The "Beatles For Sale" album (1964). Unfairly ignored or underrated ?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnny moondog 909, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan Thread Starter

    Of course the most famous band of all time, is never obscure or ignored. But relatively speaking, compared to the other 12 studio albums. I can only think of the Yellow Submarine album with it's paltry 4 new songs. As being competitive with Beatles For Sale. As least known, least regarded, or talked about.

    There are a few untrue tales said about Beatles For Sale, that it's mostly a covers album, with few originals. There are 8 Len-Mac originals & 6 covers actually.

    On my personal copy I add the single I Feel Fine/ She's A Woman to the LP which makes 10 Len-Mac originals on BFS. I also add the one outtake song Leave My Kitten Alone, a great cover rivaling Twist & Shout for ferocity.

    I love this album, better than Hard Days Night, very similar but for me better. Like all Beatles studio albums it zoomed to #1 but in the USA it was never released until 1987 when CDs started. BFS has no huge classic like Hard Day's Night or Can't Buy Me Love, but unlike Hard Day's Night, no clunkers every track is good. Especially every original. In the USA we received 3 different compilation albums on Capitol instead. Between them they had all the tracks.

    Another fake story about Beatles For Sale is that the 6 covers weren't good. Mostly they are the best studio recording covers they ever did. Had they wanted to, in order to Increase the number of Beatles originals beyond the 10 they recorded, they had Beatles studio demos of McCartney's " It's For You" & Harrison's You Know What To Do. Both done in June 64 when Ringo had tonsillitis. They also did Lennon's No Reply, the only one they used.

    So just 5 months after releasing Hard Day's Night, & then Touring Australia, New Zealand & Northern Europe, they still managed to write & demo at least 12 new songs, use 8 on the LP, 2 more for the single, gave Cilla Black the 11th one " It's For You " & dropped the 12th Harrison's " You Know What To Do" They also had 3 more mid 1964 Len-Mac songs they gave away but certainly could have used instead, "From A Window", "Nobody I Know" "I Don't Want To See You Again" All 3 big hits.

    So yeah I love Beatles For Sale, I love all 10 originals including non LP single, & the 4 mid 64 McCartney tunes they gave away. The 6 covers actually 7 are great. My favorite early Beatles album, their 4th studio album, & my favorite until their 6th album Rubber Soul in late 65.

    Comments, opinions, rankings, favorites, please talk about Beatles for sale now, here on Steve Hoffman's forum.
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    I love Beatles For Sale. As I've written about here before, it's one of the Beatle albums I play to unwind. The irony is that when the Beatles were recording this they were dead tired, and playing the album makes me sleepy, but in a good way.

    Mono mixes are good, stereo mixes are good in a different way. Never far from my side. My best version? 1964 -1 Parlophone stereo tube cut LP, courtesy of Tom Port/Better Records. My go-to copy. It sounds like no other due to the "back wall" tube splatter. Amazing on a good system. Less dynamic range but more "you are there" sound.
  4. 905

    905 Forum Resident

    Southern IL
    I admit I play the sizzling Beatles 65 more now, but still play the stereo 2009 CD often. Then the 2009 mono CD.
    Beatles for Sale also contains probably my favorite Beatles song, Every Little Thing.
  5. Troyh

    Troyh Forum Resident

    For about 2 years, it was my going to work 'listen'. At the time I was going to school, working 3rd shift in a factory..on a parts furnace, and working the weekends at a radio station.
    Got me through it and still one of my favorite listens.
    1. Recent Mono Remaster
    2. UK 2nd press stereo
    3. MoFi's (...don't be a hater!)
  6. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    Beatles For Sale is better than AHard Days Night.

    In my opinion, of course.
    kiddo4, angelees, JuanTCB and 7 others like this.
  7. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    I see it both as one of their weaker albums and as one of my 10 favorite albums by a rock act.
  8. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana Forum Resident

    Hallandale Beach
    It's my favorite core Beatles album and I have a tube cut pressing too.

