The Beatles – For Sale.

Allowing themselves a full week after recording their 3rd album The Beatles started recording their 4th album Beatles For Sale.

The album did go back to the inclusion of cover songs which I consider to dilute the albums I have heard so far. Still, this was the staple of the times and was largely expected by the album buying public.

No Reply (Lennon / McCartney) does sound much slower than I remember. This is probably, no, make that definitely, due to my first exposure to the song via Stars On 45. That said, it is a great song with melancholy and depth.

I’m A Loser (Lennon / McCartney) does have strains of Dylan? The John Lennon vocal fits this sound better than I imagine any of the other three would.

Baby’s In Black (Lennon /McCartney) and the album takes a nosedive. The song does not have any discernible hook and is largely bland.

Rock And Roll Music (Berry) is a straight up jivey cover of the Chuck Berry song. It sounds dated even if the song is clearly a classic rock n’ roll song from way back.

I’ll Follow The Sun (Lennon / McCartney) is soft and sweet. It’s no classic but is quite nice in a harmless kind of way.

Mr. Moonlight (Johnson) for the first time ever sounds like The Beatles are losing their way. Gospel almost with broad vocal delivery and a boomy crash drum. Is this album going off the rails?

Kansas City / Hey – Hey – Hey – Hey (Leiber / Stoller / Penniman) is a rock and roll jam that again does not work that well.

Eight Days A Week (Lennon / McCartney) and at last the album is saved. Another Beatles classic song that fits like a nursery rhyme (in a good way). Although it is quite slow the depth of the sound gives it a lot of energy somehow.

Words Of Love (Holly) showcases George Martin’s production. A Buddy Holly cover, gentle and harmonic.

Honey Don’t (Perkins) actually benefits from Ringo Starr singing it. 60’s beat country, nothing special really.

Every Little Thing (Lennon / McCartney) builds and now those boomy beats work much better. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song before right now yet it sounds amazingly familiar. It sounds like a great 60’s pop song. Bah -Bum.

I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party (Lennon / McCartney) and that near country shade appears again. Good vocal delivery but nothing outstanding as a whole.

What You’re Doing (Lennon / McCartney) has a great intro but this is not turned into a classic song. It adds to make the album only sound a bit tired.

Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby (Perkins) and the album comes to a close with a rock and roll cover sung by George Harrison.

Beatles For Sale was released at a time when The Beatles were absolutely huge but it for the first time sees the release of a tired sounding Beatles album lacking imagination. It has a great sleeve but the album title could be perceived as the band shrugging at their workload?

There are two classic songs on it which both start each side of the LP. Every Little Thing is a lost classic too and a song I genuinely enjoyed listening to for the first time just now. Maybe this would have made a much better E.P. than full-length album. Weaker songs pad the record out even if it did sell by the bucketload. Still with a work rate and output speed like this band were churning out records it is perhaps no surprise the album is not a classic…


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