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

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

  1. Gila

    Gila Forum Resident

    Not exactly. The way I understood it (reading this very forum) is that the first four albums on 1987 CDs were released in mono, but they used stereo machine for tranfer, which resulted in slightly different audio information (instead of exactly the same) in the L and R channels.
  2. slane

    slane Forum Resident

    Yes, but Capitol had it left over and used it on Beatles '65 (where it fit well).

    That was the point of my list (a possible all-originals Beatles '65).
    johnny moondog 909 likes this.
  3. John Porcellino

    John Porcellino Forum Resident

    Beloit, WI
    This was the trick I found to not cringing every time Mr Moonlight comes on... I have to imagine John's tongue firmly in cheek during the recording. Then I can kind of laugh along with him. Otherwise... ugh.
  4. BryanA-HTX

    BryanA-HTX Crazy Doctor

    Houston, TX
    It's really good but a couple of the covers are a bit meh. "Honey Don't" and "Mr. Moonlight", specifically.
  5. That's the thing really - too many people take this band too seriously and tend to forget one of the great things that distinguished them from other acts - they're fantastic sense of humor. Look at their stage act before they became famous - "Your Feets Too Big", "Besame Mucho", "Lend Me Your Comb", and of course "Moonlight" itself. Humor is at the forefront in all of these.

    Fortunately, they never took themselves too seriously - at least not until much, much later on...
  6. smorrison

    smorrison His Master's Voice

    It's like the audio equivalent of "comfort food". I have a few albums like that, especially Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.

    I only had the 87 mono CD of Beatles For Sale until the 2009 remasters. Upon hearing the stereo mix for the first time, this album immediately jumped in my estimation. I never listen to the mono anymore.
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  7. telliott

    telliott Forum Resident

    To me, it was a standout, sound wise, of the 2009 remasters. When I first saw the album in the early 80s, it seemed like a 2 for 1 album, incoporating the majority of "Beatles '65" and "Beatles VI".

    As for the Australian cover, could it be that they just didn't receive the cover art in time. The cover they used looks quickly thrown together, like they created it as the album was being pressed.
  8. TonyR

    TonyR Forum Resident

    Atlanta GA
    That makes it a poor transfer, but not a fold down.
  9. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    I'm starting to feel like this is another case of an album being called "underrated" so often that it is now becoming "overrated".
    It isn't a "weak" album. It's the Beatles after all, but it is a step back from A HARD DAYS NIGHT. But it is as good as PLEASE PLEASE ME or WITH THE BEATLES so it's not like BEATLES FOR SALE was any kind of major mis-step for the Beatles or anything.
    But the trend over recent years of calling this one of the Beatles best albums is kind of silly.
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  10. SurrealCereal

    SurrealCereal Forum Resident

    I think it's a very good album. The originals in particular rank among my favorite Beatles tracks, and some of the covers are really great too. I think the presence of covers is at least partially responsible for this album getting less praise than some of the other early Beatles albums, which I personally think is deserved, as lot of the covers are lackluster at best. If they had managed to fill the whole albums with original songs in the same vein as the ones that are present, this would probably be viewed as an essential transitional Beatles album on the same level as A Hard Day's Night and Help!
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  11. PsychedelicWheelz

    PsychedelicWheelz Forum Resident

    Columbus, OH
    I have a complicated relationship with the album. Amazing originals, mediocre-to-poor covers (with the exception of "Words Of Love", which is my favorite cover they ever recorded).
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  12. Michael P

    Michael P Forum Resident

    Parma, Ohio
    In the early 70's I began purchasing Beatles import LP's. I got Help, Rubber Soul and Revolver. I passed on Beatles For Sale. The reason? I had no idea what songs were on the album! The back cover did not include song titles. Had I known it had "Eight Days a Week" (a hit single in the U.S.) I would have bought it. By the time the '87 CD's came out I was disappointed that the first 4 were in mono. I was kicking myself for not buying BFS, as well as AHDN on vinyl when I had the chance.
    RockyRoll likes this.
  13. David Austin

