The repeatles

DPO, Jeans ‘n Classics tackle Rubber Soul, Revolver

By Tim Anderl

Photo: Jeans ‘n Classics vocalists Leah Salomaa [left] and Kathryn Rose [right] will perform the music of Rubber Soul and Revolver the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra on May 30

In the lexicon of rock and roll history, Rubber Soul and Revolver, the sixth and seventh Beatles albums respectively, are recognized as brilliant artistic achievements. They are recognized as such because they spotlighted the group’s developing musical vision. While Rubber Soul presented a more refined, acoustic side, Revolver was more robust and electric than previous releases and demonstrated the savvy of the band in the studio.

On May 30, London-based rock ensemble Jeans ‘n Classics, who are celebrating their 20th season, joins the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Neal Gittleman, for the performance of these two influential Beatles albums.

“These two albums were so important because they were the bridge albums between a straight ahead kind of pop band and then the ultimate, super-creative concept album band,” Jeans ‘n Classics founder Peter Brennan says. “You see these guys go from being a pop band to being the iconic band that they became.”

Rubber Soul, released Dec. 3, 1965, was one of the first albums the group recorded during a continuous period, without the burden of tour dates or other projects. It saw the band drawing influences from soul, the folk rock of The Byrds and Bob Dylan and the harmonies of The Beach Boys. Rubber Soul is widely considered one of the greatest albums in popular music history—and for good reason. The album’s lyrics marked a maturity and sophistication that the quartet hadn’t before reached in their simpler boy-girl love songs. In fact, it was ranked number five on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2012.

Revolver preceded the release of the band’s seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, hitting shelves and airwaves Aug. 5, 1966. The album, widely recognized for revolutionizing and redefining the parameters of popular music, marked the beginning of the band’s psychedelic period and ushered in a radical new phase in the band’s career. Revolver’s U.S. release coincided with the band’s final U.S. tour and John Lennon’s controversial statements that they’d become “bigger than Jesus.” Further, Revolver marks the midpoint in the band’s recording career, between the period dominated by Lennon and the period dominated by Paul McCartney, who would provide the group’s artistic direction for almost every post-Revolver project. It was ranked third on Rolling Stone’s list.

According to Brennan, the sound of a rock band or pop music group performing with an orchestra has always been one of his soft spots.

“Any time I heard an orchestra with a rock band or a pop band, I always really liked the sound,” he says. “I’m not sure what was appealing to me, but certainly that whole era of the Moody Blues and the electric orchestra and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Disco days had terrific use of orchestra like great brass sections and cool string stuff. I suppose it was channeling back into what Motown had tried to present. When we got Jeans ‘n Classics going we examined all of these eras and areas of music and styles. You know you realize not a lot was done, for the most part. But where it was used, it was wonderful. I always just really, really dug that: the integration of the two worlds, if you will.”

Featuring Neil Donell and David Blamires on lead vocals, two female backup vocalists and six instrumental musicians, Jeans ‘n Classics will perform alongside the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for two sets. Set one is comprised of Rubber Soul classics like “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “Norwegian Wood,” “You Won’t See Me,” “Think for Yourself,” “The Word,” “Michelle,” “It’s Only Love,” “Girl,” “I’m Looking Through You,” “In My Life,” “Wait,” “Run for Your Life,” “Drive My Car” and “Nowhere Man.” Set two, the Revolver set, includes “Taxman,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Love You To,” “Here There and Everywhere,” “Yellow Submarine,” “She Said She Said,” “Good Day Sunshine,” “For No One,” “I Want to Tell You,” “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

Brennan says performances like these aren’t just a thrill for his rock and roll peers, but also for members of the orchestra.

“I think we find players that have grown up with their heads in many, many different worlds,” he says. “They’re thrilled to bits when they get to play [John Christopher] Moller, but they’re thrilled when they get to play Led Zeppelin or, even for that matter, John Williams. It’s all music, material and challenges that they’ve grown up with and appreciate, as opposed to maybe way, way back when you had someone that said, ‘I’m trained to do this and I’m only going to do this.’”

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Jeans ‘n Classics will perform Rubber Soul and Revolver: Back to Back, Saturday, May 30, at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29, $40, $55, $66 or $81. Students receive a $2 discount on all price tiers. For more information, please visit or or call 937.228.3630.

Tim Anderl is the web editor and a contributing writer at Ghettoblaster Magazine and maintains his own music blog at Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at

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