Nestled nicely between the mop-top pop Beatles and the genre-bending experimentalists they would become, Rubber Soul, according to Ed Turner, is an album about transition.
On Friday, Mr. Turner and seven friends will offer their interpretation of the classic 1965 album as part of The Mission's cover series.
"We were going to do Revolver," Mr. Turner said. "But then, in a moment of lucidity, I realized that this was the 40th anniversary."
Not only is it the 40th anniversary of Rubber Soul but the evening of the show also will mark the 40th anniversary of the day the band recorded the final four tracks for the album.
"I couldn't have planned that if I tried," Mr. Turner said with a laugh.
He recruited a band made up of musicians who performed Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon at The Mission a few months ago, and said that he found the 12 songs trickier than expected.
"They're hard, but even more than that, they're clever, like an O. Henry short story," he said. "It's taking eight of us to do what those four did. Fortunately, we have Chip McDonald, who can get any sound out of that guitar. He's our secret weapon."
Although The Beatles recorded only about 10 hours of material before breaking up in 1970, Mr. Turner believes he can produce enough material to do a similar show once a year on the 40th anniversary of each of The Beatles' albums.
"I'm committed to this," he said. "This is a 4-year plan."
Part of the pleasure of Rubber Soul, Mr. Turner said, is its place in Beatles history. The songs, such as In My Life, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) and Michelle, marked a shift in the band's sound, style and approach to popular music.
"It really is rock's first great transition album," he said. "It beat (Bob Dylan's) Blonde on Blonde; it beat (The Kinks') Face to Face; it beat, and inspired, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. It beat all those great albums that would come out in 1966."
The Mission show will offer three sets of Beatlemania. The first will be a low-key hits set, the second will be Rubber Soul in its entirety and the third will be a rock set, featuring amped-up Beatles favorites. Mr. Turner said that that's the great thing about The Beatles: They managed to remain innovative and instantly recognizable.
"I think it's those vocal harmonies," he said. "They're just absurd. Clever and not-at-all normal, like a newspaper printed in red ink."
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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