    David Austin Eclectically Coastal

    West Sussex
    Beatles For Sale has improved with age. Both the mono and stereo versions sound good (comparing vinyl, the 2014 mono and an early '80s stereo). The mono is more immediate and insistent while the stereo is more open and dynamic. Either way, it's a lovely album.
  14. Price.pittsburgh

    Price.pittsburgh Forum Resident

    It's so funny how people can view things so differently.
    I'm 46 and have been a Beatles fan since I was a kid.
    My absolute least favorite Beatles Lennon/McCartney song is Every Little Thing.
    It's a very lazy lyric and feels like filler for me.
  15. Price.pittsburgh

    Price.pittsburgh Forum Resident

    Beatles For Sale is a great album but I prefer the Capitol Beatles 65 with the additions of I'll Be Back, I Feel Fine and She's a Woman and the omission of mostly weaker stuff saved for Beatles VI
  16. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    I used to think Beatles For Sale and Rubber Soul were the same, similar looking album covers.
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  17. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Most are meh but I like John's raucous version of Chuck's Rock & Roll Music. Kansas City is not bad.

    I also agree that Every Little Thing is a highlight
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  18. Piiijiii

    Piiijiii Forum Resident

    Ruhr Area, Germany
    I do indeed think that it's by far the weakest Beatles album.

    There are some nice deep tracks like "I'll Follow The Sun" and "Every Little Thing" but that's it for me.
  19. The Beatles for sale album 1964. Unfairly ignored or underrated ?

    No way! This album was when The Beatles came of age, where JL & PM`s songwriting was to be the template for the GREAT albums that were to come. Weak? That`s baloney! People should give this album a proper listening. Bob Dylan did.
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  20. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I've always liked Beatles For Sale a lot. It was one of the first non compilation Beatles albums I owned on vinyl and the great cover attracted me towards it. I had a poster of that sleeve on my wall throughout my student years.

    For me the great overlooked track is 'What You're Doing'. Possibly the most overlooked track in the Beatles catalogue. I put this down to it's position in the running order, coming towards the end with too many mediocre covers around it.

    The originals on this album are great and if they had included Leave My Kitten Alone as well as broke their 'no singles on albums' rule by including I Feel Fine (I think She's A Woman is mediocre too) instead of Mr. Moonlight & Honey Don't, then I think Beatles For Sale would be thought of more favourably.
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  21. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    I like the album a lot. After all, it is an album from The Beatles.
    I can see where some would say that they "phoned it in" with this album.
    Not I.
    At the time, I never thought anything about it; it was just another album from The Beatles.
    Now, the only oddity I notice is this: All of their early albums had cover versions of songs.
    A Hard Days Night was the first album with no cover versions, with all songs written by the lads.
    Beatles for Sale reverts to the cover versions formula.
    Odd that.
  22. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Didn't have the time so knocked off some covers. The next album also had a cover version.
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  23. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident

    I had to cheat and look it up; the time period between the release of those two albums was less than six months.
    I can also appreciate their feelings at the time regarding their careers.
    Hence, the brilliant amalgam of the album's title and Robert Freeman's cover photo works on both ends.
    AFOS likes this.
  24. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    Act Naturally and Dizzy Miss Lizzie were both covers.
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  25. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    I never liked the mono -- it always seemed way too compressed to me, too pinched sounding, but the 2014 mono reissue does away with that problem. But I've always loved the stereo, since I first bought a EMI two box copy for myself in 1974. I had a Parlophone copy like yours, but sold it since my Parlophone/EMI one box, ~1 mat sounds identical and I wanted to get the money out of the Y&B for other things.

    The stereo mixes on some of these tunes just sound incredible. I guess my favourite tune would have to be the cover of Words Of Love -- it really has always sounded wonderful to my ears. The chiming guitars and three-part vocals are just something else. I'll get flak for it but I think Honey Don't sounds great as well, especially in stereo. The clarity in Harrison's leads and, strangely, incredible bass depth for an early Beatles record.

    Easily my favourite early Beatles LP. Always has been. And I've always thought it was the first album that really signified what they were capable of (with all the musical styles on the record) and signposted the way to Rubber Soul.

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