison) – 3:01 5. “Here, There and Everywhere” – 2:25 6. “Yellow Submarine” – 2:40 7. “She Said She Said” – 2:37[edit] Side two 1. “Good Day Sunshine” – 2:09 2. “And Your Bird Can Sing” – 2:01 3. “For No One” – 2:01 4. “Doctor Robert” – 2:15 5. “I Want to Tell You” (Harrison) – 2:29 6. “Got to Get You into My Life” – 2:30 7. “Tomorrow Never Knows” – 2:57Rubber SoulDecember, 1965Side one 1. “I’ve Just Seen A Face” – 2:07 2. “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” – 2:00 3. “You Won’t See Me” – 3:19 4. “Think for Yourself” (Harrison) – 2:16 5. “The Word” – 2:42 6. “Michelle” – 2:42[edit] Side two 1. “It’s Only Love” – 1:53 2. “Girl” – 2:26 3. “I’m Looking Through You” – 2:20 4. “In My Life” – 2:23 5. “Wait” – 2:13 6. “Run for Your Life” – 2:21

    1. S.t

      …although I’d take The White Album & Abbey Road over Revolver & Rubber Soul

      1. logicalextremes

        I have to agree… Rubber Soul and Revolver are both great albums, but I’d put the White album and Abbey Road (and A Day in the Life from Sgt. Pepper’s) as the best of.

    2. cyanbane

      The last 15 mins of Abbey Road maybe the best medley of all time.As a cohesive album from the Beatles I still vote Sgt Pepper.I hope the concept of an album still has as much relevance for my daughter in 15 years. I think it might not. 🙁

    3. sam

      If my memory is correct, my Rubber Soul starts with “Drive My Car”

  2. John A Arkansawyer

    I don’t see how there can be any debate. “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” is the pinnacle of the Beatles’ career.

    1. S.t

      I’d have to go with the “Hey Jude”/”Revolution” single

      1. John A Arkansawyer

        That was my second Beatles single, I do believe, and it is a good one. But you can feel the weight of Beatleness beginning to wear on them terribly in both those songs. What you get from “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” is that wonderful moment where they’ve just grasped what was at the edge of their reach and gone for it and gotten it.It’s a young work, and the Beatles were a band of youth.”Revolution”/”Hey Jude” (he said contentiously) has that world-weary, Romantic, old-before-their-time vibe. At least, that’s how it looks in the rear view mirror.(Not that I have anything against the rock of age, and of ages–let me know when we’re talking Dylan so I can argue for Love and Theft as his best work.)

  3. Michael F. Martin

    Why would you ever choose? Why do we love to rank things?

    1. fredwilson

      good point but that was her task, to write about her favorite

  4. bfeld

    I’m with Emily.

  5. jjfreitag

    Abbey Road, Revolver, Rubber Soul, White, Sgt Pepper – my favorites in that order but I love them all. Great topic.

  6. kidmercury

    rubber soul, no doubt.

  7. ppearlman

    just listened to both of them… and while both filled w brilliant collection of songs rubber soul is the better ‘album’ themtaiclly cohesive and chock w vibrant harmonies…

    1. fredwilson

      Like I said. The never ending debate!

  8. fakedjs

    I went to that camp as well and remember hearing Radioead from campus. Radiohead was playing live not too far away. In Rainbows is my favorite Beatles album.

    1. Neil Harris

      Personally, I have to vote for A Hard Day’s Night and Help! These albums represent the crown of the Beatles as British invasion rock band — less mature but perhaps more fun.

      1. fakedjs

        The best in recommending old an new music.– Thanks for listening to

  9. mikenolan99

    I read your wife’s post on the subject – very, very good.

  10. grahammudd

    yup, emily is spot on! revolver all the way. sgt pepper beats rubber soul in my estimation.

  11. pweitzman

    Give me the Kinks and the Stones any day of the week. The Beatles are just too safe and way too played.

    1. fredwilson

      They are all great in my book

  12. jquaglia

    Out of these two, I think that Revolver has to win out, but they are oh so close.However, I think that Sgt Peppers is more a consensus number 1 ever. “With a Little Help,” “Lucy in the Sky,” “A Day in the Life,” all on the same album?

  13. Martin Owen

    Revolve was a summer album. I remember the day it came out and the sun was shinning… but we worked long hours in the summer. Rubber Soul was a winter album…. so you hung out in friends rooms playing and talking (and copying the chords) – wasn’t it good Norwegian Wood….but then Revolver has McCartney’s greatest song “Elennor Rigby”but then Rubber Soul has Lennon’s greatest song “In my life”….ho hum

  14. vantelimus

    Interesting question, but as others have pointed out, the Beatles have produced many great albums. Given the opportunity to wax philosophically and emotionally, I could argue for each of them, even the American pastiche Beatles ’65, with its Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins covers along with the first recorded use of feedback on a song (“I Feel Fine”). However, in the Revolver vs. Rubber Soul debate, I think today I’d choose Revolver if for no other reason the other day while fumbling around with my iPod I accidentally hit “And Your Bird Can Sing”. Not having heard that track in ages, I was transfixed.To pootytang: The Beatles were too safe? I suppose that’s why Nixon considered John Lennon a threat to the Republic, while the Rolling Stones never hit his radar.

    1. fredwilson

      Lennon was as unsafe as the come.

  15. Adi

    Love revolver. Beatls are gods. And I love the new formatting of this blog on my iphone

  16. andyswan

    Sgt Pepper, from cover, to back (lyrics!!! a first) to the songs and theme. Lovely Rita!!!But ya, revolver…I think I need to pull that one back out. I’m one of those people that listens to a single album in my car for 2-3 months…over and over and over. I don’t know why I do that, but I love it 🙂

  17. Dave Hendricks

    No hedging here. There is no question in my mind that Revolver is the better album. If covers are the best judge of other artists’ respect of a musical work, then the case is closed. It’s not only a great rock album, but it also has the most enduring eastern-psychedelic compositions (“tomorrow never knows”), political protest songs (“Taxman”) and ballads (“and your bird can sing”). It is still a great listen more than 40 years later. Rubber Soul sounds dated by comparison.Rubber Soul is the bridge between the early beatles and the Beatles that would make Sgt Peppers and The Beatles (White Album). Great album, but sounds dustier to me, a big beatles fan.

  18. edsull

    Hello Fred,What’s the Oxford program? My 13 yo daughter is interested in Oxford.

    1. fredwilson

      EdEmail me and I’ll give you the detailsClick the contact link on the upper rightFred

      1. edsull

        This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.Delivery to the following recipients failed. [email protected]

  19. sam

    For me, it really depends on my mood and what I haven’t listened to in awhile.I first discovered The Beatles freshman year in high school, about 9 years ago. (Man, I feel old now.) All of their songs sounded strangely familiar and they fit the prerequisite that their entire albums are listenable (not just a few songs) to become one of my favorite bands. Does anyone else have this prerequisite?Nowadays I’ve heard everything by them… there’s really no way to rank them. Then again, we could look at their record sales, right?

  20. jackson

    Best? Dunno. Certainly my favorite.

    1. fredwilson

      Good point jackson. I think that was the assignment. Not best, but favorite