ARTIST: The Beatles
TITLE: Beatles for Sale
YEAR RELEASED: 1964
CHART ACTION: #1 UK
SINGLES: Eight Days a Week (#1 US), Kansas City / Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (#75 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No Reply, I’m a Loser, Rock and Roll Music, I’ll Follow the Sun
LINEUP: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. George Martin on piano (and producer).
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A year-end Beatles album has some outstanding tracks, but a couple of covers weigh it down.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The pressure on the Beatles in late 1964 was immense. Not only had they broken through the US in a huge way, but they need to make sure their UK and European fans were taken care of as well.
They needed another new album for the Christmas season, so the group trudged back into the studio with about a half of an album of new songs. Cobbling together covers from their stage show (for the most part), they completed an album.
Unlike their first two albums, the covers weren’t that strong. “Mr. Moonlight” is just bad, and there’s some interesting echo (too much) on “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”. There was some musical progress, though, and the originals here are pretty outstanding and complicated, like “Baby’s in Black” and “Eight Days a Week”.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They recorded “Leave My Kitten Alone”, but chose “Mr. Moonlight” instead, because John loved that song.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: A few mediocre covers weigh this down, but the originals should be sought out.