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Beatles For Sale - The Beatles

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Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: The Beatles / Audio CD released 1988-11-01 at Parlophone

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    10 Reviews
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      19.08.2013 13:38
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      Not their best album, but still a must for any respectable music collection

      Basking in their legendary and almost instantaneous rocket to fame, The Beatles released their fourth album, Beatles For Sale, which shot straight to no.1 in the UK in December 1964. Although I Feel Fine was simultaneously at no.1 in the singles charts, it didn't appear on the album (at least the UK version of). The by now classic, infamous sleeve of the Beatles For Sale album shows the four mop-tops wearing high-collard coats, frowning morosely at the camera.

      Looking back to 1964 (the year I had my 10th birthday), The Beatles could do no wrong. Everything they touched turned instantly to gold, and I think if they'd released an album consisting of nothing but the noises of flatulence or a fork scraping against a saucepan, it still would zoomed straight to the no.1 position....and, that was how I felt about the band at the time.

      After their previous album, A Hard Day's Night (which comprised a high standard and stunning array of largely self-penned songs), The Beatles seemed - in my opinion - to spin on the spot for just a little while, with Beatles For Sale being the musical result. It has been said that this album was rushed out as it was getting close to Christmas and all concerned wanted to make sure of capitalising on that market. Such could well be true, as this album does contain more cover versions than their others....perhaps except for or equal to With The Beatles from 1963.

      Although initially sounding pleasantly peripheral, the songs on Beatles For Sale which they wrote themselves are actually quite thoughtful, with Lennon/McCartney just starting to veer away from their previous high quality, but very teen pop orientated material. For me, this is particularly apparent with Paul McCartney's rather poignantly penned I'll Follow The Sun....quite a sad, wistful tune that even managed to appeal to the mums and dads at the time. It is also my own favourite track on the album.

      As far as the cover versions are concerned, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to artists recording their own versions of other people's songs. My feelings towards The Beatles' covers on this album are somewhat mixed in that I feel Buddy Holly's Words Of Love has been awarded great justice (although I ultimately prefer the original), and their rendition of Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey coaxed me into liking a song that I'd previously not had any time for. The Beatles greasing me into this eventually resulted in me positively reviewing my opinion on the original.

      However, I personally am not too impressed with the other cover versions on this album, particularly Honey Don't....in my opinion, the original is light years better and I feel it's a song The Beatles should have stayed well clear from. My main gripe with their version is the vocals, as to me they weaken what otherwise is a strong track.

      Lennon had his moment too on this album, as well as McCartney, providing us with the rather tense Baby's In Black, a lost love song with a very definite Liverpool sound to it....a sound that I can't find the words to explain, but listening to the undercurrents, there is a slight ring of Irish in there. John's voice is a suitable mixture of harshness and desperation, conveying the mood of the song perfectly.

      To comment on a couple of the other Beatles' penned songs on this album, No Reply for me is an all-time classic, but sometimes it seems as if it is losing its way a bit in that I get the impression nobody could make up their minds as to whether they wanted it to be a fast or a slow song - so, stuck with slow-ish, but it thus sounding a little vague in parts. Eight Days A Week probably is, at least on first hearing, the easiest to latch onto due to its easy-going, catchy up-tempo tune and the whacky phrase used for the title. I personally feel this should have been released as a single, but perhaps there wasn't time or maybe those concerned didn't want it to usurp I Feel Fine which was already at no.1 in the charts. As for I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, although I can understand the sentiments of the lyrics, I feel that the tune is a little clumsy, losing its way for a split second somewhere in the middle.

      Despite what I've said above about the Beatles' own material on this album, I still listen to these tracks even now, 49 years on, with a fondness and deep sense of reminiscence.

      I suppose the band chose songs to cover from people who had been their greatest influences, such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins, although aside from Holly's Words Of Love, perhaps they could have done greater justice to the work of their musical heroes. This is my personal opinion, but when it comes to rock & roll, I feel Lennon has a distinct edge over McCartney in that his voice is more suited to that style of music.