    The vocals on the tracks "Baby's In Black", and "Words Of Love" are together enough sell the record as "essential listening".
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  9. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    It's good, great, wonderful...but I find A Hard Days Night has more killer less filler tunes. Ironically i dip into Beatles For Sale more, anyway ....for tomorrow may rain so I'll follow the sun
    Gramps Tom and CCrider92 like this.
  10. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    I like the album a lot but the covers hurt it for me. All of the originals are fantastic though. If there were more of those I think it could have been one of their absolute best.
    FJFP, angelees, billnunan and 5 others like this.
  11. Tom Daniels

    Tom Daniels Forum Resident

    They were halfway to making Rubber Soul in 1964 when they ran out of time/gas and had to do the covers and get back on the road. Acoustic. Folky. Country. Darker (No Reply, I'm a Loser, I Don't Want to Spioil the Party, Baby's in Black). Completely different from the Beatlemania sound. Then they did the covers with more acoustic guitars, either because they had them out already or to make them fit.

    Like Hard Day's Night, more of a John album, he has was more the folkie.

    Good album that sort of doesn't fit in the early or mid-periods, it straddles them, so it had a harder time finding its place.
  12. Tristero

    Tristero A muted trumpeter swan

    Though it's a little uneven, I regard this as one of their best efforts from the first half of their career, an important transitional effort revealing more depth and maturity. John's material here is top notch and the addition of I Feel Fine/ She's A Woman, along with Kitten, really helps to round it out.
    supermd and andrewskyDE like this.
  13. mikaal

    mikaal Forum Resident

    Related to this album, a question:
    I have a cd copy from the 87 issues and am waiting on an 09 remaster in stereo.
    From what I've read over the last few years the 09 is far superior to the 87.
    Apart from the improvement in sq, are there major differences in the mix between the mono 87 and recent mono remaster?
  14. Thievius

    Thievius Blue Öyster Cultist

    From what I gather the 87s aren't true mono, they're fold downs. Always sounded fine to me tbh, but then again I'm hardly an expert on the subject.
    mikaal likes this.
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Mono Mix differences? No.

    Sound differences? A bit better on the newer version.
    andrewskyDE and mikaal like this.
  16. gates69

    gates69 Music Junkie

    Just look at that cover. Those are four young lads that have just gotten off a non-stop roller coaster ride. They look like they need a long nap :winkgrin:
  17. RockyRoll

    RockyRoll Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I've always loved Beatles For Sale album except for Everbody's Trying to be My Baby and the cheesy organ solo in Mr.Moonlight. I feel the Beatles could have chosen better covers from the vast repertoire they performed at the Cavern like Sweet Little Sixteen, A Shot of Rhythm and Blues, Soldier of Love or Hippy, Hippy Shake!
    andrewskyDE and Michael P like this.
  18. bradman

    bradman Forum Resident

    Great album with the bonus that almost none of it has been played to death on radio.
    A particularly good stereo sound for 1964 as well.
  19. Neil Anderson

    Neil Anderson Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    Fascinating album. Rush recorded and released, when they were exhausted and overworked, and it's still great. It shows there's definitely something to be said for continually working. I do wish they'd held off on recording "baby's in black" till they'd improved the lyrics and settled on a less awkward arrangement though.
  20. the sands

    the sands Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    Great album for me. A stepback from no cover songs on "A Hard Day's Noight" but they gave away many songs to others artists in 1964. They do the covers very well, it's what counts for me. Songs like I''m a Loser" gives it a darker edge.
  21. A measure of how much the band itself liked it can be seen in how many of the tracks from these sessions quickly became part of their live repertoire - many staying right up until the end. Even in '66 they were still playing both sides of the single, as well as "Baby's In Black" and "Rock and Roll Music" - while "I'm a Loser" and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" were in for a while prior.

    Side 2 may be my favorite overall side of Beatles music - just seems to flow seamlessly right through. Personally I value the covers as much as the originals as well.
  22. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Be thankful you didn't get the Australian cover! Why we didn't go with the brilliant UK cover is a mystery

  23. Gila

    Gila Forum Resident

    That's what I do too.

    I would like to mention Mr. Moonlight, it's like Hold Me Tight of this album. Why they chose this instead of Leave My Kitten Alone is a mystery to me.

    I don't think anyone was saying in the days of the album's release that it was 'weak' or a step back, it was a new album with actually a little bit different mood, and nobody minded the originals/covers ratio then.

    I don't even consider that an album. That one surely would be better as EP.
    johnny moondog 909 likes this.
  24. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Hugely underrated! A terrific album- one of their best, actually.
  25. chrisblower

    chrisblower Forum Resident

    My older brother never bought it so never heard it properly until mid 70' did it do sales wise in the Uk compared to the rest ?

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