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Beatles For Sale
14 February 2014
12.33am
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robert
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I have said many times and say again, for most bands, they would be lucky to have Beatles For Sale as their best album.

"She looks more like him than I do."

14 February 2014
1.13am
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PeterWeatherby
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Actually, I think this album has the highest number of what I call “sleeper hits,” or what we’ve called elsewhere on this site “underrated songs.”

Every time I hear these particular songs, I think, “Oh yeah, I forgot how much I like this one!”

Not a bit like Cagney.

14 February 2014
2.00am
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TheOneBeatle
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Beatles For Sale was done when they went into worldwide sensation, with a film & soundtrack released in the same year, concerts, television and radio appearances from all over the world, it is understandable that The Beatles got barely the time to record a new album (4 weeks in total were spent on writing & recording the album only if I am not wrong). As a result, the lyrics and music reflect a sensation of overwhelming and surprising success as well as the ups and downs of it, how magnificent but tiring the fame can be, and so on. So, this album starts the transition to the studio band they would become by the end of 1966.
Experimentation for something new starts to be visible here with the feedback effect on I Feel Fine , more acoustic feel start to appear such as I’ll Follow The Sun or I’m A Loser , and more expression in their lyrics such as No Reply or I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party as well as music like What You’re Doing or Every Little Thing .
Because of the limited time spent on the album, they had to recur to covers, some that were already mastered by them in the past (i.e. the medley Kansas City /Hey, Hey, Hey) some others couldn’t be polished enough (Mr. Moonlight) and at least one that was actually good but probably was left in favor of George singing Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby (Leave My Kitten Alone ).
This album expresses their probably hardest year in terms of the sudden, overwhelming, worldwide phenomenon The Beatles became.

Let me take you down 'cause I'm going to...Strawberry Fields.

14 February 2014
11.26am
tulane
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fabfouremily said
^^  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.

14 February 2014
2.25pm
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fabfouremily
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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.

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

(Passover - I. Curtis)

5 March 2014
7.36am
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WhereArtEsteban
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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."

5 March 2014
10.06am
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ScrambledEggs
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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.

21 April 2014
1.13am
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Mr. Kite
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So I listened to it straight through today, only the second time Ive done that, and it really is a great album. The only song I don’t really like is Mr. Moonlight.

I think it’s overlooked so much because most of the other Beatles albums, including all up to that point are better. But they were The BEATLES any album half as good as their worst would be amazing, so this is being compared somewhat unfairly. Either way, great covers, some amazing originals, and a nice, fun album over all. The ending of Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby is great and a perfect way to end the album.

If I spoke prose you'd all find out, I don't know what I talk about.

Can buy Joe love!
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22 April 2014
3.37am
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trcanberra
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robert said
I have said many times and say again, for most bands, they would be lucky to have Beatles For Sale as their best album.

While I agree with this sentiment I think the original UK cover really sets the tone for the album – it seems like they are a bit tired and treading water between an awesome start and an amazing middle third.  I like the album overall but it’s rarely my ‘goto’ listen.

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6 May 2014
2.19am
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Mimi
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This is one of my favorite albums, I don’t know why its so underrated. George has some great rockabilly riffs, and John’s song writing and guitar playing is clearly improving. This album has some of their best early work on it. “What your doing” is a huge improvement in their ability as song writers, as well as “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party ” and “every little thing” 

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6 May 2014
1.25pm
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MrMoonlight
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Beatles For Sale is my favourite album, tied with Rubber Soul . It’s horrifically underrated, both as a whole and the individual songs in general – it’s very much a rock’n’roll album, which I love. It has my favourite song, I’ll Follow The Sun , and I love the more solemn tone of the album; instead of every song being about how great love is, it’s something I can sympathise with, especially with gems such as No Reply , I’m A Loser and I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party .

6 May 2014
2.29pm
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Starr Shine?
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It everyone in the world was me this would be there most popular album

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

Brainwashed by RadiantCowbells.

