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"Think For Yourself"

(George Harrison, 03.12.1965, EMI London)

I would like Master Harrison to get a chance to speak in his own words, in his revealing autobiography "I Me Mine" where he says,
"Think for yourself must be about somebody from the sound of it - but all this time later I do not quite recall who inspired that tune.! Probably the Government."

What an excellent humorous understatement Sir George can light up briefly here. He appeals to the reader, like a wise father, to make himself think about the meaning of his song.

(Beatles "Think for yourself" bei YouTube)

On closer listening, however, the deeper meaning of this first beatlelesque, socially critical scolding is revealed to the knowing one. In "Taxman" he will put the finger in the wound even more. For the fist time, the Beatles followed Bob Dylan's example and profiled themselves as social critics.

On "Rubber Soul" thus began an all-new era of music making and experimentation. Most notably on "Think For Yourself" (George's first of two compositions on Rubber Soul), his short, concise and brilliant solos are a good example of how he supported the structure of a song instinctively,  rather than airing oneself as a lead guitarist. This endeavor, this devotion to the higher goal in every song, are characterizing George Harrison's style, in all songs that he worked on with the Beatles.

The slightly distorted, from bottom up taken cover photo suggests how the music sounds, that is awaiting one on Rubber Soul. I remember like it was when the record needle hit "Norwegian Wood" for the first time, the attention immediately was drawn on two main features, the silvery buzzing of Harrison's sitar, first used in place of a lead guitar, and John Lennon's opening line, thematizing erotic entanglements without further digression: "I once had a girl or should I say she once had me."

Well, at least those who had followed John Coltrane's experiments with the hypnotic effects of Indian resonant tones and keys carefully, they knew in which direction the sitar would lead the experimenting Beatles and George Harrison. But who knew or even liked John Coltrane at that time . I heard something from him a hundred years later, perceived.

"I liked how our faces apeared a little longer on the cover of Rubber Soul", George Harrison tells  the 1999 issued Anthology of the Beatles. "We lost our innocent image, our naivete. Rubber Soul and Revolver are basically the two sides of a double LP, in any case we felt so, and Rubber Soul was at least the first album that we recorded as full-blown potheads."
Think for yourself.!

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