"Recording Beatles For Sale didn't take long. Basically it was our stage show, with some new songs." - Paul McCartney
Two months after their release of A Hard Days Night, On August 11, 1964 The Beatles stepped into the recording studio at Abbey Road, Studio 2 to start their fourth album, Beatles For Sale.
Recording the album was right in the height of Beatlemania, they had already conquered Europe, landed in America, came out with their first motion picture,countless interviews, been on the radio, television, and had already had their world tour. Due to The Beatles phenomenon it was difficult to write around their busy schedules that the band found themselves doing old covers and early and new Lennon-McCartney songs from The Cavern era.
"They were rather war-weary during Beatles for Sale. One must remember that they'd been battered like mad throughout '64, and much of '63. Success is a wonderful thing, but it is very, very tiring. They were always on the go. Beatles For Sale doesn't appeal to me very much now, it's not one of their most memorable ones. They perked up again after that."- George MartinThe recording for Beatles For Sale took seven days from a range of August through October (26). The start of recording being on August 11, then again on the 14th before The Beatles left for their US and Canada Tour.
The album included the following tracks:
- No Reply (Lennon-McCartney)
- I'm A Loser (Lennon- McCartney)
- Baby's In Black (Lennon- McCartney)
- Rock And Roll Music (Chuck Berry)
- I'll Follow The Sun (Lennon- McCartney)
- Mr. Moonlight ( Otis Johnson- Roy Lee Johnson)
- Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Jerry Leiber- Richard Wayne Penniman- Mike Stoller)
- Eight Days A Week (Lennon-McCartney)
- Words of Love (Buddy Holly)
- Honey Don't (Carl Perkins)
- Every Little Thing (Lennon- McCartney)
- I Don't Want To Spoil The Party (Lennon- McCartney)
- What You're Doing (Lennon- McCartney)
- Everybody's Trying To be My Baby (Carl Perkins)
"I'm A Loser is me in my Dylan period, because the word 'clown' is in it. I objected to the word 'clown', because that was always artsy-fartsy, but Dylan had used it so I thought it was all right, and it rhymed with whatever I was doing."- John LennonLike Dylan's story telling styles, Lennon's "No Reply" follows that path with a heartbreaking, personal loss story through song. But not only does Beatles For Sale contain Dylan based songs and new songs like "Eight Days A Week" it also included covers of Buddy Holly's "Words of Love", Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music", two Carl Perkins with George's "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" and Ringo's take on "Honey Don't".
"We all knew Honey Don't; it was one of those songs that every band in Liverpool played. I used to love country music and country rock; I'd had my own show with Rory Storm, when I would do five or six numbers. So singing and performing wasn't new to me; it was a case of finding a vehicle for me with The Beatles. That's why we did it on Beatles For Sale. It was comfortable. And I was finally getting one track on a record: my little featured spot."- Ringo StarrBeatles For Sale was the first album that The Beatles showed interest and attended mixing sessions, which later led to The Beatles playing roles in the mixing process in future years. But up to this point the mixing has been all done by George Martin and his engineers.
It's a proven fact that The Beatles changed music and has shook this world and shaped it in many ways. The Beatles define music. Beatles For Sale places history in which it was the first time that a song started wit ha fade-in introduction with "Eight Days A Week" and "Every Little Thing" is the first song ever to feature multi-tracked bass guitar. It also featured The Beatles using new instruments like George's African drum on "Mr. Moonlight", Paul McCartney Hammond Organ, and Ringo Starr's timpani which can be easily identified in "Every Little Thing"
"Our records were progressing. We'd started out like anyone spending their first time in a studio - nervous and naive and looking for success. By this time we'd had loads of hits and a few tours and were becoming more relaxed with ourselves, and more comfortable in the studio. And the music was getting better.There was 500,000 orders placed in advanced for the album and by the time the album was released the order had gone up to 750,000 which is the highest number of advanced orders received for an album ever!
For this album we rehearsed only the new ones. Songs like Honey Don't and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby, we'd played live so often that we only had to get a sound on them and do them. But with songs like Baby's In Black, we had to learn and rehearse them. We were beginning to do a little overdubbing, too, probably a four-track. And George Martin would suggest some changes; not too many, but he was always an integral part of it."- George Harrison
Beatles For Sale was released on December 4, 1964 and soon topped UK charts on December 12. It remained on the charts for seven consecutive weeks. Later on February 27, 1965 the album was back on the charts and three further weeks from May 1, 1965.
In The US "Eight Days A Week" and " I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" were released as a single (Eight Days A Week being the A-side and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" B- Side).
Beatles '65 was the US version of Beatles For Sale which was released on two separate Capitol albums. On December 15,1964 it was released with "No Reply", "I'm A Loser", "Baby's In Black", "Rock and Roll Music", "I'll Follow The Sun", "Mr. Moonlight", "Honey Don't", and "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby". It also included the tracks "She's A Woman", "I'll Be Back", and "I Feel Fine".
"The album cover was rather nice: Robert Freeman's photos. It was easy. We did a session lasting a couple of hours and had some reasonable pictures to use. We showed up in Hyde Park by the Albert Memorial. I was quite impressed by George's hair there. He managed to create his little turnip top. The photographer would always be able to say to us, 'Just show up,' because we all wore the same kind of gear all the time. Black stuff; white shirts and big black scarves."- Paul McCartneyBeatles For Sale Fun Facts:
- George's Carl Perkins cover, "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" was recorded in a single take on October 18,1964
- No songs from Beatles For Sale was released as singles in the UK
- The album was mixed within a half hour on October 27
- The standalone single "I Feel Fine/ She's A Women" and The Beatles second fan club Christmas record were taped during these sessions.
- The Beatles had a number of arrangements for the intro of "Eight Days A Week" including a vocal harmony.
- Beatles for Sale replaced A Hard Days Night in UK charts