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Beatles for Sale
First released: 1964, December 4
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Piano/Vocal/Chords songbook at Sheetmusicplus.com
Sheet music, guitar tabs, song books at Sheetmusicplus.com
Producer: George Martin
Liner Notes: Derek Taylor
George Harrison: Vocals, Guitar, African drum
John Lennon: Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Paul McCartney: Vocals, Bass Guitar, Piano, Hammond organ
Ringo Starr: Drums, Vocals, Bongos, Timpani, Percussion
George Martin: Piano
A testament to the abundance of perseverance and talent found within The Beatles' ranks, their fourth album was recorded in and around North American and British tours. BEATLES FOR SALE also marked their last full-length release loaded with cover songs, as the Fab Four moved towards writing more of their own material. Interspersed between future Beatles classics such as "Eight Days A Week" and the Dylan-inspired "I'm A Loser" are faithful renditions of songs by Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins (featuring the only lead vocals by Ringo Starr and George Harrison on this album). The bossa-nova flavored take on Chuck Berry's "Rock And Roll Music" is only superseded by a tremendous medley of "Kansas City" and "Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey," that finds Paul McCartney's exuberant vocals placing a decent second to his hero Little Richard and making this the centerpiece of BEATLES FOR SALE.
|1964, December 4||Parlophone PMC 1240 / PCS 3062 (UK)|
|Reviews & comments|
Joe (2011, June 2)
My opinion on this one is that it is not the worst but not the best either. It doesn't really feature any memorable songs apart from Eight Days a Week.
Indra K (2007, October 5)
Good album... but why must the CD be released officially in mono version, while the old cassette tape I bought in 1970's is a stereo recording? Because there are songs which are different between mono and stereo version. Such as "Mr Moonlight" and "Kansas City". The stereo version of those songs are longer than the mono released in the CD.
All Music Guide (2002, March 10)
It was inevitable that the constant grind of touring, writing, promoting, and recording would grate on the Beatles, but the weariness of Beatles for Sale comes as something of a shock. Only five months before, the group released the joyous A Hard Day's Night. Now, they sound beaten, worn, and, in Lennon's case, bitter and self-loathing. His opening trilogy ("No Reply," "I'm a Loser," "Baby's in Black") is the darkest sequence on any Beatles record, setting the tone for the album. Moments of joy pop up now and again, mainly in the forms of covers and the dynamic "Eight Days a Week," but the very presence of six covers after the triumphant all-original A Hard Day's Night feels like an admission of defeat or at least a regression. (It doesn't help that Lennon's cover of his beloved obscurity "Mr. Moonlight" winds up as arguably the worst thing the group ever recorded.) Beneath those surface suspicions, however, there are some important changes on Beatles for Sale, most notably Lennon's discovery of Bob Dylan and folk-rock. The opening three songs, along with "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," are implicitly confessional and all quite bleak, which is a new development. This spirit winds up overshadowing McCartney's cheery "I'll Follow the Sun" or the thundering covers of "Rock & Roll Music," "Honey Don't," and "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey Hey," and the weariness creeps up in unexpected places — "Every Little Thing," "What You're Doing," even George's cover of Carl Perkins' "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" — leaving the impression that Beatlemania may have been fun but now the group is exhausted. That exhaustion results in the group's most uneven album, but its best moments find them moving from Merseybeat to the sophisticated pop/rock they developed in mid-career. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine