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Why is Beatles For Sale so underrated
20 December 2016
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HMBeatlesfan
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I don't get why people don't look onto Beatles For Sale as well as they should. For me, I think it's their first really good album. Sure it's no Sgt. Pepper or The Beatles, but there's some great tracks there and I really like the folk influenced sound. The only thing I have against it is that they chose the mellow No Reply to open the album instead of a rocker like the previous 3 albums, but I think it fits here, as it fits the tone of the album and I think if they opened with say Rock And Roll Music , it wouldn't have turned out quite as well.

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20 December 2016
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Starr Shine?
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partualy due to the fact that I'm the only person who likes Mr. Moonlight

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20 December 2016
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Ahhh Girl
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@WeepingAtlasCedars must like the song some to have

MISTAAAAAAAAH MOOOONLIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

in her signature.

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20 December 2016
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sgtpepper63
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I like Beatles For Sale , although I prefer Beatles 65'.

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20 December 2016
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TheWigglyBeatle
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It's about time someone acknowledges Beatles For Sale and its awesomeness. It's one of my favorite Beatles albums, but it doesn't get talked about much.

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21 December 2016
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Pablo Ramon
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I can think of a few reasons Beatles For Sale is not as prominently regarded as other albums:

1. Covers. Like Please Please Me and With The Beatles , Beatles For Sale is 40% covers. 

2. Mr Moonlight . I enjoy Mr Moonlight , but the arrangement is atypical and even a little off-putting. It's consistently one of the least popular Beatles tunes.

3. Dark and downbeat mood. No Reply , I'm A Loser , I Don't Want To Spoil The Party and Baby's In Black reflect alienation, fear and rejection. Those are not themes that were typical of the Beatles up to that point, and those tunes are incongruous and off-putting if you're looking for, say, Eight Days A Week . These songs as well as I'll Follow The Sun are dominated by acoustic guitars as well and generally the originals on the album have a somber feel.

Personally, I think the album reflects the continual progress and evolution that typifies the Beatles entire career - an unwillingness to repeat themselves, always striving to move ahead and do things differently. The album reflects the folk music trend in its themes and sounds and makes advances in lyrical content. But it also feels a bit schizophrenic, bouncing from something like Baby's In Black to Rock And Roll Music , for example... To me it also feels a little slapdash, which it undoubtedly was - recorded on days off from touring, coming on the heels of the landmark A Hard Day's Night LP and immediately preceding the I Feel Fine / She's A Woman single. I think the album reflects exhaustion, but even in an exhausted state, the Beatles can't stop and rest - they are still covering new ground even when they probably would prefer to lay down on the ground and take a nap...

For me, Beatles For Sale ranks toward the bottom of the Beatles canon, but that says a lot about the quality of the canon as this is still an amazing album, it's just not one that reaches the heights of something like A Hard Day's Night , Rubber Soul or Revolver ...

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21 December 2016
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Expert Textpert
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I agree that Beatles '65 is better than Beatles For Sale .

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

21 December 2016
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William Shears Campbell
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Beatles For Sale is that album that I always sorta push to the side as an ehh album, but then i forget that all those great songs are on it(Eight Days A Week , No Reply , I'll Follow The Sun , What You're Doing , etc.).  I honestly used to get this album mixed up with Rubber Soul , because of the similar album pictures.

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21 December 2016
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HMBeatlesfan
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Pablo Ramon said
I can think of a few reasons Beatles For Sale is not as prominently regarded as other albums:

Thanks for the analysis.

1. Covers. Like Please Please Me and With The Beatles , Beatles For Sale is 40% covers.

Although it is better to use original songs, there is nothing wrong with having a lot of covers, especially if you are like The Beatles and make them better than the originals. Also, does this mean you consider Metallica's Garage Inc. and John Lennon 's Rock And Roll bad albums as well.

2. Mr. Moonlight. I enjoy Mr. Moonlight, but the arrangement is atypical and even a little off-putting. It's consistently one of the least popular Beatles tunes.

