This song has always been somewhat an anomaly to me. It never seemed to fit with the rest of this album. Perhaps it's the tongue-in-cheek nature of the song. I never much cared for Rubber Soul. It took a minute for it to grow on me. It really doesn't have any huge, well-known songs. There are definitely some classics ("In My Life," "If I Needed Someone," and "Nowhere Man" come to mind), but none that were gigantic, mega hits.
The song is cute. Cheeky, if you're British. Boy meets girl. Drops his best line on her and she playfully replies that she wants to be famous and that he can be her chauffeur. It could also be read that she wants him to "drive" her "car." That's where the refrain of "Beep beep mmm beep beep yeah!" comes in. Apparently, that's what sex sounded like in the mid 60s. I don't know. I wasn't there.
This song only appears on the UK release of Rubber Soul. It was left off of the US version along with "Nowhere Man," "If I Needed Someone" and "What Goes On." Apparently Capitol Records wanted to market the album as a folk-rock album, which was gaining in popularity in 1965. They even added a couple of leftovers from the UK release of Help!: "I've Just Seen a Face" and "It's Only Love."
Overall, I don't approve of this practice. It reeks of crass American commercialism, which it is. I guess I just prefer not screwing the band's original vision for the album.
The cowbell is strong all throughout. According to this page, the cowbell was overdubbed along with piano, tambourine, and more vocals once the initial tracks were done. Also of note is the prominence of the cowbell differs between the different mixes of the song. According to the same source, the cowbell gets lost in the mono mix. The stereo mix has it louder and throughout almost all of the song. The CD mix has the loudest cowbell with it appearing in the whole song. That being said, I must recommend that you listen only to the CD mix of the song.
Most of the covers are pretty straight forward remakes of the song. Of note are the lo-fi version by Takako Minekawa (嶺川貴子), the funk version by Black Heat, and the truly 80s version by the Breakfast Club (no, not the John Hughes one) from the Corey Haim & Corey Feldman classic, License to Drive. Thankfully, Elmo's version left out the cowbell. I really didn't want to review it, but I would have if they had used it in the song.
The Bell Score: 4.45866
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