|Beatles for Sale
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Track: 10: Honey Don't,Track: 11: Every Little Thing,Track: 12: I Don't Want To Spoil The Party,Track: 13: What You're Doing,Track: 14: Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby,Track: 1: No Reply,Track: 2: I'm A Loser,Track: 3: Baby's In Black,Track: 4: Rock And Roll Music,Track: 5: I'll Follow The Sun,Track: 6: Mr. Moonlight,Track: 7: Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!,Track: 8: Eight Days A Week,Track: 9: Words Of Love
Media Type: CD
Title: BEATLES FOR SALE
Street Release Date: 07/03/1987
Banged out in a hurry for the 1964 Christmas market, Beatles for Sale sometimes sounds it, loaded with ill-conceived covers and some of John Lennon's most self-loathing lyrics. On the other hand, the people doing the banging-out were the Beatles, whose instincts for what worked musically were so strong that they could basically do no wrong--any record that has "Baby's in Black," "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" and the delectable "Eight Days a Week" on it is only "minor" in the most relative sense. And, though their voices had been frazzled a bit by constant touring, they revved them up for some joyous shouting, and indulged their fondness for American country in subtle, playful ways. --Douglas Wolk
- Four Tired Beatles = 2.5 stars
BEATLES FOR SALE was recorded in time for the Christmas market amid a merry-go-round of a world tour, TV appearances and BBC radio shows. As a result, The Beatles barely had time to write anything new and relied heavily on rock and roll staples from their Cavern Club days. The result is regarded as their weakest album, though a few gems still make it a listenable album.
Like A Hard Day's Night, Lennon dominates the album, writing the first three songs. The strongest is the confessional I'm A Loser, featuring a strong dose of Bob Dylan. Baby's In Black is another highlight and even more cynical. Every Little Thing features a fine melody and I Don't Want To Spoil The Party is a detour into country.
Paul offers I'll Follow The Sun, a decent ballad, but an oldie from the Liverpool days and What You're Doing, which fails to live up to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Overall, McCartney keeps a low profile on this album.
Their only true collaboration, Eight Days A Week, is one of Beatlemania's less-deserving number ones.
The cover songs are hit and miss. Words of Love and Rock and Roll Music are the better ones, while Mr. Moonlight and Honey Don't are the worst. A better, heavier album would have replaced the latter (along with Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey) with their single at the time, I Feel Fine and She's A Woman, plus Leave My Kitten Alone (found on Anthology 1).
And like A Hard Day's Night, the original stereo mixes are missing, replaced by the servicable mono mix found on this CD. I still prefer the stereo mixes to the mono, and pray that Apple issues them one day....more info
- Better than you think!
Read the critics reviews of this album at the time of it's release and you'll find that this is considered a step back for the Fab Four. However, I would like to dis-spell the myth this was an album that was sub-par to their previous offerings.
If you listen to Please Please Me it's raw. There's no dispute with that assessment. It's the energy that carries it moreso than anything else. With The Beatles was a forward step, not a huge leap, but none-the-less, it was ground-breaking for it's cover art alone. In this short period the Beatles were in demand to say the least. With touring, a feature movie, TV appearances, recording and other engagements so numerous they would scarcely get a day off. And if they did happen to get a day or two rest, they were confined to Hotel rooms.
When A Hard Days Night was released, the record was the boys first to feature only Lennon/McCartney originals. The album had some of the greatest songs they ever wrote. UA (United Artist) spent a decent amount on the promotion of the movie and the sound track. The album was packaged very nicely and sold extremely well. It was a well produced and well marketed album and movie. So when Bealtes For Sale came out, naturally there would be critical redicule without the huge movie studio budget and a short time to fulfill contract obligations, but I beg of you to consider this, if you listen to Please Please Me and With The Beatles, we have Lennon/McCartney originals and their standard covers they performed on stage. If you were to remove A Hard Days Night and you just had the progression from Please Please Me to With The Beatles to Beatles For Sale. You can plainly see that each album is a small step up from the previous. But because Beatles For Sale came after a hugely marketed movie sound track backed by UA, people dismissed it as a lesser album in their catalog.