      Throughout the Beatles For Sale album, one very positive thing which shines through is George Harrison's guitar work. For me, he instrumentally held together some of the weaker tracks, giving them an 'oomph' which I feel they would have otherwise lacked.

      It does sound from what I've said above that I have a downer on the Beatles For Sale album, but taken outside of their catalogue and judging it on a stand-alone basis, it is a collection of high quality pop songs which are mostly well-performed. Viewing it alongside the band's other albums though, for me it doesn't fare quite as well. It seems to me as if The Beatles slotted this rather bitty album in between two superb, high quality ones, which may add more weight to the notion that it was released in a hurry in order to cash in on the Christmas market.

      Even though I don't feel that Beatles For Sale is their best album by any stretch of the imagination, they at their worst are far better than many other rock/pop artists are at their best, so in my mind, memory and collection, it goes down as an all-time classic, which I still periodically listen to and enjoy.

      Not heard it? Why not?

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      At the time of writing, Beatles For Sale can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-

      ON CD:-

      New: from £4.71 to £76.00
      Used: from £10.29 to £32.83
      Collectible: only one copy currently available @ £19.99 (appears to be used)

      ON VINYL:-

      New: from £12.94 to £38.47
      Used: from £2.88 to £447.00
      Collectible: from £12.99 to £29.99 (all appear to be used)

      Some CDs/vinyl albums on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.

      TRACKLIST:

      No Reply
      I'm A Loser
      Baby's In Black
      Rock And Roll Music
      I'll Follow The Sun
      Mr. Moonlight
      Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey
      Eight Days A Week
      Words Of Love
      Honey Don't
      Every Little Thing
      I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
      What You're Doing
      Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

      Thanks for reading!

      ~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~

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        17.05.2013 06:55
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        The Beatles' fourth studio album, released for Christmas 1964

        'BEATLES FOR SALE'

        The majority of critical opinion suggests with hindsight that the group's fourth album was something of a step backwards. Its predecessor, 'A Hard Day's Night', had been wall-to-wall originals, and without enough new material, in order to have a new long player out in time for the 1964 Yuletide market they had to pick no less than six cover versions in order to finish the job, despite what press officer Derek Taylor's sleeve notes may say about it not being 'a potboiling quick-sale-any-old-thing-will-do-for-Chr​istmas mixture'. If Derek was still alive, he might admit that it was otherwise.

        I can just remember when it was released, and we never saw it that way. It was a new Beatles album after all, and therefore as good as above criticism. Almost fifty years later (OK, I was little, and how time flies, doesn't it), it may have its shortcomings, but that still equates to no more than a very slight drop in their standards. The downbeat cover may have had something to do with it, but I'll come to that later on.

        THE MUSIC

        Up until now, John Lennon and Paul McCartney's songs had been mainly happy-go-lucky love songs. The first three tracks on this album were therefore something of a reversal, even if most of us fans didn't quite recognise it at the time. Listening to Bob Dylan and meeting him in America had left its mark on Lennon as a lyricist, even though it would be another Beatle who in the years ahead would be far more closely associated with His Bobness. 'No Reply' is on the face of it a bouncy, almost raucous Beatley rocker, that sounds lively enough until you take in the full meaning of the words and their story of a lover who has been stood up.

        'I'm A Loser' is a natural follow-on, with its message of 'Behind this smile I am wearing a frown'. Musically this comes between rock and country, with George Harrison's guitar solo close to Nashville, and Lennon's harmonica - an instrument he was now using less and less - adding extra colour. Then to pile on the gloom a little more comes the doleful 'Baby's In Black', a slower tune in more or less waltz-time. Lennon was known to send his words up sometimes in live performance, singing 'Oh dear, what can I do, baby's in Blackpool and I'm stuck in Crewe' (Instead of 'Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue').

        The Beatles' 'Black Album'? Oh please, guys, some light relief next.

