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The Sounds of Beatles For Sale
11 March 2019
6.07pm
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QuarryMan
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In my opinion, Help ! and Rubber Soul were the two albums that really opened up the creative process musically for the band, but looking at Beatles For Sale , you can see the musical growth beginning to blossom. There are quite a few sounds on here that are unusual for Beatles recordings. The intro to Eight Days A Week is absolutely heavenly, and the drum intro to What You're Doing is pretty cool too, as well as the piano solo, which @meanmistermustard once memorably compared to I believe the sound of train tracks. The reverby solo on I'll Follow The Sun also stands out. 

What are your thoughts on the increased variety of sounds and moods on Beatles For Sale ?

EDIT: Changed 'What Goes On ' to 'What You're Doing ', just mixed those up @Dark Overlord and @meanmistermustard 

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12 March 2019
5.14am
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Getbackintheussr
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I don't get why people say Beatles For Sale was 'a step back' from AHDN . I like how the lyrics are so dark and different from their earlier love songs. And I really love Eight Days A Week and Every Little Thing .

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12 March 2019
6.20am
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Dark Overlord
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There's a similar thread that i recommend you check out:

https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....nderrated/

Also, What Goes On isn't on Beatles For Sale , it's on Rubber Soul .

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12 March 2019
6.33am
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Ron Nasty
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It was regarded as a "step back" from AHDN , @Getbackintheussr, because they went from an album of all-original material back to the mixture of originals and covers that made up their 1963 albums.

Many of the covers on this feel more perfunctory to me and are less imaginative in their arrangement and interpretation. Another leap in John's songwriting, following his domination of AHDN , as he starts to reveal the influence that Dylan on having on him and the band. John is starting to break the fourth wall with things like I'm A Loser , offering disguised glimpses of his real self, which was the second songwriting Revolution they were responsible for along with Bobby.

An album that should be better appreciated for, though with one foot in the past, for pushing the boundaries of a pop album both musically and especially lyrically on its original compositions.

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12 March 2019
6.51am
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Dark Overlord
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To be fair, they didn't quite make enough original tracks to fill up A Hard Day's Night and had to rely on including both sides of their recent single as well as keeping the album a track short to compensate so this time they decided to play it safe.

Also, the covers on Beatles For Sale are better than the covers on their first 2 albums and Long Tall Sally . I especially love Rock And Roll Music , Kansas City , and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby .

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12 March 2019
7.10am
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meanmistermustard
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QuarryMan said
In my opinion, Help ! and Rubber Soul were the two albums that really opened up the creative process musically for the band, but looking at Beatles For Sale , you can see the musical growth beginning to blossom. There are quite a few sounds on here that are unusual for Beatles recordings. The intro to Eight Days A Week is absolutely heavenly, and the drum intro to What Goes On is pretty cool too, as well as the piano solo, which @meanmistermustard once memorably compared to I believe the sound of train tracks. The reverby solo on I'll Follow The Sun also stands out. 

What are your thoughts on the increased variety of sounds and moods on Beatles For Sale ?

  

I take it you mean 'What You're Doing ', @QuarryMan. 

It was a traffic jam that I compared the solo to, if you ignore the guitar and listen to what is going on in the background.

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12 March 2019
12.05pm
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QuarryMan
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I think it was a step back in terms of having less original material, which must have been disappointing given how strong the original material was on AHDN . I like how the originals are more introspective and melancholy, which would have maybe been overpowering if the whole album had sounded like that, so I guess in that way I'm grateful for covers like Words Of Love and Rock And Roll Music lightening the mood.

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12 March 2019
1.45pm
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Dark Overlord
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meanmistermustard said
I take it you mean 'What You're Doing ', @QuarryMan.
It was a traffic jam that I compared the solo to, if you ignore the guitar and listen to what is going on in the background.

I'm glad i'm not the only one who noticed the weird dissonance in the solo.

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12 March 2019
4.19pm
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QuarryMan
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It's really cool, the way the piano line just rumbles under the guitar lead. I wonder whose idea it was to put a piano in there.

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12 March 2019
6.52pm
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Von Bontee
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I would suspect that GM was still responsible for many of the decisions regarding orchestration, at least regarding keyboard instruments, in those days. But I haven't done any research into that...and on the other hand, there's that outtake in which GM affirms that Paul's bass chords combined with the 12-string sound "rather magnificent, actually", so we know that those two were concerned about the overall sound of that particular record, at least.

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13 March 2019
8.58am
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QuarryMan
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Von Bontee said
I would suspect that GM was still responsible for many of the decisions regarding orchestration, at least regarding keyboard instruments, un those days. But I haven't done any research into that...and on the other hand, there's that outtake in which GM affirms that Paul's bass chords combined with the 12-string sound "rather magnificent, actually", so we know that those two were concerned about the overall sound of that particular record, at least.

  

Were they referring to a specific song, or the record as a whole? 

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13 March 2019
9.50am
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meanmistermustard
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QuarryMan said

Von Bontee said

I would suspect that GM was still responsible for many of the decisions regarding orchestration, at least regarding keyboard instruments, un those days. But I haven't done any research into that...and on the other hand, there's that outtake in which GM affirms that Paul's bass chords combined with the 12-string sound "rather magnificent, actually", so we know that those two were concerned about the overall sound of that particular record, at least.

  

Were they referring to a specific song, or the record as a whole? 

  

If you mean in the quote referred to it, it's from a brief excerpt of an outtake when recording 'What You're Doing ' and is heard during the 'Anthology' series (see 4:20 here).

 

The Beatles were exploring new sounds and ways of recording that could improve a song from 1963 - I remember reading about trying out the Fuzz bass on a 1963 recording, could have been 'She Loves You ' but I forget exactly. They always were keen not to shove out lazy garbage as they were proud of what they did; folk will point here and there to examples where it's felt they failed but if correct there are not many (ignoring issues like 'Mr Moonlight ' over 'Leave My Kitten Alone ' or a sloppy bass note where G# is hit instead of 7 sharp major or whatever). They were also keen to ditch sounds before they became overused, for example, the use of harmonica in singles. Such an approach meant they had to keep on looking for new ideas as they weren't able to settle on one hook and beat it to death like a lot of artists did back then, and nowadays.

 

It always amazes me when I hear of bands stating how they kept the same sound and approach on their new record so as not to alienate their fan base when they Beatles were happy to go wherever they wanted figuring that they might lose some fans but would no doubt attract new ones (as stated by John(?) in 1966 before 'Revolver ' or 'Strawberry Fields'/'Penny Lane ' came out).

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13 March 2019
10.05am
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ahdn_paul_06Out of all the things that made them great, I think that takes the cake. So many bands nowadays seem to feel obligated to release yet another album every couple years that gets forgotten about very quickly, doesn't do anything new and takes up room in the market that could be filled by more interesting acts. The Beatles just kept pushing forward, never sat still, and quit while they were ahead, leaving behind a near perfect legacy. I agree there are a few duds in their catalog, and this album certainly has a few, but considering the vast amount of songs they recorded, it's pretty incredible how consistent the quality is throughout.

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13 March 2019
10.18am
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QuarryMan said
ahdn_paul_06Out of all the things that made them great, I think that takes the cake. So many bands nowadays seem to feel obligated to release yet another album every couple years that gets forgotten about very quickly, doesn't do anything new and takes up room in the market that could be filled by more interesting acts. The Beatles just kept pushing forward, never sat still, and quit while they were ahead, leaving behind a near perfect legacy. I agree there are a few duds in their catalog, and this album certainly has a few, but considering the vast amount of songs they recorded, it's pretty incredible how consistent the quality is throughout.

  

That's the biggest standout with the Beatles. If you analyse the albums they released in the UK between 1963 and 1970 (ignoring the US as they had no say in what Capitol released pre-'Revolver ') the only album you can point a finger at and say 'hmmm' is 'Yellow Submarine ', all of the others have moments of supreme quality and clear signs of growth and depth (and there are reasons for why 'Yellow Submarine ' is what it is but that's another issue). None of the others sit still or can be discarded as being crap and filler. 'Beatles For Sale ' is generally seen as being the weakest of all of them (maybe 'Let It Be ') but there is clear growth in what you hear on the record and no one can just discard it and call it a waste of plastic.

Find me a band or artist who can put out an album of such a standard as this having come off making a movie and countless tours, going around the world and back again. It's easy to forget the context but one look at the Beatles schedule in 1964 is frightening and yet we still got a damn fine album in 'BFS'.

 

"No band today would come off a long US tour at the end of September, go into the studio and start a new album, still writing songs, and then go on a UK tour, finish the album in five weeks, still touring, and have the album out in time for Christmas. But that's what the Beatles did at the end of 1964. A lot of it was down to naiveté, thinking that this was the way things were done. If the record company needs another album, you go and make one" - Neil Aspinall

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13 March 2019
12.14pm
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QuarryMan
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Agreed. I think Beatles For Sale is my least favourite, but the only way in which it is a step back is that it has more cover songs where AHDN had been entirely original. Other than that it continues to move forward, with more variety in terms of mood and sound than before. And that's pretty much it - everything else they did moved their sound forward in a positive sense, which I think is something you can say of no other band. There are others that have tried different genres over the course of their career, but none have managed to pull of a progression so complete and satisfying as The Beatles's discography. Even Let It Be is a step forward in that they drastically changed their sound back to basics and made a pretty decent classic rock record in doing so. 

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13 March 2019
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Beatles For Sale is probably like my 5th favorite album. Everyone always overlooks it because it's full of covers, but there are some really amazing songs on there.

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14 March 2019
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QuarryMan said
So many bands nowadays seem to feel obligated to release yet another album every couple years that gets forgotten about very quickly, doesn't do anything new and takes up room in the market that could be filled by more interesting acts. The Beatles just kept pushing forward, never sat still, and quit while they were ahead, leaving behind a near perfect legacy.

Very well said. It’s interesting and also amazing how they have these diverse sounding albums but all of them are so uniquely ‘The Beatles’. There really no one else like them. Their avante garde was done in a mainstream, accessible way. 

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