At the very least, you should be able to agree with my assertion that Beatles For Sale is better than Please Please Me and With The Beatles. Just listen to Johns voice on the track Rock and Roll Music or the introspective self-loathing I'm A Loser. From the classic Eight Days A Week to Paul's raucous version of Kansas City. Some people didn't appreciate the greatness they heard back then. This album was a sign post for things to come. The Beatles as a more mature and quickly progressing rock band. Of course, hind-sight is 20/20 and I'm sure the years have changed some critics tunes! If you are just getting into the Beatles, I won't say get this album first or anything like that. But I will say get them all! You need to have all their albums! This is just a small piece of the story and it is less significant without the rest of this bands incredible catalog!...more info
- too many covers
there's no doubting the importance and quality of the music of the beatles. the problem with this album, as stated many times before is that is was rushed out before christmas. even in the sleeve notes it says "it isn't a potboiling quick-sale any-old-thing-will-do-for-christmas mixture" which suggests they are trying to justify something.
the 8 originals are fantastic, but most of the covers don't seem to fit in with the rest of the album...more info
- Beatles for Sale
Excellent. A must for any Beatle lover. One of the earliest recordings as they were on their way to be the greatest band of all time....more info
- Underrated Beatles Album
Beatles For Sale is an album that seems to be rarely talked about amongst the Beatles community. A lot of people think it was rushed out, and that the boys were very tired from touring, both of which may be true, but it has several rewarding aspects.
Perhaps most interesting are the first two numbers, No Reply and I'm A Loser, both of which are John's songs. They have a very Dylan-esque feel to them that John would later perfect with You've Got To Hide Your Love Away on the Help album. They're both very memorable songs that people rarely talk about anymore.
Also of interest is Paul's number I'll Follow The Sun which is a very catchy, bright little number. It has the same feel of Yesterday, which would debut in the next album. This album has several cover versions, which is a slight disappointment since The Beatles' previous album A Hard Day's Night had been their first full album of all original songs. Still, Paul's cover of Kansas City is a nice piece of old fashioned rock and roll, as is the song titled, suitably enough, Rock & Roll Music. Another good song is Eight Days A Week which was also a single.
Overall, it's a good album but maybe not essential if you're not a hardcore Beatles fan. Still, it offers several good songs, so borrow a copy first and then decide if you want to buy. ...more info
It's true that in first glance Beatles For Sale might seem like a step back from the excellent and highly successful A Hard Day's Night, which was penned entirely by the Beatles themselves; Beatles For Sale is often uneven and inconsistent, filled with some odd covers, and in those ways is more remindful of their previous album With The Beatles. It's also true that Beatles For Sale was made in a bit of a hurry, and at times it shows. But these observations are all skin-deep. Further listening will show that not only is Beatles For Sale an important transitional step in the band's constant process of development and change, which led to the great Help! and from there to the timeless masterpieces Rubber Soul and Revolver - it's also an integral step forward from A Hard Day's Night, and is one of the strongest albums of the Beatles' early period, i.e. the Touring Period.
As I've already mentioned, the cover choices on the album don't always make absolute sense; it's also worth mentioning that in contrast to With The Beatles and Please Please Me, the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team is by now skillful enough for the original songs to be much stronger than the covers, and so the Beatles included these albums not due to lack of confidence in their own songs - they have already produced an album of original material only - but to fill some time, and more importantly to add variety. Indeed, even though the covers are the weaker songs on the album, they add some different flavors to the listening experience and make it more dynamic and more engaging. The strongest of the bunch is John Lennon's excellent interpretation of Chuck Berry's Rock N' Roll Music, which is as much a rock n' roll anthem as Berry's original; it's reminiscent of the very first days of the Beatles, and especially of George Harrison's Roll Over Beethoven. Ringo Starr's version of Carl Perkins' Honey Don't is cheeky and energetic, and remains one of Ringo's strongest vocal appearances. Merit could also be found in the beautiful Mr. Moonlight (excellent vocals by Lennon), in the pretty cover of Buddy Holly's Words Of Love, and to a lesser degree in Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby and the Little Richard medley (which may be one of the best samples we have of how the Beatles must have sounded in concert).