I don't know what people have against this song, it's this and Hold Me Tight that get pissed on unfairly. In this case, I really like the mood and feel of the song and I think the organ solo was a nice addition.

3. Dark and downbeat mood. No Reply , I'm A Loser , I Don't Want To Spoil The Party and Baby's In Black reflect alienation, fear and rejection. Those are not themes that were typical of the Beatles up to that point, and those tunes are incongruous and off-putting if you're looking for, say, Eight Days A Week . These songs as well as I'll Follow The Sun are dominated by acoustic guitars as well and generally the originals on the album have a somber feel.

I personally like upbeat songs, but I also like some downbeat ones as well and in this case, I'd say the best songs on this album are fairly downbeat. Also, since when did having a lot of acoustic guitar dominated songs become a bad thing.

Personally, I think the album reflects the continual progress and evolution that typifies the Beatles entire career - an unwillingness to repeat themselves, always striving to move ahead and do things differently. The album reflects the folk music trend in its themes and sounds and makes advances in lyrical content. But it also feels a bit schizophrenic, bouncing from something like Baby's In Black to Rock And Roll Music , for example... To me it also feels a little slapdash, which it undoubtedly was - recorded on days off from touring, coming on the heels of the landmark A Hard Day's Night LP and immediately preceding the I Feel Fine / She's A Woman single. I think the album reflects exhaustion, but even in an exhausted state, the Beatles can't stop and rest - they are still covering new ground even when they probably would prefer to lay down on the ground and take a nap...

For me, Beatles For Sale ranks toward the bottom of the Beatles canon, but that says a lot about the quality of the canon as this is still an amazing album, it's just not one that reaches the heights of something like A Hard Day's Night , Rubber Soul or Revolver ...

Nice to know.

Maybe you should try posting more.

21 December 2016
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Pablo Ramon
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HMBeatlesfan said

Although it is better to use original songs, there is nothing wrong with having a lot of covers, especially if you are like The Beatles and make them better than the originals. Also, does this mean you consider Metallica's Garage Inc. and John Lennon 's Rock And Roll bad albums as well.

I'm not saying covers make for a bad album, I think what I'm saying is more that the albums that get the most attention and are considered an artist's masterpiece are generally comprised of original tunes or almost all originals. I like Garage Inc. and Rock and Roll, but I like ...And Justice For All  and Walls And Bridges more.

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21 December 2016
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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Ahhh Girl said
@WeepingAtlasCedars must like the song some to have

MISTAAAAAAAAH MOOOONLIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

in her signature.  

Yep! I like Mr. Moonlight; it's not my favourite, but it's unique and different. a-hard-days-night-george-9 Definitely nothing else there, though. 

MISTAAAAAAAAH MOOOONLIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

That is all I'm living for, your love and nothing more. And that is all.

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22 December 2016
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ewe2
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Beatles For Sale is the difficult transition album, made in the full glare of Beatlemania. There could be no Help ! without it and absolutely no Rubber Soul . They do indeed lean heavily on covers to fill it out, but the originals are a new direction, a direction you keep recalling on later albums. What Goes On would belong here, for instance. It's been noted before on these forums how much the hasty production holds the album back compared to the previous and next, but they still tried a lot of stuff, particularly with Ringo who pulls out all sorts of drumming tricks to back the songs. George too comes in with a bunch of tricky guitar; although he couldn't land a song, he got to sing one. And John beginning to make his songs personal, and as @HMBeatlesfan says, rather dark. But it's also true that sad country songs are a genre and they fit that bill. It's a forward-and-back looking album. Must have confused the hell out of fans at the time.

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4 January 2017
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Pablo Ramon
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I was reading something recently and realized that fully half the songs on Beatles For Sale were recorded on a single day. Rock And Roll Music , I'll Follow The Sun , Mr. Moonlight, Kansas City /Hey Hey Hey, Eight Days A Week , Words Of Love and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby were all laid down on 10/18/1964. No wonder it feels rushed to me!

