I always pay attention to what The Beatles producer George Martin says about the group. As someone who was there from start to finish, he’s the most credible first person source for information and opinion, so when he said Rubber Soul was “a first” I wanted to know what he meant. The American issue of Rubber Soul, with a different track line-up than the British counterpart, was released in December 1965 and hit the album chart on Christmas day of that year. It would spend 6 weeks at #1 and spend a total of 59 weeks on the chart in its initial run. Impressive, but that’s not the “first” George Martin was referring to.
Here’s what he said: