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Why is Beatles For Sale so underrated
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26 March 2018
11.57am
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QuarryMan
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Joey Self said
I think if I'd heard BFS without knowing it followed AHDN , I would have liked it better.  I hear it as a retreat, at least because of the covers.  I am not that crazy about "I'm A Loser " and "Baby's In Black ," and "Mr. Moonlight" should have been the one we first got on ANTHOLOGY, with "Leave My Kitten Alone " in its place.

Also, it is the album that suffers most from the "no singles on albums" policy.  Sure, WITH THE BEATLES would have been improved with "I Want To Hold Your Hand /This Boy ," Rubber Soul could have used "We Can Work It Out /Day Tripper " and REVOLVER could have been even better with "Paperback Writer /Rain " (or at least "Rain "), but those albums had enough other things going for them, the loss of two tracks from the sessions as a single didn't hurt like pulling "I Feel Fine /She's A Woman " from BFS.  Those that remarked that BEATLES '65 was better are probably basing that in large part on the inclusion of the single. 

That's not to say the album is without charm.  I like the trio of originals that appear on side two in consecutive order.  "Rock And Roll Music " is a good cover; someone in this thread opined it might have been a good album opener, and that had not occurred to me.  The record would open with Lennon imploring "Just let me hear some of that Rock And Roll Music ..." 

So, of the 63-65 output, what I consider the "early" phase of their career, I'd put it 4th, ahead of PPM and WTB, but behind AHDN , HELP! and Rubber Soul .  Thus, I guess I'd answer the question "Why is BFS so underrated?" by saying "that assumes a fact not in evidence--I don't know that it IS underrated as much as it is properly assessed." 

 

JcS  

Good points well made. WTB and BFS are definitely the albums that suffer most from the high amount of covers and the low amount of originals. 

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26 March 2018
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Beatlebug
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Heath said
"I Feel Fine " spent three weeks at #1 in late '64/early '65 in the US, while "She's A Woman " made it to #4.  How we suffered through those weeks is the untold story the Beatles could still cover up in those early days.  You probably never heard about it elsewhere.  People having to turn off their radios every five minutes.  Billboards springing up overnight:

I FEEL FINE?  I'LL FEEL FINE when this piece of garbage is off the air - FOR GOOD!

SHE'S A  WOMAN?  SHE'S A PAWN to "Capitol"ism is what SHE IS!

Luckily for the Beatles, this all occurred prior to the days of hard-hitting journalism, such as found in Datebook magazine.  

I take it those two songs have gotten worn out for you, @Heath? a-hard-days-night-john-6

I like both songs quite a lot. ahdn_george_06 I didn't hear them over and over on the radio 1,000 times back in the day. mccartney-shrug_01_gif

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Heath

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26 March 2018
12.34pm
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Heath
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Beatlebug said

I take it those two songs have gotten worn out for you, @Heath? a-hard-days-night-john-6

I now see, @Beatlebug, my need to make use of smileys.  a-hard-days-night-john-6After the second sentence of my post, and another time or two, I should have put a a-hard-days-night-george-10Lastly, those two songs will never get worn out for me.  

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27 March 2018
5.22am
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Father McKenzie
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@Beatlebug @heath : I Feel Fine is definitely in my top ten Beatles tracks of all time. It's brilliant,plus i love the beginning,you know what I mean? Totally random and accidental,but it works heart

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27 March 2018
6.30am
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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I Feel Fine is so amazing! I discovered it too late due to my only listening to the albums and not the singles for a while... a-hard-days-night-paul-10

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27 March 2018
10.02am
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Father McKenzie
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@TheWalrusWasBrian: I agree paul-mccartney-thumb_gif. I remember you said you liked Martha. I posted a good pic with her in it on the 'Caption It' game that you may want to use for your avatar in future (though it's not in colour paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif)

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28 March 2018
7.05am
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Timothy
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Father McKenzie said
@Beatlebug @heath : I Feel Fine is definitely in my top ten Beatles tracks of all time. It's brilliant,plus i love the beginning,you know what I mean? Totally random and accidental,but it works heart  

Absolutely. John’s vocals compliment that melody so well. His voice soars.

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28 March 2018
9.08pm
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J Alesait
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Starr Shine? said
partualy due to the fact that I'm the only person who likes Mr. Moonlight  

You are not alone. I do like this song. The Hollies also covered it on their first album,  but I prefer the Beatles' version. 
 

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Timothy
5 August 2018
9.46am
Sounds in your dreams
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I love this album.

- the country-ish feel

- incredible vocals & harmonies - for me their voices never sounded better - esp. the open John/Paul harmonies on the bridges of "Baby's In Black ," "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party ," "No Reply ."

- George's Gretsch Tennessean (with HiLo-tron pickups!) - He got a great sound in "I'm A Loser ," "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party ," the Carl Perkins covers, etc.

It gets dissed by Beatles writers. Partly cause of the covers. I like the covers myself, even Mr. Moonlight (it's entertaining, and John sings the heck out of it).

This record is the last one to connect to their pre-Beatlemania repertoire. But it is more country/rockabilly than rock n roll. I like the sound.

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27 November 2018
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I think it's a combination of factors ranging from it having too many covers, being "rushed" out after A Hard Day's Night and the music press "deciding" it's a weak Beatles album. I would definitely venture to say that the originals are all top notch and Words Of Love , imo, is probably the best cover they ever did (you can almost hear their vocal chords "vibrating" because they're so tight and beautiful). George also played some lovely lead guitar lines on this album as well with that twangy and jangly country sound.

The Byrds most definitely took a lot of inspiration from this album which they incorporated into their own sound.

27 November 2018
9.33am
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50yearslate
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This album is so brilliant, but never gets the recognition it deserves. One of my very favorite songs of all time is on this album; No Reply .

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27 November 2018
12.34pm
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Von Bontee
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Of course it's the temporary reversion to the 8 originals/6 covers formula, after the all-MacLen triumph on the previous album, that largely inspires BFS derision; but to me, it's the actual choice of covers that particularly feels like a half-step back. Whereas previously they'd done a fairly imaginative assortment of recentish-to-contemporary girl-group and r&b/soul numbers of varying fame (plus a show tune for Paulie), this time the bulk of the covers are basically tributes to their EARLY heroes - all of them predictable male icons of the previous rock n rollin' decade, and all of whom must've seemed practically archaic in the context of this new world (nearly halfway through the 1960s already!) of Rock that the Beatles were leading. When the latest collection of 14 new Beatles smashes is split between up-to-the-minute offerings and oldies written practically a decade earlier, it tends to come off as two opposing half-albums, one of nostalgia and one glimpsing the future.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
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27 November 2018
1.41pm
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50yearslate
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Nicely phrased, @Von Bontee . That's a fair analysis, and the BFS covers are generally disregarded and underrated, I agree... but while I subconsciously categorize the BFS covers as throwaways, when I actually listen to them, I realize they're really good songs. Honey Don't is a great Ringo vocal, Rock & Roll Music is a fantastic John number, Paul does a great job with Kansas City , and of course George does a great version of Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby ... but that might be my bias speaking. I would listen to George reading tax returns and still love it because his voice is so magical a-hard-days-night-george-10

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27 November 2018
2.46pm
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Von Bontee
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I agree; all the oldies are good-to-great songs, performances same. 

And as for "Moonlight", I still like it, especially the cold open (but wish they'd played it Star-Club style otherwise)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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27 November 2018
3.56pm
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50yearslate
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Von Bontee said
I agree; all the oldies are good-to-great songs, performances same. 

And as for "Moonlight", I still like it, especially the cold open (but wish they'd played it Star-Club style otherwise)  

I feel the same way. Honestly, sometimes when I listen to Beatles For Sale I just listen to the intro and then skip to the next song just so I'm left with that in my mind ahdn_john_08_gif

"By all means, I'd be quite prepared for that eventuality." - George Harrison

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27 November 2018
4.41pm
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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50yearslate said
Nicely phrased, @Von Bontee . That's a fair analysis, and the BFS covers are generally disregarded and underrated, I agree... but while I subconsciously categorize the BFS covers as throwaways, when I actually listen to them, I realize they're really good songs. Honey Don't is a great Ringo vocal, Rock & Roll Music is a fantastic John number, Paul does a great job with Kansas City , and of course George does a great version of Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby ... but that might be my bias speaking. I would listen to George reading tax returns and still love it because his voice is so magical a-hard-days-night-george-10  

Honey Don't is gear. (Also might be my bias) 

If I'd found this album earlier than I did, I probably would listen to it more. It's a great album, but I usually go to the mid-sixties automatically.

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27 November 2018
5.15pm
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50yearslate
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TheWalrusWasBrian said

Honey Don't is gear. (Also might be my bias) 

If I'd found this album earlier than I did, I probably would listen to it more. It's a great album, but I usually go to the mid-sixties automatically.  

I tend to go through phases. For instance, a few weeks ago I listened to Please Please Me every day. Then I got into A Hard Day's Night again and spent several days listening mostly to that; more recently I've been getting back into Sgt Pepper ,  and I think I can feel an Abbey Road phase coming on (because Maxwell's Silver Hammer has been bouncing around my head for a few days now.)

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28 November 2018
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Timothy
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Sounds in your dreams said
I love this album.

- the country-ish feel

Indeed. When push comes to shove, my favourite sound is early Elvis, folk rock Rubber Soul

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50yearslate

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5 December 2018
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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I listened to Beatles For Sale yesterday, and i never realized before how much i love some of the songs, like, I'll Follow The Sun is something i want to put on repeat for two hours.

I knew the songs, i just didn't know how much i appreciated them.

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Walrian here! Not 50yl, or anyone else, actually.

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5 December 2018
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TheWalrusWasBrian said
I listened to Beatles For Sale yesterday, and i never realized before how much i love some of the songs, like, I'll Follow The Sun is something i want to put on repeat for two hours.

I knew the songs, i just didn't know how much i appreciated them.  

I feel the same way every time I hear it. I agree 100% about I'll Follow The Sun , and hearing No Reply always puts me in the best and happiest mood. (You and @Beatlebug sounded great yesterday by the way! a-hard-days-night-george-10)

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(It's 50yl, not Walrian :)

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