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4 January 2017
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HMBeatlesfan
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You're looking at it the wrong way Pablo. First of all, the only part of Eight Days A Week that was recorded on that day was George's 12-string Rickenbacker part for the intro and outro, while for the rest of the song (including on the backing track during the intro and outro), he uses his Gretsch. Also, all of the other songs are covers that were part of The Beatles live repertoire and the one original recorded from scratch on that day, I'll Follow The Sun , was already 8 years old, so all of these songs were very easy to record (Rock And Roll Music was recorded in 1 take, Kansas City took 2, etc.). Also, you must think Please Please Me sounds very rushed, as 10 of the 14 songs on the album were recorded on February 11th 1963.

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5 January 2017
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Pablo Ramon
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Please Please Me definitely sounds rushed as well!

To be clear, I love Beatles For Sale , I just love some other Beatles material more... And I have to say, given the haste with which some of it was recorded, the results are remarkably polished. 

5 January 2017
9.37am
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sir walter raleigh
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It is also important to remember that The Beatles were pioneers of creating LPs as singular works like they first did on Rubber Soul and Revolver . Their early music was phenomenal, but with Please Please Me and Beatles For Sale particularly they had not yet come to see albums as full works of art rather than a collection of songs and hits. Perhaps that is why the quality control is lower on Beatles For Sale

Of course, this is speculation. And i'm not saying that because the early albums are not concept albums it means they are not high in quality. 

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8 March 2018
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Timothy
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TheWigglyBeatle said
It's about time someone acknowledges Beatles For Sale and its awesomeness. It's one of my favorite Beatles albums, but it doesn't get talked about much.  

I think much higher of Beatles For Sale these days. I used to be somewhat dismissive of it for some reason, even though I still liked it. The Lennon Trilogy (the first three songs) gets things off to a strong start. Singing from his heart about his life woes appeals to me in a big way, especially I’m A Loser. I’ll Follow The Sun is one of Paul’s best songs, period. It’s almost like his equivalent of In My Life . Content like Mr Moonlight , Kansas City , etc is fun and the vocals are strong.

Eight Days A Week needs no introduction, and I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party continues the vibe John started with his opening three songs. But the big standout for me has always been What You’re Doing. It’s one of the catchiest songs in their catalogue. I can’t get enough of that melody and harmony. The brief instrumental section in particular is poignant perfection. Beatles For Sale isn’t a bad album, I just prefer others.

1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

8 March 2018
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Timothy said

the big standout for me has always been What You’re Doing. It’s one of the catchiest songs in their catalogue. I can’t get enough of that melody and harmony. The brief instrumental section in particular is poignant perfection

Are you familiar with this outtake?

 

 

Not sure why they abandoned the harmonies for the final version for I think that it sounds fantastic as it does here...:-)

8 March 2018
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^I am so glad they ditched that harmony for the final version of "What You're Doing ."  It drags down the song and clutters up what is a soulful and earnest vocal from Paul.  I do love the low monotone background "oooh" in the "why should it be so much" section of the album cut though; it's just right to my ears.

I love Beatles For Sale .  It's got it all -- folk, rock 'n roll, soul, country, ballads.  It is definitely a full leap into mature songwriting for McCartney and Lennon, and the songs are introspective without being overly self-indulgent.  I listen to it as much as my other top Beatles albums.  "What You're Doing ," "Every Little Thing ," and "No Reply " are masterpieces to me.  "I'll Follow The Sun ," "I'm A Loser ," "Eight Days A Week ," and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party " are no slouches either.  The two Perkins covers are uninspired, and I might've dropped them and "Mr. Moonlight," but the majority of the album is strong enough that they don't spoil the party for me.

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8 March 2018
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It's a great album,rushed or not. If it was rushed,it was probably due to the workload that they had to go through. Look at the cover. They look hacked off and exhausted. I'll repeat, it's a great album a-hard-days-night-paul-5

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