But in their own compositions, Lennon and McCartney really broke new ground on this album, in ways that are subtle but important. It's certainly darker and bleaker than the charming boy-band pop/rock of A Hard Day's Night. The Beatles sound somewhat tired of the superstar status that was at its peak in A Hard Day's Night; it shows in the cover photo beyond a doubt that the Beatles were no longer that interested in being cute. It shows in the slight and subtle sarcasm in the album's title. And it shows in the songs much more. Of the latter day albums, Beatles For Sale best resembles the White Album - there's none of the flower power of 1967 here, but there is some of the bitterness and world weariness of 1968. It shows best of all in John's I'm A Loser, which is one of the best compositions and vocal performances from the pre-1965 Beatles. In spite of the rather traditional rockabilly tune, the self-loathing and depression in the lyrics cannot be ignored; and the lyrics are by far deeper and better than anything Lennon had written before.
Baby's In Black is another great one; this song is interesting musically too, with a six-eighths beat that was rare in rock n' roll in those days. The lyrics are also excellent; even if Lennon's poetry still focused on love and relationships, he was now dealing with relationships much more complex and realistic than the boy meets girl, boy loses girl of the first three albums. Paul on the other hand hands in the beautiful ballad I'll Follow the Sun, which is not quite as catchy as And I Love Her but it's much more daring in its minimalism and intimacy, and sounds entirely sincere. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party, What You're Doing and No Reply all deal with rejection and depression in a more mature manner than ever before, even if the music isn't quite as complex and mature as the 1966-1967 work. And even the cutesy single Eight Days a Week is well-worth a listen, with its terrific fade-in intro that had since became a classic, and with the upbeat music and lyrics that serve as contrast for the rest of the album.
Beatles For Sale is by no means a place to start your Beatles collection, but it's a good step along the way, and for experienced listeners - many of whom have long ago rejected the earlier albums in favor of the post-Help! material, it deserves multiple listening, and with a keener ear.
Oh, and sorry about that lousy pun in the title - couldn't think of anything else to write....more info
- their hugest worst
hello people, it is my strong belief this cd is this boy band's hugest worst.
They never were any good although they did a cd worth of toetappers.
All in all all dreck like N Sinc, Backstrt boys, Justin Timberlakes, east 17, don't know how many more there are all started because this boyband shot to fame.
- Beatles For Sale - Weary but Wonderful
This was the 4th album by The Beatles and it represents the real beginning of their parting-of-the-ways of Beatlemania, mainly in Lennon/McCartney's songwriting. Imagine what it must've been like to have been The Beatles - - - the constant world-wide touring, radio spots and promotions, TV appearances, and still realizing the importance of putting out albums and singles for their millions of loyal fans. By now, you have to believe that even they were tiring of performing those early songs, especially in the wake of the folk and singer-songwriter music which was emerging. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon (w/Art Garfunkel), Joni Mitchell and many others were writing songs that were reporting on social events and other important issues. What was happening was the 1960's beginning to "grow up". The Beatles For Sale represents The Beatles as serious songwriters, especially John Lennon. Even though only 8 out of the 14 songs on this album were written by Lennon & McCartney, one can see (and hear) the change in their writing.