        So - after that it's party time. If 'Twist And Shout' was the finest-ever Beatles cover version, 'Rock And Roll Music' must come a close second. Here they really give the old Chuck Berry number a run for its money, thanks to some suitably celebratory runs up and down the piano keyboard from not only Lennon and McCartney but also producer George Martin himself. If this is not the greatest track on the album, I'd say it's certainly the most fun.

        Five songs in, and McCartney at last gets the spotlight to himself. 'I'll Follow The Sun', a short acoustic number, was one of the first he wrote as an aspiring teenage singer-songwriter. And in keeping with the mood of Lennon's opening trilogy, it's another with a sour note in the lyrics - 'One day, you'll wake, to find I've gone.' Love you and leave you, then. A subconscious echo of Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right', you might think, although in fact McCartney wrote it some time before he had ever heard a Dylan song.

        A number of Beatle fans, if asked to vote for the worst track their heroes ever recorded, will plump for 'Mr Moonlight'. That's perhaps a little harsh - personally, I'd sooner nominate one or two uninspired clunkers from their latter albums - but this one has always had a bad press. Admittedly, Lennon's distinctly unenthusiastic lead vocal does it no favours, but there's a certain chilly charm to it thanks to McCartney's Hammond organ playing, and even Harrison's occasional thwack on an African drum. The song itself had been a favourite among British bands since they discovered it on the B-side of a single by Dr Feelgood and the Interns (no connection with the Canvey Island Dr Feelgood, by the way).

        However it's easily eclipsed by 'Kansas City'/'Hey Hey Hey Hey', another blistering rock'n'roll cover, with McCartney on lead vocal, doing his best Little Richardesque shout with the others pitching in on the call-and-respond routine. There's a nice clean but punchy solo from Harrison, and for the second time Martin lends a hand very efficiently on piano. It being 1964, ironically, the song is just starting to let off steam when it suddenly fades out. A big finish ending, like they did on 'Twist And Shout', would have been the icing on the cake.

        Only at the start of what was side two of the original album do we at last get a really cheerful Beatles original. 'Eight Days a Week' was originally written as a possible theme song for the second film which they were contracted to do, although it never worked out that way. A fade-in intro with big chiming chords on acoustic guitar takes us into what would prove one of their most infectious tunes of the era, and on the shortlist for their Christmas 1964 single - until they came up with 'I Feel Fine' (which is not on the album). In spite of that they apparently disliked the song, Lennon later dismissing it as 'lousy'.

        Two more covers come next. 'Words Of Love' is one of Buddy Holly's prettiest songs, and McCartney handles lead vocal with Lennon harmonising - while Starr, it seems, plays a suitcase instead of a conventional drumkit. Nice, but if anything a little on the sickly side. But all is put to rights with Starr's lead vocal on 'Honey Don't', the first of two Carl Perkins songs. I sometimes think that his reputation as a soloist would have stood higher if he had stuck more to this kind of material than middle-of-the-road balladeering. Harrison's country-rock twang on the guitar sets this off well.

        Of the remaining three originals, 'Every Little Thing' is one of McCartney's strongest early songs. Again, there's a slightly country feel to it, but more the sort of country-folk-rock flavour of the Searchers in the gently chiming 12-string Rickenbacker and acoustic rhythm guitar behind it, the sound which the Byrds were shortly to make their own. 'I Don't Want To Spoil The Party' is another deceptively cheery number about love gone wrong, Lennon's vocals double-tracked. To wrap up the originals comes 'What You're Doing', a McCartney song which has sometimes been interpreted as a kind of open letter to Jane Asher. More 12-string, pre-Byrds stuff, Martin on piano, and a pounding intro on the drums make this one stand out. Good as the song is, like 'Kansas City' it seems to be just about to start to take off when it fades out all too quickly after only two minutes.

        As a finale, Harrison takes lead on another Carl Perkins song, 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby'. It's good, though perhaps it lacks something as a spectacular rock'n'roll closer to the proceedings. Once again, 'Kansas City' might have fitted here rather better.

