Paul McCartney pays tribute to Rubber Soul photographer Robert Freeman

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney (Image credit: Mike Marsland/WireImage - Getty)

Paul McCartney has paid tribute to photographer Robert Freeman.

Freeman was behind the lens for some of the Beatles' most recognisable album covers, including Rubber Soul, Beatles For Sale, Help! and With The Beatles.

The band’s Twitter account confirmed Freeman had died, on Friday, with McCartney posting his tribute on his website.

McCartney says: “Dear Robert Freeman has passed away. He was one of our favourite photographers during the Beatles years who came up with some of our most iconic album covers. 

“Besides being a great professional he was imaginative and a true original thinker. People often think that the cover shot for Meet The Beatles of our foreheads in half shadow was a carefully arranged studio shot. 

“In fact it was taken quite quickly by Robert in the corridor of a hotel we were staying in where natural light came from the windows at the end of the corridor. I think it took no more than half an hour to accomplish.

“Bob also took the Rubber Soul cover – his normal practice was to use a slide projector and project the photos he’d taken onto a piece of white cardboard which was exactly album sized, thus giving us an accurate idea of how the finished product would look. 

“During his viewing session, the card which had been propped up on a small table fell backwards giving the photograph a ‘stretched’ look. Instead of simply putting the card upright again we became excited at the idea of this new version of his photograph.

"He assured us that it was possible to print it this way and because the album was titled Rubber Soul we felt that the image fitted perfectly.

“I will miss this wonderful man but will always cherish the fond memories I have of him. Thanks Bob.”

Freeman also shot photographs for the covers of John Lennon's books In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works.

Former Beatle Ringo Starr also marked the death of 82-year-old Freeman on Twitter, saying: “God bless Robert Freeman. Peace and love to all his family.”

A new Beatles box set titled The Singles Collection will be released on November 22 through Apple Corps Ltd/Capitol/UMe and will bring together all 22 singles released by The Fab Four between 1962 and 1970, with each 7-inch disc pressed on heavyweight 180g vinyl.

The double a-side single featuring Free As A Bird and Real Love, which launched in the mid-90s, will also be included, bringing the total number of tracks in the collection to 46.


The Beatles: The Singles Collection
All 22 of the Beatles singles from 1962 and 1970 are included in this new box set. The collection will also include Free As A Bird and Real Love, which launched in the mid-90s along with a 40-page booklet.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.