The first three songs are probably the darkest three songs to ever lead off an album, but within those songs are some brilliant lyrics, especially in John's "I'm a Loser". The only single which came out of this LP was "Eight Days A Week", a title which I believe came from Ringo (who also came up with the title "A Hard Day's Night") as something he was just saying in passing conversation. A very radio-friendly song, the kind that Beatles' fans love; you hear it and you're forever singing it in your head. The remaining original songs are just good Beatles songs. "What you're doing" may be one of the best Paul McCartney songs people don't know of and "I'll Follow The Sun" continues the trend of Paul, the balladeer. The remaining 6 songs are covers from Chuck Berry ("Rock And Roll Music", which showcases John Lennon's powerful voice. I don't think anyone in Rock music had a voice like his. He truly understood the medium and anytime he sang a cover tune, it was superior to the original), the team of Lieber & Stoller and Little Richard ("Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" - sung convincingly by Paul), two by Carl Perkins ("Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", sung by George and "Honey Don't", sung by Ringo), Buddy Holly ("Words of Love", with beautiful three-part harmony from John, Paul and George) and lastly Roy Lee Johnson ("Mr. Moonlight", this song often heralded as one of the worst songs of The Beatles career. Personally, I can think of some songs that would rank above this one, although the organ does seem out of place).
The Beatles For Sale may not rank on a par with the likes of Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles (White Album) or Abbey Road, but they can be forgiven by putting out a 4-star album at a time when Beatlemania was still straining every drop of energy from these four lads. The Beatles may not have been meant to be "live" entertainers, such as The Rolling Stones and others, but what they did to transcend the art of rock/pop music and the recording industry has impacted every serious artist since and today - 40 years on, The Beatles' songs haven't dated one minute. ...more info
This record is often dismissed as the "worst Beatles record." I don't get it - this record has everything - great songs, unbelievable harmony singing, well recorded.
It has an attractive simple and natural sound. The songs are right in the pocket - "Everybody's trying to be my baby" and "Honey Don't" swing like mad. "I don't want to spoil the party" has a great relaxed groove.
and the singing!! They never sounded better. "Baby's in black," "Words of love," and "I don't want to spoil the party" feature transcendent John & Paul harmonies. Just unbelievable. Makes you feel so good. And with the simple instrumentation - acoustic rhythm guitar, bass, drums, and some tasteful leads (on the Gretsch Tennessean!) and maybe a piano - there is a lot of space for the vocals to shine.
It has a country rock feel. That's a good thing. George has a great time with the Carl Perkins-type playing. "Rock on one time for me" - yeah! Funny that he ditched this and never came back to it, really.
And here you get the good Paul - no "ugh" moments.
Don't sell this album short, is what I'm saying....more info
- Beatles for cheap
The Beatles' fourth was rushed out in time for Christmas, and it sounds it. McCartney and Lennon try to build from their admiration of Bob Dylan. Additionally, Lennon crafts some pleasant little pieces of self-loathing (see especially "I'm a Loser"). The album as a whole is thin; the music is unexciting, save for the aggression in "No Reply." As soon as the record ends, I'm reaching for "Please Please Me."...more info
- Beatles on sale
This Beatles' album is from an era, when they are still 80% in Mercey Beat, with the powerful artistic influence by John Lennon. Classics like Eight Days a Week and Kansas City, and Mr. Moonlight as well as many others....more info
- The Worst album of All time?
The Beatles For Sale Holds a Strong Title as the worst Rock album ever released. It's Funny how beatles fan say this album is great and underrated and then you go dismiss other bands albums because it's not as good as this horrible piece of so-called "Music". The Rolling Stones will Crush the Beatles Any day and this horrible album is the reason why The Rolling Stones are Better....more info
- Exhaustion hampers the Moptops
Beatlemania, with its non-stop touring and press schmoozing...the added pressure of their newly launched movie careers..and EMI/Capitol label bigwigs demanding "something new for the Christmas season" all conspired to wreck this album. While it's clearly the Beatles' worst effort, the fact that they pulled something even this listenable out of it shows what huge talent the Fabs had.
