This Bird Has Flown

This Bird Has Flown

The Enduring Beauty of Rubber Soul, Fifty Years On

by John Kruth

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ pivotal album, released on Dec. 3 1965.


The Beatles’ sixth studio album, Rubber Soul, was a game changer, and in This Bird Has Flown: The Enduring Beauty of Rubber Soul, Fifty Years On, (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $19.99) John Kruth not only analyzes the songs and making of Rubber Soul, putting the album in context of the turbulent times in which it was created, but captures the spirit of musical innovation and poetry that makes the record a standout in the Beatle’s canon.

By December 1965, when the album was released, the Beatles had played the first arena rock show at Shea Stadium for 55,000 delirious fans, been awarded MBE (Member of British Empire) medals, and were indisputably the greatest musical phenomenon since Elvis Presley. With their first film, A Hard Day’s Night, John, Paul, George, and Ringo laid down the blueprint for everyone who ever wanted to form a group. The movie, entertaining as it was, became an instruction manual for aspiring pop stars of the day on how to play, dress, and act. Richard Lester’s 1964 comedy turned out to be the touchstone for every music video that followed.

Then, with the release of Rubber Soul, the Beatles created an artistic benchmark to which their peers measured their craft and creativity. Touring the world over two years, the band had grown up fast. Both musically and lyrically their new album represented a major leap. Upon hearing Rubber Soul, Bob Dylan allegedly remarked, “I get it, you’re not cute anymore.” Newsweek hailed the Beatles as “the Bards of Pop,” while critic Greil Marcus claimed Rubber Soul was “the best album they would ever make.” For Traffic’s Steve Winwood, the album “broke everything open. It crossed music into a whole new dimension and was responsible for kicking off the sixties rock era.”

A must-have for Fab Four devotees, This Bird Has Flown reaffirms Rubber Soul’s place as one of the most important rock ’n’ roll albums ever made.

6.0″ x 9.0″
232 pages
BackBeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


JOHN KRUTH has written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wire, and Wax Poetics. His books include Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison, published by Backbeat Books, To Live’s to Fly: The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt, winner of the 2008 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, and Bright Moments: The Life and Legacy of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. A musician and music professor, Kruth teaches at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and lives in New York City.



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on February 26, 2016, in Music Fans, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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