UK EP release: Beatles For Sale

A four-track EP containing songs from Beatles For Sale was released in the United Kingdom on this day.

The Beatles For Sale EP was issued as Parlophone GEP 8931, and contained four songs: No Reply, I’m A Loser, Rock And Roll Music and Eight Days A Week

It entered the EP chart on 10 April and reached the top spot on 24 April. It remained there for five weeks, and spent another week at number one from 12 June.

Beatles For Sale was the group’s eighth official EP. As with previous releases, it featured sleeve notes by the group’s publicist Tony Barrow.

Beatles For Sale EP artwork - United KingdomThe LP record ‘BEATLES FOR SALE’ was issued in December, 1964. In the weeks before Christmas copies passed over the disc-store counters at such a remarkable rate that ‘BEATLES FOR SALE’ became one of the world’s fastest-selling albums.

Among the fourteen titles were three Lennon-McCartney compositions which the four boys had recorded with a new single in mind. This trio of potential chart-toppers has been preserved inside the EP sleeve you’re holding. Individually, any one of them might have become a multi-million seller on the top deck of a single. The fourth number selected for this EP programme has proved its popularity in public performance. Rock and Roll Music has been a Beatles show-stopper ever since John, Paul, George and Ringo put it into their act on the opening night of their Christmas stage presentation at Hammersmith.

John sings Rock and Roll Music. It comes from Chuck Berry’s volatile repertoire and it’s ideal material for a typically-Lennon vocal rave. The hint of echo on his voice gives the performance added impetus. Producer George Martin joined John and Paul at a piano to add the pounding keyboard sequences.

Eight Days a Week combines the voices of John and Paul with George joining them here and there. Many pop recordings feature a fade-away finish. The Beatles, noted for their attention to ingenious introductions, arranged for this number to fade in, which must have confused some of the folk who put on records for radio deejays!

No Reply wastes no time in coming to the boil. Twin voices powered by John Lennon hammer out the opening lyrics without trace of an introductory guitar. This is another Lennon specialty, tailored to bring out the leathery quality of his vocal delivery. Paul is with him occasionally on this track and George is added for each chorus.

I’m a Loser is the one everybody has been talking about. It demonstrates the powerful influence which Bob Dylan’s style has had on John, whose collection of Dylania – albums and sets of lyrics – swells week by week. Paul is involved in parts of the vocals action here but it is John’s singing which makes the track so special.

Tony Barrow
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