"Eight Days A Week", with its fadein intro and ringing guitars, is easily the standout track here and a classic in the Beatles canon. Paul turns in the gorgeous "I'll Follow the Sun". "I'm a Loser" and "Baby's in Black" are hummable, if a bit lightweight. Everything gets spotty after that. Of the covers (6 turn up), the best ones are John's snarling take on "Rock and Roll Music" which stands alongside Chuck Berry's and "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey". George Martin does a good job of capturing the Sun Records "slapback" echo for George's vocal on "Everybody's Trying to be My baby" but George's vocal's a bit lacking.
Ringo seems to sleepwalk through what SHOULD be a snarling vocal on "Honey Don't" (a delivery like John Lennon does on "Run for your Life" would have been more a propos to the song). "Words of Love" is dull...it's better remembered in Buddy Holly's version. "What You're Doing" never fully kicks in (The potential in the song would be better extracted in a Yes cover years later.)
BOTTOM LINE: The Beatles are not at their best here. If you're looking for an "early years" Beatles album, consider A HARD DAY'S NIGHT or HELP! first....more info
- The most underrated Beatles album.
I don't care what anyone says. Mick Jagger's singing doesn't hold a candle to that of Lennon or McCartney, Keith Richards is a druggie, and my grandmother plays drums better than Charlie Watts, and she has no arms! This is a great album from start to finish. Right off the bat, you're hit with No Reply, I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Rock And Roll Music, and I'll Follow The Sun, all classics in my book. Then you have the up-beat Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey medly along with Eight Days A Week and I Don't Wanna Spoil The Party. I will admit that Ringo isnt at his best with Honey Don't, and Words of Love and What You're Doing are somewhat dull, but face it. The classics are all here. This is a fantastic album....more info
- Beatlemania Taking its Toll..??
I're read and agreed with many of the other reviewers here - this album clearly shows the toll that Beatlemania was having on John, Paul, George and Ringo.
In fact, the song "Eight Days A Week" (another Ringo malapropism) specifically refers to the difficult of being a Beatle and the demands / pressures that they were under.
When you look back at the previous two years, you see an incredible schedule / lifestyle which included two albums a year, constant touring, a movie, requests for interviews from all corners of the globe and a thousand other things. It's a minor miracle that these guys even managed to retain some degree of sanity.
Many will look at "Beatles For Sale" and see the effects of the above.
For one thing, instead of an album of original Lennon / McCartney tunes, as was the case with A Hard Day's Night, this album contained 6 cover tunes out of a total of 14 songs. It's possible to interpret this a couple of ways. Is this a reflection on their inability, under the constant gun of a deadline to come up with a new lp / single, to rise to the occasion this time? And the cover tunes were simply a convenient way to meet their obligation of a new lp with 14 songs.
Or were the covers simply their way of enjoying some great rock and rock songs that had a huge influence on them during their formative and younger years.`
Notwithstanding some of the criticism, there is some great stuff on this lp.
"I Feel Fine", for example, contains the first recorded feedback of an electric guitar that would later be used by artists like Jimi Hendrix and the Who. This sound apparently came after John accidently leaned his guitar up against an amplfier. It was this type of "accident" and search for new sounds - backward guitars, tape loops, etc - that would become a hallmark of the Beatles in the studio after their touring days were over.
"I'm A Loser", for example, clearly shows the continuing influence that Dylan was having on John. By his own admission, John had heard "Freewheeling" and had gone "potty on Dylan". Up to that point, alot of the Beatles songs were about "she loves him" or "he loves her". Dylan taught the John to think about writing in a more personal style. It's hard to believe that a man who was the leader of the worlds most popular and important band, the idol of millions, a millionaire at a very young age, etc would think of himself as a "Nowhere Man" or (I'm A ) Loser crying out for "Help".
Such was the appeal of John Lennon. It was comforting to know during the turbulent teens / 60's that even John Lennon was afflicted by feelings of insecruity and self-doubt.
The Beatles began this album about two months after the release of "A Hard Day's Night". All things considered, I would say that this album is a very good album.