        PACKAGING

        The front and back photos of four weary, even hacked-off-looking group members looking unsmilingly at the camera, suggest that Beatlemania had ceased to become fun and was becoming a drag, at least for the guys themselves. Perhaps the album title, with its suggestion of the group's music being a mere commodity rolled out at intervals in order to satisfy market forces, was supposed to hint at the pressure they were under.

        As with the first three albums, the original sleeve notes are reproduced word for word, but in this case EMI slipped up. The last sentence assures us that 'for those who like to know who does precisely what, there are details alongside each title'. Yes, the tracklisting on the sleeve for the original vinyl told us who sang lead vocal on what, but that was overlooked when they put it on to CD in 1987. This is the one I am reviewing, by the way (and the one illustrated in the image above, without the black stripe down the left hand side) - they may have got their act together for the notes to the 2009 remaster, which I have not seen.

        OVERALL

        In retrospect, it's not quite top drawer Fab Four. Six out of fourteen cover versions clearly indicates hack work, even if this was down to record company pressure rather than their being able to afford the luxury in those days of doing what they wanted to when they wanted to, rather than being dictated to. But even slightly less than top drawer product from them was still way above most of the competition.

        [Revised version of a review I wrote and published on other review sites]

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          25.03.2010 10:05
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          Everyone will enjoy this, but if you're new to the Beatles CD's you may prefer another Beatles album

          I often feel that this is the forgotten Beatles album for many people, and it would be extremely harsh if this album was to be judged against only other Beatles releases rather than other music in general. Coming only five months after the huge success of A Hard Day's Night album (which was their third album in 16 months and was comprised solely of Lennon-McCartney numbers) on Beatles for Sale you can see that the fab four are being pushed right to the limit (a quick look at their expressions on the front cover says this). However, such was the skill of the band the majority of the music manages to live up to expectations. Songs like "No Reply", "Eight Days a Week" and "I'll follow the Sun" have remained favourites for Beatles fans for years, and that's not including a number of excellent covers ("Words of Love" & "Rock & Roll Music" spring to mind) and a number of self confessed fillers such as "What You're Doing" and "Every Little Thing". What makes this album remain special though is the fact that a Beatles 'filler track' is twice as good as most singles from the 60's (or any other era).

          If you're new to the Beatles album collection, this may not be the first Beatles album you should look to buy, but it's definitely one you'll go back and buy, and you won't be disappointed.

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          20.02.2010 15:27
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          9/10

          Beatles for Sale was The Beatles' fourth album, released in 1964.
          It is 34 minutes long, originally recorded in Mono, but later re-released on CD in stereo in 1987 and digitally re-mastered stereo in 2009. It was recorded at the famous Abbey Road studios, in six days from August 11th - October 26th 1964.

          ---The History---

          The album was recorded during the hectic early days of Beatlemania, in a year that saw the Beatles undertake a mammoth world tour, taking in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong in matter of weeks. It has been said that the tiredness of the Beatles can be seen on their weary faces on the album cover.

          As the band's fourth album in two years the main composers, Lennon and McCartney, were stretched to find enough songs to complete the album, so they relied upon many cover songs from their early Hamburg days.

          The album has an overtone of melancholy, with sadness and mourning as a theme, shown in songs like No Reply, I'm A Loser and Baby's In Black.

          Overall it is a very enjoyable record, with country, folk, waltz and rock 'n' roll music all featuring on the album.

          ---My Opinion---

          Beatles for Sale is a very well recorded album, with many songs that show an unusually downbeat part of the Beatles' character, while contrasting that with upbeat numbers like Rock 'n' Roll Music and Eight Days A Week, which is one of the band's most joyful songs on record.

          No Reply and I'm A Loser feature John Lennon in his most introspective mood until his solo material on Plastic Ono Band and the Imagine album, while Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey! highlights how exciting the band were still able to perform as a live act.

          The record is unique for it's blend of upbeat and downcast songs and the general mood that runs through the album. It is well worth owning for any Beatle fan.

          ---Track Listing---

          1. No Reply
          2. I'm A Loser
          3. Baby's In Black
          4. Rock 'n' Roll Music
          5. I'll Follow The Sun
          6. Mr Moonlight
          7. Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!
          8. Eight Days A Week
          9. Words Of Love
          10. Honey Don't
          11. Every Little Thing
          12. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
          13. What You're Doing
          14. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

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          04.01.2010 18:08
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          Worth every penny

          ** Beatles For Sale **

          I love the Beatles and bought this CD for £12.58 from Amazon to replace my worn out cassette of the album that I was using in my car. Released in 1964 this is a classic bit of early Beatles nostalga.

          I Love mosdt of the songs, even the cover versions -

          1. No Reply
          As sdoon as I hear the opining line 'This happened once before' I'm singing along in my car and getting funny looks from other motorists.

          2. I'm A Loser
          This track reminds me a little bit of Bob Dylan, it's vewry catch in a meloncholy kind of way.

          3. Baby's In Black
          I love this weird waltz withstrange harmonies, it's not the best trck on the album but has a good feel to it.

          4. Rock 'n' Roll Music
          THe Beatles do some ace cover versions and this cover of a Chuck Berry classic is no exception it really bounces along.

          5. I'll Follow The Sun
          I saw George Martin say this was his favourite song from the album and far be from me to disagree with one of the world's greatest producers.

          6. Mr Moonlight
          Another cover, sung by John I think, I like it but I'm not that keen.

          7. Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey
          McCartney sings a medley of 2 different cover versions to great effect. It's simple rock and roll but it swings along brilliantly. McCartneys voicew is really on form.

          8. Eight Days A Week
          The bass line reminds me of Jazz music, but the melody is pure Beatles magic. Such a clever song with catch sections, I even hum along to the ascending intro of guitar chords.

          9. Words Of Love
          Buddy Holly would I hope be proud of the fab fours cover of this song. Tight harmonies really set up a great mood to the song, it's a great cure for road rage.

          10. Honey Don't
          I think this is a Carl Perkins song, as sung by Ringo. I don't know why but it always makes me smile for some reason. Fun light hearted stuff.

          11. Every Little Thing
          I prefer Stings Every little thing she does is magic but the Beatles Every little thing is a lot of fun too, though it's not one of the album's best tracks.

          12. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
          Very reminiscent of there old Merseybeat roots, with a slightly unhappier lyric a worthy pop song from Lennon and McCartney though I prefer the more more cheerful stuff.

          13. What You're Doing
          My least favourite song on the album, but still listenable.

          14. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
          I really like George's nasal vocals they colour the track so brilliantly. This Carl Perkins cover is such good fun. I sing it in the car to annoy passengers!

          Overall a super effort from the Beatles. Not their best album by miles, but miles better than most other artists best albums!

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            03.11.2009 21:24
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            Not the best Beatles album but still better than most bands of the time

            Many people see the album cover of Beatles For Sale and think that the group look haggard and ravaged by the pressures of fame. I rather suspect it was an early morning shoot in a forest at six in the morning that made them appear so tired!!
            This is not the best offering the Beatles gave us due to a Christmas deadline and a shortage of original material but anybody who dismisses it as a filler album will miss out on some really good tracks.
            Let`s remember the Beatles deserve great credit for their integrity during these heady times as they could have sung the phone book and fans would have bought it.

            The album kicks off with what was regarded as the Lennon trilogy. Three dark songs that took the group into a more adult theatre.

            "No Reply" is a sombre pop song lamenting the lack of interest shown by a mystery girl

            "I`m A Loser" sees John in introspective mood. It reflects the influence that Bob Dylan`s music was begiining to have on John. It`s my favourite song on the album. Its well written and shows signs of his later melancholy tendencies. When Lennon sings this type of song you get the real deal, and it shows that he was a much better singer than he thought he was.

