The next selection from the Parlophone UK LP "Rubber Soul" is another original Lennon/McCartney composition written mainly by John entitled "Nowhere Man". The inspiration for the song came upon Lennon while he was at home in England (Kenwood) and he was trying to come up with a song. He couldn't think of anything and it occurred to him that he was going nowhere. This led to him thinking of himself as a "Nowhere Man". This tune has a social type message to it and the Beatles were by now distancing themselves from the Love song mode and expanding their ideas with lyrics exploring various different themes. "Nowhere Man" features exquisite Beatles harmonies from John Paul and George and very nice background vocals with John singing the lead. George Harrison and John Lennon turn out a very tasty guitar solo using thier powder blue Fender Strats and doubling up on the solo lines.
The first recording of "Nowhere Man" occurred on October 21 1965 (a Thursday) at EMI studio two. There were two takes of the basic track. The first take was a breakdown and the second take was simply a rhythm track with a high-register vocal intro (Lewisohn P.65). A re-make of "Nowhere Man" was recorded the next day on Friday October 22 1965 again at EMI studio two. The Beatles recorded three takes (numbered 3 to 5) of the basic track and vocals were added onto take four.
"Nowhere Man" was mixed for mono three days after the completion of the recording on October 25 1965 from the control room of studio two. The next day on October 26 1965 once again from the control room of studio two, the song was mixed for stereo. There are three various stereo mixes of "Nowhere Man" available out there: the first is the original mix, the second is a 1987 mix that pulls in the vocals and guitar solo from extreme panning to right or left of center, and the third mix that is contained on the Yellow Submarine songtrack which features the rhythm track in the center, a vocal left and the rest right.
"Nowhere Man" was released as a single with the tune as the A-side (Capitol 5587). This single was released only in North America on February 21 1966. "Nowhere Man" was also released as an EP in the UK (Parlophone GEP 8952) and features four songs from the "Rubber Soul" LP. This EP was released on July 08 1966.
"Nowhere Man" is available on the Parlophone UK LP/CD "Rubber Soul" and on the North American Capitol LP "Yesterday...And Today". It is also on the Apple 2-LP/2-CD "The Beatles 1962-1966" as well as the UK Parlophone and Canadian Capitol LP "The Beatles Ballads". The third stereo mix of "Nowhere Man" is available on the Apple LP/CD "Yellow Submarine Soundtrack" while the second stereo mix is available on the original "Rubber Soul" 1987 CD as well as the remaster. The mono remastered "Rubber Soul" also contains the original stereo mix from 1965 as a bonus track.
"Nowhere Man" was performed live during the December 1965 UK tour as well as the 1966 world tour.