Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Released: December 3, 1965
Appears on: Rubber Soul
Lead vocal: John
"Girl" is another one of the many songs on Rubber Soul that any band would have killed to have it as a single, but for the Beatles it was just another album track.
The song casts the title character as a femme fetale, "...the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry, still you don't regret a single day." She is mean spirited ("She's the kind of girl who puts you down when friends are there you feel a fool") and knows how to flaunt what she's got ("When you say she's looking good, she acts as if it's understood. She's cool!"). This girl is positively evil and yet the singer is completely entrapped. The lyrics are brilliant as John creates a fully rounded character - something that some movies can't even accomplish - while still getting in his digs at the church (the entire last verse).
The Beatles perform the song completely acoustically, with George playing a brilliant 12-string part. "Girl" also features the infamous "tit-tit-tit-tit" vocal percussion joke, as well as the simulated joint smoking (although, to my naive mind, it just seemed like something a guy would do when passing an extremely good-looking girl). This is easily the highlight of Rubber Soul's second side, only eclipsed by one other song that we haven't got to yet.
"Girl", as stated before, was never a single on either side of the Atlantic. In 1965, it might have caused a stir in the US, but Capitol had second thoughts and in 1977, planned to release it as the A-Side to the Love Songs single. It was, thankfully, cancelled. However, it did appear on that compilation (despite hardly being about real love - the singer seems to feel more pain in his heart than love) as well as 1962-1966.