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Beatles for Sale (1990)

4.4 out of 5 stars 414 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Beatles Beatles For Sale Dutch CD album

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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UAI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (414 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,930 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Caylow on October 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Beatles For Sale," the Fab Four's fourth album, is not regarded as highly as their other works. The Beatles hammered this record out pretty fast as they recorded it between tours, and they were pressed for time in coming up with new stuff. Thus, the album is only half original material, while the other half are cover songs (8 Beatles originals and 6 covers, to be precise). But I'm not bothered by this one single bit. Yes, more original songs would've been appreciated, but we must remember that one of the Beatles' early trademarks was doing excellent cover songs as well as their own stuff, and "Beatles For Sale" gives you a healthy dose of both. The end result is a wonderful Beatles album. Regarding the band's original compositions, they're all classics: John Lennon's "No Reply" and "I'm A Loser," Paul McCartney's "I'll Follow The Sun" (an older song that McCartney dug up from his club days with the group) and "What You're Doing," and the duo's brilliant collaborations on "Baby's In Black," "Eight Days A Week," "Every Little Thing," and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party." The Beatles ain't no slouches when covering other people's songs either, and the batch of covers on "Beatles For Sale" are all tremendous fun. Lennon has a great time at the mike on Chuck Berry's "Rock And Roll Music," McCartney tears it up on the medley of "Kansas City" and "Hey Hey Hey," Ringo Starr gets one of his signature vocal performances on Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't," and George Harrison, also a Carl Perkins fan, does great justice to "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby." "Mr. Moonlight" is another fine cover, as is the group's rendition of Buddy Holly's "Words Of Love" (with Ringo playing on a packing case!).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
The fourth album by the Fabs is, yes, kind of subdued, but not by much. There are upbeat numbers like "Rock And Roll Music," the US #1 single "Eight Days A Week," Ringo's cover of Carl Perkins' "Honey Don't," and the Little Richard medley to speed things up. Gee, I've listed the bright spots of the album already!
However, songs like "I'm A Loser," "Baby's In Black," and "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" reflect a kind of weariness creeping in that later evolved into the introspective Rubber Soul. I mean, check out the sombre mugs on the album cover!
There aren't that many cover songs here than there were on their first two albums, but the ones they cover are beauts. The best of these is Chuck Berry's "Rock And Roll Music" with that immortal chorus, "give me that rock and roll music/if you wanna dance with me."
That being said, the Beatles have expressed that melancholy in upbeat songs such as "No Reply." That is about a girl who dates someone else and has her family covering for her. The poignancy expressed with the "I nearly died" refrain. And "I'm A Loser," in the same uppity vein, has lyrics such as "Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown." is it for her or for myself that I cry?"
The mid-paced "Baby's In Black" has shades of Dylan, hard to tell since all four of them are singing in contrast to Dylan's stark solo vocal. Love that lyric: "Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue."
Paul sings a nice slow ditty "I'll Follow The Sun", which happened to be one of his earliest compositions dating back to the late 1950's. In contrast, he wildly covers the engaging Little Richard medley, "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey." Wonder how it sounds compared to the original.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I just purchased this at a local store, as I am too impatient to wait for the other 6 I ordered through Amazon. Those people that say that they can hear no difference do not know what they are talking about. All of the accoustic guitars are now bright and jangly as they should be. The bass is more prominent and the drums are crisper, all without overpowering the vocals.

There is more seperation between the voices so you can tell who is singing which part. It is not all muddled together, each individual instrument stands out on its own. Anybody who expects a modern digital recording from a 1964 analog source is just being unrreasonable. Remember, these were recorded on two- and four-track recorders, so with any bounce down to add instruments, you will have some loss of sonic ability, in spite of all they can do. It's just the limit of the 1964 analog source tape. For what it's worth, in my mind, it's a welcome addition - a veritable breath of fresh air. I highly recommend this album.
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Format: Audio CD
This, their fourth album, is similar to Please please me and With the Beatles in its general style, featuring a mix of covers and originals. The covers remind us all of the singers who inspired the Beatles - this time it's Carl Perkins, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry.
The original songs include three songs that were considered for UK singles release but weren't. Eight days a week was released as a single in America, where it went to number one. The other two, No reply and I'm a loser, were not released as singles anywhere as far as I know. I don't want to spoil the party is (by Beatles standards) generally overlooked, but Rosanne Cash covered it and took it to the top of the country charts in the eighties. It was the first cover of a Beatles song to top the country charts and may still be the only one. I'll follow the sun and Baby's in black are other brilliant originals.
This album was the last of its kind. Subsequent album took the Beatles away from their roots as they experimented with different sounds and styles. To some people, that's when the Beatles became interesting, but I enjoy all their music. If you enjoy their early music, you'll love this album.
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