The Rubber Soul Project (RSP for short) was a Serbian band. They recorded a single album, called The Rubber Soul Project, in 1996. The band took their name from the famous Beatles record Rubber Soul released in 1965. The band recorded an imaginary Beatles album, by writing music and lyrics to songs for which they had heard only the titles. Some of the tracks were available on bootlegs which, at the time, were not to be found in Serbia, so the members, having read about the songs, decided to record their own songs inspired by the titles.
The band was formed by two artists from Belgrade, Rastko Ćirić and Goran Skrobonja, two enormous Beatles fans, who decided to record an album with reinvented versions of the songs The Beatles did not release. The two knew only the titles of the songs, some of which were available on bootleg recordings but not in Serbia, and with that knowledge only, the two started working on lyrics and music writing. 1995 was the 30th anniversary of the Rubber Soul album, and so the band got the name The Rubber Soul Project.
The lyrics were written by Skrobonja, one of the best Horror/SF authors in Yugoslavia, and the music was written by Ćirić, professor of Illustration at the School of Applied Arts, University of Arts in Belgrade. Then Ćirić was joined by Nebojša Ignjatović, professor of double-bass at the University of Arts in Belgrade, and Miroslav Cvetković, bass player of the famous Yugoslav band Bajaga & Instruktori. The "Ringo" of the band was Čedormir Mačura, the drummer of Bajaga & Instruktori, who also did lead vocals on the track "When I Come To Town", an imaginary track with Ringo on vocals.
The producers of the album were Ignjatović and Cvetković, the latter was also the recording engineer and the equipment used during the recording process was the same one used in the 1960s to produce the same ambient found on Beatles records. Miroslav Cvetković played the Höfner "violin bass", the same type Paul McCartney used and still uses, to produce the authentic Beatles round sound and melodic bass-lines, and the drum set Ludwig, the type Ringo played on all Beatles records.
The album included a sitar George Harrison style track with called "Indian Rope Trick", rock 'n' roll songs "Home", "When I Come To Town", and "Bound By Love", psychedelic "Colliding Circles", "Watching Rainbows", and "Rubber Soul". In Belgrade, a compact cassette was published in March 1996 by PGP-RTS records, and it provoked good critics and, surprisingly, emotive reactions both from music critics and the audience of all ages. An article about the project was published in Billboard magazine (6 April 1996). In the documentary about the project, it was said that a copy of the album was sent to Paul McCartney who said he enjoyed listening to it. The release also included a novella called "Rubber Soul", which was written by Ćirić.
After the success of the debut album, Rastko began working on new track and recorded a demo with fourteen completely new songs, this time without using Beatles titles. In the RSP documentary Rastko was talking about new songs and the dilemma about the style of the songs, either using old techniques The Beatles used or new, modern technology. The recording and the release of the album is still on hiatus.
In 2004, a documentary called The Rubber Soul Project was recorded, describing the circumstances among which the whole idea of recording the album came, the recording process, interviews with the band members and some of the associates of the band members. It was directed by Dinko Tucaković and written by Srdjan Koljević. The movie appeared on festivals in Montpellier, Rotterdam, Reykjavík and other. In Belgrade it appeared on the author films festival and in cinemas all over the country.
The album was rereleased by the Loud Folk record label on April 2008.
The band who joined Rastko Ćirić to perform the Rubber Soul Project songs live was not the same one from the CD. At concerts were the musicians from the Fathers & Sons group: Boiždar Skipić (lead guitar, vocal), Branimir Kosar (keyboards), Nedeljko Kusić (bass guitar), Nikola Đokić (drums), and guest star Maja Klisinski (percussion). Together, they started their Belgrade Tour '99 which was stopped by the NATO bombing of Belgrade, but the band held concerts at the British Council Cultural Centre (16 March), the Center for Cultural Decontamination (on 19 March), Hemingway Club in Zemun (on 21 March), and the Museum of Yugoslav Kinotheque (on 23 March).
On 21 April 2001, in The Museum of Applied Arts in Belgrade, the original lineup plus Branko Kosar and Maja Klisinski performed songs from the album. The band also performed live in England.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license