Jun 13

The Beatles: “I’m Looking Through You”

The Beatles -- Rubber Soul

This is what happens when you have two photographers taking a shot at the same time: no one’s sure where to look!

It’s been way too long since I’ve blogged about a Beatles song — I really ought to make it at the very least a once every couple of months kind of thing, since for me, that’s really where it (my love for music, that is) all began.

So to remedy that, here’s “I’m Looking Through You,” from late 1965’s amazing Rubber Soul. For most bands, that album would be the pinnacle of a lifetime, but for the Beatles, it was only one of many pinnacles to come. And for me personally, it was probably the album in my parents’ collection that, as a young lad of 5 or 6, first really drew me into the Beatles. It was approachable, yet insanely catchy, and as I would listen to the songs and stare at the photos on the front and back covers, they seemed like the most fascinating people I’d ever seen. (Not that I had much to compare them to at that point, but for the most part I’d still agree with that assessment.) All that hair!

I love every song on Rubber Soul, maybe needless to say — after all, I’ve known the album so long that I practically consider it a part of my very being. And naturally, the version I grew up with was the American version — as I found out as I grew up, the version released in Great Britain was substantially different. (What?! A Rubber Soul that doesn’t kick off with the beautiful intro and furious acoustic strumming of “I’ve Just Seen a Face”? No, hold on, you’ve got to be pulling my leg: it doesn’t even have “I’ve Just Seen a Face”? And “Drive My Car” doesn’t kick off Rubber Soul, it kicks off Yesterday and Today!) Yes, admittedly, I sort of got used to the British version (since I had no choice) in the CD era, but still…

One thing I never could get over was that the British Rubber Soul for some bizarre reason doesn’t include the false-start chords of “I’m Looking Through You” — and oddly, that was perhaps what I considered its greatest shortcoming. All the American version’s songs were available elsewhere on CD, but those missing chords felt essential to “I’m Looking Through You,” very possibly my favorite song on the album, so I always insert them mentally when listening to the British version. Who knows why they were left out, or maybe just as accurately, why they were included in the American version, but whatever the case, I was very happy to get them back in the release of The Capitol Albums, Vol. 2, in 2006 (which sadly, didn’t include the American Revolver — which has yet to be released).

Now I can listen to the song — as presented here — in all its original American-version glory. And truly, pop songs don’t come much more perfect than this.


  1. Zot says:

    I find it funny if not perverse that you like the Capitol version of “Rubber Soul” so much, but I miss the false start to the song as well when I hear the British version. It is funny how Beatlemaniacs obsess over these things but those quirky little extras like the feedback at the beginning of “I Feel Fine” or the false start on “Revolution” or the countless mumbles and bits of dialogue included on other Beatle tracks are part of the charm of the band for me. “I got blisters on me fingers” is more famous than a lot of other bands’ most successful songs. What other band included stuff like that before the Fabs and if they did who would care?

    1. Oh, I know it’s not the way the Beatles originally intended it, of course, but you can’t underestimate the power of sentimental irrationality! ? But of course you’re right about all those little details — it’s part of what made them great.

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