One of The Beatles’ stand-out albums, Rubber Soul is often thought of as the first time the Fab Four really stepped out of their comfort zones. The group, especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney, were keen to take their music away from the pop charts and radio-friendly hits about ‘boy meets girl’.
Instead, they reflected on their own journey. One song, in particular, will always go down as one of the band’s landmark moments. A signature tune which suggested that they knew the path laid out ahead of them, the band were destined to expand the idea of pop music beyond all recognition.
The track, ‘Nowhere Man’ was written by Lennon and birthed out of frustration while trying to complete the band’s sixth studio album Rubber Soul: “I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down,” Lennon once said in an interview with Playboy.
Adding: “Then ‘Nowhere Man’ came, words and music, the whole damn thing as I lay down.” It’s a strong sentiment and something likely all of the band were experiencing as their fame grew beyond control and the former visions of themselves seemed more and more distant.
McCartney said in 1994: “That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up. I think at that point, he was a bit…wondering where he was going, and to be truthful so was I. I was starting to worry about him.”
Despite ‘Nowhere Man’ being written intently from John Lennon’s experience, the rest of the band manage to capture that performance, it’s something that can be seen crystal clear in the isolated vocals of the song.
Not only does Lennon give a rocking vocal, drenched with the vulnerability of the song’s conception, but the three-part harmony smacks of the perfect crossroads moment for the band.
Here, performing a far out and particularly personal song, a song which would act as a guiding light towards their future as a band, they still are harmony to stand with one another and perform a classic three-part harmony and remind us how they got to that moment.
Listen to The Beatles unique isolated vocals for their classic song ‘Nowhere Man’
Source: Beatles Interviews