Beatles For Sale

I missed yesterday’s post, so today we get a double dose. The final album in the early Beatles is Beatles for Sale. This album marked the beginning of a turning point for the group. The band was becoming weary of touring and recorded this album between concerts. Because of this schedule, they had only eight original songs available for the album, adding in six covers to fill out the fourteen songs found on all British albums of the time. Those eight songs, however, are prime examples of how the group was beginning to experiment with their writing and their music. Lennon and McCartney were working together on all of their compositions, mostly one providing the middle eight sections for the other. John and Paul each contributed four of the eight original songs. They were starting to see an album as a whole rather than just a bunch of songs. Three of John’s songs were in a sad and remorseful mode which in itself was unusual.

Here are two picks from Beatles for Sale. First No Reply, the opening song of the album is notable not only because it fits in with John’s remorseful writing, but because it tells a complete story. You can see John growing as a writer. Eight Days a Week is the first song where they band did extensive studio experimentation that would be used through the rest of their recordings. Two sessions totally about seven hours were devoted to this one song. Different styles and techniques were tried over and over until a final arrangement was picked. The opening guitar intro was then recorded at a third session and added in.

No Reply is the second song from this episode of the Beatles Cartoon.


During this period, the Captial records, the American arm of EMI (which owned Parlophone the imprint of the early Beatles albums) released eight albums. These albums were different compilations of the songs on the UK albums plus some of the singles and other material not previously released on album. This explains why some of the more well known Beatles song in America were not part of the official Cannon of Beatles albums.

Two great picks from these singles are She Loves You and IFeel Fine. She Loves you hold a number of records, it was the best selling Beatles single in the UK, and the best selling single in the UK in 1963 all around. It also was part of a group of five Beatles songs which held the top five slots on the Billboard chart, which has never been done since (the other four are I Want to Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me, Twist and Shout and Can’t Buy Me Love). I Feel Fine is based on a wonderful guitar riff that John wrote and the group fleshed out in the studio just after they finished Beatles for Sale. The song also shows their experimentation in the use of audio feedback in the intro of the recording.




This entry was posted in Music, The Beatles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Beatles For Sale

  1. wrekehavoc says:

    fun! i always thought i feel fine would make an excellent country song, of all things. don’t know why; just always thought that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *