Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Music Review - The Beatles - Beatles For Sale

I always thought that Beatles For Sale was recorded before Hard Days Night. For one thing it has a similar title as the first two albums. It also has lots of cover songs while Hard Days Night has none. And though this is blasphemy to rabid Beatles fans I'm willing to admit that the originals on this one are a bit on the weak side. Being a guy who just enjoys the music and isn't really into all the geeky trivia bits I never really looked into details on these early albums. Heck, I still have to think a bit to remember if Rubber Soul is before Revolver. But in writing this series I've needed to do a smidgeon of research, that being Wikipedia, the modern day version of cracking open an Encyclopedia Britannica. What I found was the reason for this weakness and apparent backward step: Beatles For Sale began recording about a week after they finished recording Hard Days Night, thus using up all their A-quality originals and forcing the band to return to covers to fill out the album. Plus it's their fourth album in twenty-one months. Sure, they were short albums, about thirty minutes each compared to today when anything under forty-five minutes leaves me feeling ripped off. Add in constant touring and it's safe to say that the boys were tapped out and well in need of a break.

So how about those originals? For starters there's the amazing "Eight Days A Week" with yet another phenomenal walking bass line. "Every Little Thing" is a nice song featuring piano and timpani, a rarity on pop records. "I'm a Loser" is jaunty despite the subject matter, another song that other bands love to cover. I've always had a soft spot for the morose "Follow the Sun" and especially like the vocal harmonies in the chorus. And then there's... well, there's not much. I mean, "No Reply" is pretty good but none of the other originals strike any chords in me.

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