And keep in mind that if this album is considered, by Beatles standards, weak, every other band on the planet would give their left you-know-what to record / release an album as "weak" as this....more info
- Beatles in Transition
"Beatles for Sale" sounds very much like a transitional work. Though uneven in terms of structure (at least half the tracks are cover versions), the introspective nature of "I'm a Loser," "No Reply" and "I'll Follow the Sun" pave the way for greater glories. The overall record would have been stronger if the group had deleted "Mr. Moonlight" and "What You're Doing" - two obvious throwaways. Still, a flawed Beatles album is better than none....more info
- by their standards...poor
This album was completely rushed, and listening to the songs it shows. If they had had some more time, they would have undoubtebly crated an album full of originals. I find the covers all pointless.
Lennon is all over the album. The most mature songwriting is from him. 'No reply' and 'I'm a loser' are more story like in their lyric and the latter has a Dylanesque introvesion, also apparent in the melodic 'I don't want to spoil the party'.
McCartney's contributions vocally and composition wise are a bit limited. He sings 'I'll follow the sun', but although a nice ballad, it is an old song, already at least four years in 1964. The only other track he composed is 'what you're doing', which is a bit tuneless and very poor on the lyrical front, as opposed to Lennon's work at the time.
He also composed most of 'every little thing' and 'eight days a week', but Lennon's vocals were to the fore again.
It would remain at least a year before McCartney reached Lennon's standard of songwriting.
As for Harrison's contribution it is a poor cover and he sings with little soul and out of tune. ringo simply cannot sing and his constant repetition of 'honey don't' is merely laughable.
Weak by their standards, although a few minor gems were here. Also, the track 'leave my kitten alone' should have been included and why this was left out, is the fault of whoever decided on the tracklisting. It is better than half the tracks here....more info
- Great album!
The songs on this album were originally released in America on BEATLES '65 and BEATLES VI(6). Most,if not all,of the songs have been played on the radio in the UK,USA and other countries as well. Originally released in late 1964 in the UK only,Beatles fans there and in America were addicted to their music. They were teen idols gracing covers of teen magazines such as 16 and Teen Beat. Most,if not all Beatles fans knew the names of every member what instrument(s) they played. Many Beatles fans in America were Beach Boys fans as well(both artists recorded for Capitol Records in America). One well-known song on this album is ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC,originally recorded by the composer,Chuck Berry. The Beach Boys covered the song as well in the seventies. Also in late 1964,America saw the release of BEATLES '65,which most of the songs on this album are on. In fact BEATLES '65 was the Beatles' fourth Capitol studio album released in '64. That album was preceded by MEET THE BEATLES!,THE BEATLES SECOND ALBUM and SOMETHING NEW. Also that same year,came other Capitol albums with Beatles songs. They are THE BEATLES STORY,a 2 LP set,and THE BEATLES SONGBOOK VOL. 1 and VOL. 2,recorded by The Hollyridge Strings. Also,on the United Artists label,the soundtrack to A HARD DAY'S NIGHT,with Beatles recordings and instrumental recordings of Beatles compositions. Great album!...more info
So, you've just put your "heart & soul" into the stunningly effective music for your first film and your record company then says we need an album by Christmas. With less than six months to deliver the goods it's hardly surprising that "Beatles For Sale" is regarded as one of their lesser albums. But take a step back... how many groups, then or now, could compose, in such a short time, five classic tracks like "No Reply", "Eight Days a Week", "Every Little Thing", "Look What You're Doing" & "I'll Follow the Sun" while delivering, on the way, definitive versions of Buddy Holly's "Words of Love" and Chuck Berry's "Rock & Roll Music". Review it in context and it's incredible. ...more info
- I'm definitely one of those people who will praise every Beatles album, but...
This is one of The Beatles' best albums. I grew up listening to them, and have probably heard every song ever written by them over 100 times each, if not more...but 'Beatles For Sale' has always stood out more for me. For my entire 20 years, "What You're Doing" has no doubt been a favorite of mine; this is a song that I have never gotten sick of and no kidding, I listen to it at least once every day. If you're a Beatles fan, well, you know exactly what i'm talking about when I say that The Beatles are about as close to perfection that we're ever going to get from any band. With songs like "Eight Days A Week", "Every Little Thing" and "I'll Follow The Sun", how could one not love this album?! There really isn't any low point on this album. Personally, the "Medley" isn't a favorite of mine, but it's ok, because every other song is great. If you don't own this album, you truly don't know what you're missing and if you're just starting to listen to The Beatles, this is a great album to start with. ...more info
- I Had To Laugh When I Read the Booklet....
...because it felt like it predicted that I'd be listening to the cd someday. I'm referring to the line "The kids of AD 2000 will draw from the music much the same sense of well being and warmth that we do today." Now I admit that I was 18 in 2000 so I guess I technically missed the literal kid description by a year, but the more general prediction of the inter-generational, timeless appeal of the Beatles was right on. I didn't see them on the Ed Sullivan show. I was born almost twelve years after they broke up, and about a year after the tragic shooting of John Lennon. But I, like many, many other people born too late to have experienced Beatlemania as it was occuring, have since become a huge fan of all their work.
This album has my favorite of all the Beatle's songs: I'll Follow The Sun. That song alone is worth the five stars, but thankfully the rest of the album is great too. This album gets a little bit too much grief, and it may not be quite as amazing as something like Abbey Road, but it's still better than just about anything else out there. ...more info
- Subtle greatness lost in mono mix
Back in the 1970's I saw a UK made "Beatles for Sale" LP as an import (to the USA). Not having the US Capitol albums "Beatles '65" or "Beatles VI", I decided to go for this one. Wow was I ever impressed! What a great album, full of great songs (8 by the Beatles themselves, 6 cover songs). A bit subtle, though still lively; with quite a few "acoustic" sounds - the LP was terrific in STEREO. It immediately became one of my favorite albums ever. I rarely pull out the turntable to play LPs these days, so I was excited when the CD was issued, even though I realized that it was in mono. Yet the album that sounded so clear and wonderful as a stereo LP, seemed muffled and dead in CD mono. No wonder so many reviewers feel this is a "tired" sounding album, even "boring" at times and "one of their weakest". The problem is that the album isn't properly served by the mono delivery here.
I suggest that if the much-loved "Rubber Soul" had been issued on CD in mono (THAT CD is in stereo), it too would have sounded tired and boring, at least compared with many other Beatles albums. This album is arguably as good as "Rubber Soul", but you need to hear it in stereo to appreciate it. So why isn't that true of earlier albums/songs such as "She Loves You", "I Saw Her Standing There", "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", etc.? Because those songs had a simpler, more direct and upfront style - essentially designed for what sounded great through a mono television speaker or AM radio. But on this album, there is much more focus on acoustic subtleties which are lost in the mono mix. So while those early songs also sound better in stereo (when actually recorded in true stereo) than in mono, they aren't as lacking when heard only in mono. The songs here however NEED the stereo to really shine though.
As to the music itself, others here have described most of the songs already. I'll just say again that it's quite a bit like "Rubber Soul" and every Beatles fan should have it. In some ways, I find this album even more interesting and consistently enjoyable than "Rubber Soul". So it's a shame that despite being recorded in stereo and released in stereo, the mono version only is available here. While this is an easy 5 star album as a stereo LP, and would likely also be 5 stars on a CD in true stereo, the mono CD (which is what this is) is only 3 stars. I'm not rating it that way out of anger at the lack of stereo, it's just that when this is heard in mono, the overall effect is only worth 3 stars. It still has some appeal, as such, but I suggest most fans try to find the LP in stereo, or get the Capitol boxed CD sets (this album is essentially split between volumes one and two) which have the stereo versions, or wait for this album to be issued on CD in true stereo (assuming that will ever happen).