            "Baby`s in Black" is another dark song with Lennon again taking the lead and describing a widow who mourns her lover but pays no attention to him.

            "Rock and Roll Music" is a cover of the Chuck Berry classic which again gives John the lead. It was not a critically well-received version but I think he does okay with the vocal.

            The next track is a classically twee McCartney offering. A light song called "I`ll Follow The Sun" which illustrates the reason why Lennon and McCartney needed each other as their differing writing styles blended to form well balanced songs. This is often illustrated in their later solo careers when Paul was often sickly sweet and John far too raw.

            "Mr Moonlight" is the instantly forgettable track on this album. I am the biggest Beatles fan ever and I only listen to this esoteric cover once in a blue moon.

            "Kansas City" is Paul`s usual rocker and it is blended into a version of "Hey Hey Hey Hey" by Little Richard. I like this track for its rawnesss but again it was not reveived very well by the critics.

            One of the best songs on this album is "Eight Days A Week" famously named after Ringo acted like an over-worked chauffeur and said the title. It was originally penned as the title track for the film that was to become "Help" but both Lennon and McCartney disliked the song and rejected it (although fans disagreed).

            George has the first of his, at the time, cursory two tracks next with a decent cover of Buddy Holly`s "Words of Love" (which McCartney owns the rights of now along with everything else Buddy Holly wrote)

            Ringo gets his usual run out with a passable cover of "Honey Don`t". I think its fair to say that Ringo was always best suited to playing the drums.

            Lennon returns to sombre mood with "I Don`t Want To Spoil The Party", another lament because a girl he was expecting to be there did not show up.

            "What You`re Doing" was written about Jane Asher and although penned by McCartney in the main continues the theme of frustration with the opposite sex.

            The album finishes with George`s second song "Everybody`s Trying To Be My Baby" which is a cover but seems very apt at the time when he was being chased by hundreds of female fans on a daily basis.

            This album is not the first album you should buy if you are new to the Beatles album tracks but it is nevertheless a very entertaining album and must be in every Beatles fans collection.

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              25.06.2009 05:10
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              For Fans;Beatles For Sale Is A Bargain!!

              My review of the 'Beatles For Sale' Album.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              INTRODUCTION
              Beatles For Sale was The Beatles 3rd album and contains 14 tracks -
              1. No Reply
              2. I'm A Loser
              3. Baby's In Black
              4. Rock 'n' Roll Music
              5. I'll Follow The Sun
              6. Mr Moonlight
              7. Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey!
              8. Eight Days A Week
              9. Words Of Love
              10. Honey Don't
              11. Every Little Thing
              12. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
              13. What You're Doing
              14. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

              FEATURES, INFO, PROS & CONS
              The album is (like 'With The Beatles' -their previous 2nd album) a mixture of covers and self penned songs. However the writing skills of Lennon and McCartney definitely blossom on Beatles For Sale, and show more self assurance than the previous 2 albums.

              There are the obvious flawless pop tunes - like 8 Days A Week (John was apparently asked to write a song for an upcoming film -titled 8 Arms to Hold You -but this was too much of a mouthful so the story goes; so John came up with 8 Days A Week instead), and No Reply.

              ...But also of great interest is the Dylan inspired (but dare I say; better than Dylan?) I'm A Loser, and Baby's In Black, with it's super tight harmonies over dominant 7th chords, all done in waltz time (but don't worry you don't need to be a musician to enjoy this musical feast!!).

              I'm not quite so keen on the covers, but they're still worth a listen - though I'm not quite sure that the world is ready for Ringo singing Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby - lol!!

              CONLUSION (IN MY OPINION)
              Essential for Beatles fans (and Oasis fans if you want to see where Noel gets his chord sequences from!), still worthwhile for everyone else.

              Hope you found my review of some help, and good luck with your bargain hunting!!