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6 May 2014
2.40pm
TT454
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This is one of my top three Beatles albums actually.

6 May 2014
4.33pm
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LSDTripper
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Not popular ? I don’t think so there’s some classics that the Beatles did better than the original I think.

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted.
John Lennon

8 May 2014
6.46pm
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Beatleva
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Beatles For Sale ” is not my favourite, but I still love it! I think it is very underrated, which is a shame. There are really some impressive songs and covers on the album. You can hear they’re going through a change, but not that much, which is nice, I guess…

When I first listened to The Beatles “Eight Days A Week ” used to be my favourite song… I still like it but I just change my favourite song every so often.

10 May 2014
8.07pm
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Mimi
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Annadog40 said
It everyone in the world was me this would be there most popular album

Its definitely the best early album. Its not in the same league musically as, say, the second side of Abbey Road , but I much prefer early Beatles to post- Brian Epstein Beatles. 

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22 June 2014
1.01am
Crinsk
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{new to forum}  This album always confused and intrigued me.  I liked the track listing the least, seeing that half the songs were not by the Beatles.  I made it my last Beatles album to purchase.  It’s very sing-along and good in its own ways, but a lot of the songs just don’t say “Beatles of 1964”.  Covers?  Why? Those 50s songs no longer fit the group; they’d created their own sound and I expected it.  And where were the hit songs?  

I remember holding the CD in my hands and seeing forlorn, bedraggled faces of four guys huddled close to each other, the faint glow and sadness of autumn in the background, the blurriness of the foliage, but The Beatles in such sharp clarity and at such depth that they looked like prey scoped by a hunter in the shrubbery.  It made me feel sad and sort of afraid to put the CD on.  Then, yeah – negative sentiment, sad thoughts, rejection, deception, pleas… minor keys everywhere, deep drums and piano lower registers booming, lyrics with warnings and sad stories, lagged and stuttered beats trudging on… I agree with others that this was a transition album, but also a very intentional as well as a sort of throwaway album (to be able to put out 2 that year).  Buuuuutttt…. their skills and musical knowledge improved.  Even if they made songs that weren’t so great, they knew to cut them.

The cover songs ruined what might have been a dark but amazing album.  But I guess back then they knew they’d better sell “happy”?  Maybe that happy is what kept them going. a-hard-days-night-george-10 What makes it sound so fresh and good again is not listening to it for a long time, I hate to say!

It’s almost like Let It Be after Abbey Road Beatles For Sale after A Hard Day’s Night was reverting to past times, using some old songs or old styles, but for reasons in ’64.  Which were… what?  Lack of time thus lack of creation of new material?  Exhaustion?  A bit of annoyance with each other and those close to them?

I like grapes!

22 June 2014
2.29am
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meanmistermustard
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The Beatles were knackered before commencing recording the LP + stand-alone single yet had no time to rest or slow down during doing so what with a US tour in the middle of the sessions. Time and tiredness were also reasons for only 8 new songs (10 if you include the a and b-side’s of the single).

No hits included wasn’t unusual for a Beatles album, there had been no hits on With The Beatles either, it was felt that UK fans shouldn’t be made to pay twice for the same songs – there are many exceptions to that rule however.

 

As i’ve said before, of the first four this is my favourite.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

22 June 2014
3.48am
Crinsk
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Oh, I guess I’ve heard 3 of the songs on WTB so many times that I feel they were “hits”.  I used the term loosely.  I’ve chosen my own hits!

Still interesting how their music took a turn.  I do like their original compositions on BFS very much.  There’s sort of a “distance” in the sound that I’ve always noted — does anyone know why?  It sounds like the music is being played further away, if you get me.  Echo-y like the room got bigger.  Maybe even metallic; things sound kinda harsh.  Is it the playing, did they change where they stood or where the microphones were put, was it the recording, the producing…?

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22 June 2014
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Bongo
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The problem with this LP is it doesn’t meet the typical Beatles standards, which is much higher than any other band out there, but in reality any band would love to have that many good songs on one album

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

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