7 February 2014
^^ You make a good point there. I like this album and I do like the artists they covered on BFS. I do think it would've sounded much better if only they'd spent a bit more time on it, though I know that wasn't really posible.
I'm not convinced that this album would have much sounded better if they had spent more time on it.
Maybe, if they had more time, they would have written better songs, but I don't think having more time would have helped the actual recording process very much if at all.
For me, 50s style rock n' roll, which is what this LP focuses on, is all about energy and spontaneity. Although the painstaking process of building up tracks bit by bit worked really well on the likes of Sgt Pepper, those were different types of songs. I think if they had spent 3 days recording Kansas City, it would not have yielded any improvement. Maybe it would have been technically more perfect, but perhaps it could have lost the raw edge which makes the version on Beatles For Sale so exciting.
This is why, to me, John's Rock n' Roll album was a disappointment. It had so much potential – John was such a good Rock n' Roll singer and the song selection was magnificent – but to me it sounds overproduced. 50s style rock n' roll is very simple musically. You don't want a big production job, you want spontaneity, energy, passion and drive. Too much production can dilute that I feel. It is impossible to sing take 38 with the same enthusiasm as take 1 or take 2. I think John's Rock n' Roll album could have been better if he had just gone in the studio with a small, tight band of top rockabilly musicians (eg James Burton) and tried to blitz through everything live in 1 take.
What weakens Beatles for Sale for me are the tracks that Ringo and George sing, because, for me at least, Ringo and George are simply not as good singers as John and Paul. I understand why they did this – that it was a democratic decision to give everyone a chance to sing – which is fair enough, but those tracks are the ones that I regard as the fillers on this LP.
3 May 2012
I should've been more clear, by ''time spent on it'' I was refering more to the time before they went into the studio rather than that spent once they were there.
Let's see, we start off with No Reply and I'm a Loser. Brilliant. What a way to start it off. It's just a bit of a shame it really doesn't get any better than that, because for me the next good bit is Every Little Thing over on side 2. Before and after that, except maybe John's stunning voice here and there, it's just a bit weak.
I do like this album, although it probably sounds like I don't, and the point that someone made upthread about most people being happy with this as their best album, is spot on. I just think there's more ''filler'' songs than there is on any other Beatles album, which drags it down a bit.
''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''
10 June 2013
Ive kind of said this elsewhere but imo "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" is a much better nod to Dylan than "I'm a Loser", like people always seem to say. Dylan's writing sounded strangely effortless whereas on Loser those rhymes sound really forced, more like a country song than a folky talking blues that Dylan was doing. I can see how if their exhausted state was not as it was, John might've spent longer getting more interesting lines in than "i'm telling you so that you don't lose all". The country western thing comes through because of the lyrics, a lot of slight reworking of classic idioms.
Idk why its so blatantly overlooked, though I generally really like this album. "What You're Doing" "Eight Days A Week" "I Feel Fine" "No Reply" are some of my all time favorites, and the covers are all fabulous I think.
"P. P. P. P. S- L. P. Winner."
16 December 2013
To me, until very recently, the title Beatles For Sale seemed to have a literal meaning – it felt like the entire album was only something to sell, hence the many filler songs that were previously mentioned. But I've been listening to it quite a lot in these last few weeks, and the songs have grown on me. It is only Mr Moonlight and Honey Don't that I don't like. I'll Follow The Sun is one of my favorite songs.
I agree that this album highly overlooked as it was released after A Hard Day's Night and before Help!. It is like the third wheel to the 'film era'.
However, the album cover has always been on of my favorites.
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