Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Released: December 3, 1965
Appears on: Rubber Soul
Lead vocal: Paul
"I'm Looking Through You" has a pretty straight-forward subject and is another song about Paul's dissatisfaction with Jane Asher. It's really amazing how Paul got so much traction out of that relationship and yet, so many of these songs are all drastically different. "I'm Looking Through You" is nothing like "You Won't See Me", both of which are nothing like his songs on HELP!.
The song's strengths lie in the recording of it, not exactly in the lyrics. (That's not a knock on them, though. I mean, that middle-eight couplet is brilliant - "Why, tell me, why do you not treat me right? Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.") The song is an interesting balance between electric and acoustic. John plays acoustic rhythm, while Paul plays his traditional bass as well as lead guitar. George sneaks in with a small guitar part, while Ringo gets a couple of overdubbed Hammond organ notes (which officially means that all the Beatles were multi-instrument players). I also love that energetic fade-out which feels like a precursor to the fade-outs on Revolver.
An interesting note is that buyers of the American stereo Rubber Soul got an extra little prize. For some reason, the American stereo mix of "I'm Looking Through You" included a false start before Paul moves into the familiar opening chords. Considering how perfect the Beatles were, I can't imagine how Capitol got a hold of this, but it's a weird, almost funny obscure occurrence in Beatle-dom. The American mono mix did not include this bit. In fact, the only way to get a mono version of this false start is if you bought the Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 set the day it came out because instead of using the original mono mixes, Apple made new mixes by simply mixing down the American 1965 stereo mixes. Of course, this isn't right because Capitol couldn't have made things that easy. In 1965, the American mono mixes were the same mixes that appeared in Britain, I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Apple also did the same thing for Beatles VI. If you get the box set now, though, you will get the correct mono mixes, which means a mono "I'm Looking Through You" without the false start.
This is another Rubber Soul song that unfairly gets lost in the shuffle, as it has never appeared anywhere else, but seeing as it's still a Beatles song on one of their most beloved records, it could hardly be called obscure.