              Best wishes,
              Brett

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                27.05.2009 02:10
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                More than worthwhile, even if it has some unfamiliar tracks

                Underrated album - you can see the effect of Beatlemania worn on their expressions on the cover, & the inclusion of 6 covers is telling, considering it's predecessor was made up entirely of originals. Still there is enough quality here to make it more than worthwhile - 'I'll Follow the Sun' provides a glimpse back to the pre-Beatlemania days, originally written in 1960.

                In addition, 'No Reply' was set to be a single, till Lennon came up with 'I Feel Fine' instead. 'Eight Days a Week' is likely the most well known track here, but the other Lennon.McCartney compositions are equally worthwhile, offering Lennon's first moves into Dylan-esque introspection.

                To my ears, the Carl Perkins covers sound like filler, but Chuck Berry's 'Rock & Roll Music' & Buddy Holly's 'Words of Love' work very well.

                Recommended album, couple of fillers, but it has more than enough solid originals to make up for it, they were knocking out 2 albums a year after all..

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                23.01.2009 00:23
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                Some Good But Not A Masterpiece For The Beatles

                This is often seen as one of the weaker albums in the beatles canon, but then when you look at what they have done, a bad album for the beatles isn't necessarily a bad album. It may not be up to the standard as Revolver and Hard Day's Night, but it is still a good album and some of the tracks are classics, such as "I'm A Loser", "What You're Doing" and "Eight Days A Week". The tracks for the most parts seem trapped between the pop that came before and the reinvention that cam eafterwards, in that repsect it sits much like Dylan's Another side Of, but that is still a good album and so is this, taking in elements of both sides and combinig them to make an album of tracks that are perfectly good to sit back and enjoy, but don't expect some of the genius of their later albums or you may be disappointed.

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                09.06.2008 21:40
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                Better, so much better than you think it will be

                As a Beatles fan - and completist - I had to own this early Beatles work in my collection, but soon came to the conclusion that it is a work of genuine quality in its own right. Often underrated as a Beatles album, Beatles For Sale nevertheless contains some very punchy pop songs, some of which were considered for single release until John Lennon wrote 'I Feel Fine'. One of these, 'No Reply', has a superbly crashing Bridge section - 'I saw the light' - held together with some wonderful Lennon and McCartney harmonies. And just listen to that lovely chord that finishes the song (C6 added 9 is my best guess!).

                There's a strong Country feel to many of the tracks, and the Beatles managed to keep us interested with some genuinely unorthodox flourishes - as an example, just what are the chords doing during the intro and outro of 'I don't want to spoil the Party'?!

                Meanwhile, 'Baby's in Black' has some lovely wide harmonies and was considered strong enough to feature in the Beatles' live set, and my personal favourite is Paul McCartney's 'What You're Doing', a quality song hidden away at the end of Side Two. And let's not forget 'Eight Days a Week', yet another 'Single That Never Was'!

                As was common in Early Beatles albums, Beatles For Sale contains eight originals and six cover versions, and it's at this point it becomes clear just how superior the Beatles' own songs are (notable exceptions being 'Kansas City (Hey Hey Hey)' and 'Words Of Love' which are well worthy of the Beatles' attention.)

                As with all the best Beatles music there is always lots going on in every song - fast chord changes, intricate bass lines and the odd unusual instrument, like the African drum in 'What You're Doing'.

                I would enthusiastically recommend 'Beatles For Sale' not just to Beatles completists - it is worthy of note in its own right - but absolutely anyone who loves Sixties pop and good music generally.

                [First reviewed in ish0p]

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              • Product Details

                Disc #1 Tracklisting
                1 No Reply
                2 I'm A Loser
                3 Baby's In Black
                4 Rock 'n' Roll Music
                5 I'll Follow The Sun
                6 Mr Moonlight
                7 Kansas City
                8 Eight Days A Week
                9 Words Of Love
                10 Honey Don't
                11 Don't Want To Spoil The Party
                12 What You're Doing
                13 Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby