Richard Furnstein: It's easy to point fingers at this one; bespectacled peacenik Lennon is threatening violence if his lady cheats. Sure, it's a little creepy, and you can't even pass this one off as romantic devotion because he delivers the lyric with a pronounced sneer. I still think it's notable because it is an about face from his wounded weeper lyrical approach that dominates the first couple years of the Beatles' recorded output (see "I'll Cry Instead," "I Call Your Name," "Ask Me Why," and countless others). John needed to get this one out of his system to go into the acid-filtered light. No "Run For Your Life"? Fine, but you don't get "All You Need Is Love," jack. This is the first primal scream.
Robert Bunter: Lennon was rightfully ashamed of this slight, misogynistic Elvis ripoff. There are many people who have had difficult childhoods which left them with trust issues manifesting themselves in hostility towards women, but that doesn't mean we all run around threatening to cut their heads off.
Richard Furnstein: The stereo version deserves some attention here. The entire band is chugging along in the left channel, while the bass and John's lead primarily sit in the right channel. There's a great moment where you hear the band track in the vocal channel at the start of the song, presumably when John approached the microphone. Points should go to this song for George's solo and John's delivery on "toe the line" and the word "dead (at 1:22). Great outro, too.
Robert Bunter: Additional points deducted for the stupid tambourine part. The Beatles revolutionary use of the tambourine is a frequently overlooked aspect of their brilliant arrangements, but here it seems that Ringo couldn't be bothered to do more than the old shake-and=slap. Likewise, Paul offers nothing worth mentioning with his elementary one-five bass part. Unquestionably the low-point of the otherwise-competent "Rubber Soul" LP.
Richard Furnstein: Oh weird, your copy doesn't come with "What Goes On"? You should contact EMI ASAP to get that taken care of.